Some general advice on dressing vintage/vintage clothing that applies to men and women.
o Authentic Vintage Clothing. Authentic vintage clothing (i.e. from the 1950’s and earlier) in good condition can be hard to find, especially in the bigger sizes. For a variety of reasons, people were generally smaller 50-75 years ago, both in height and in “girth”. It’s not impossible to find vintage clothing in larger sizes, but smaller sizes are much more common. And larger size vintage clothes often cost more. But don’t give up, keep looking – part of the fun of vintage clothing is the thrill of the hunt!
A couple of other caveats. A lot of authentic vintage clothing is made of wool and doesn’t “breathe” well (which can be a problem for swing dancing). Vintage clothing can be fragile and not hold up well to the rigors of swing dancing. Vintage clothing normally requires dry cleaning. And as noted above, sizes for vintage clothes may run smaller, so keep that in mind if ordering on line from Ebay, Etsy or another on-line site.
o Reproduction Vintage Clothing. There are several on-line retailers that sell reproduction shoes and clothing. This especially applies for shoes (see info below). Thrift stores (Goodwill, Salvation Army) are a good source for clothing that is older, although not exactly vintage, but has a vintage look. (For the ladies, note that wide shoulder pads were popular in a lot of dresses and shirts from the 1980’s, giving that clothing a vintage or 1940’s look.)
o How to get started with vintage clothing. (1) See the info below for places to buy vintage clothing. (2) Note that Mike & Mary Richardson have a good collection of vintage and vintage style clothing, so get with us and we’ll be happy to share any info we have and get you started in the right direction for vintage clothing.