If you're wanting to delve into vintage fashion or lifestyle, I can't recommend authentic period publications enough. There are many lovely books out there about vintage, but they can so often unintentionally date themselves. For instance I'm usually not a fan of books and t.v. shows from the 80s that portray vintage, because the quality, presentation, and hair and eyebrows (yes eyebrows) are a distraction that the particular publication or entertainment was obviously made in the 80s. In 10/15 years the same will be said about the way we portray vintage. So rather than look to people like me, or books and films written now, I suggest you find some fashion inspiration from the period(s) you are interested in. Just because that dress on Etsy is listed as 1940s doesn't necessarily mean it is. If you want to be knowledgeable about vintage, and be able to easily tell if that blouse is from the mid 30s, not late 30s, find magazines, catalogues, and dated photographs. They really are helpful!
(Of course I do have favorite period specific books and t.v. shows, but I'll share those a different day)
I found this magazine today, and while I don't wear much 30s, I think it was one of the most underrated and prettiest eras of fashion. To my delight there were not only images, but a description of the changing fashions of 1935. It's something I hope you enjoy, and may be especially helpful to those of you who sell vintage, as the 30s can sometimes be a little tricky to date.
"We thought we ought to warn you-fashions are changing and we want to be sure our readers aren't taken unawares. There's no great mystery about this fashion business, you know. New fashions don't spring full blown out of the heads of designers. Nor are they created suddenly out of boredom or spite. They evolve gradually. They change slowly just as you do, as the seasons do. And with just cause.
The first thing to know is that there are just to basic silhouettes. One fits into an inverted triangle, that is, one with its apex down. That is the one that we have had for the last four years. Our skirts are narrow, with little of interest about them. The interest is centered above the waistline. Big sleeves, high necklines, collars and scarves and bows and big buttons keep it there. The second silhouette fits into a triangle standing on its base. Skits are wide with lots of pleats and gathers and gores and borders, bodices are simple with low necklines, often collarless.
Now we are in a transition period, tending toward the silhouette wide at the bottom. How do we know? Because-and this is the second thing to remember-changes occur first in evening fashions, and our evening fashions indicate this change, plainly, to the open-eyed.
If you've been watching you've noticed that many evening necklines are lower. There are even decolletages cut into deep squares and V's back and front. And necklines that are cut straight across, camisole fashion, and held up by straps. You've also noticed the width of evening skirts. They swoop out into great circles with ruffles and pleatings at the hemline and, most significant of all, some are uneven and curve up in front.
We've now gotten to the point where even daytime skirts are coming under influence. The ones that are straight and slim have slits at the sides or scalloped edges or borders of shirring, cording, pleating, fringing, tucking. But these newest ones of all are the wide ones.
We need not view with alarm this coming change in fashions. It will not go to ungainly extremes. Knees will not come out in the open. Waistlines are very, very, slightly below normal. This is a young silhouette, and free and gay and comfortable one. With it, we will want to have a clean, freshly scrubbed look. Cut off your tight little curls and wear your hair free and short with a natural (or near natural as possible) wave."