6 Best 1920s Vintage Clothing Stores Online
See 6 of the best 1920s Vintage clothing stores online in the UK and US. Discover genuine twenties vintage clothing for women and where to get it.
I love going on 1920s horror LARP events. Think gin, costumes, butlers who’ll do anything for you and monsters galore. As interesting hobbies go it’s pretty expensive, so I spend all year trying to source 1920s clothing for an affordable budget online. The Downtown Abbey and Great Gatsby trends mean that affordable kit is easier to source, and more people are creating modern yet authentic 1920s style dresses, coats and cloche hats to buy online. The resurgence of interest in Great Gatsby styles also means that everyone else wants to get their hands on it. Nevertheless, I’ve decided to share my secret favourite online 1920s vintage clothing stores with you all.
I’d solely buy authentic 1920s if I could, and it’s certainly out there. However, my budget restricts me, so I am to collect a mixture of genuine vintage pieces and modern dresses, hats and accessories made to an authentic 1920s pattern. If I have to go for a super-cheap 1920s costume dress, at least I can give it some gravitas with a genuine 1920s coat! Mix and match is, for me, key to achieving the authentic look I’m after at an affordable price. If it’s all cheap and modern, I feel tacky. If it’s all authentic, I can’t safely LARP in my 1920s clothes – they’re too precious to wear when traipsing after monsters in musty cellars. For me, it’s all about getting the balance – and these are the online 1920s clothing shops I turn to!
Candy Says is a UK vintage site offering clothing and accessories from the 1920s through to the 1980s via 1930s tea dresses, 1950s prom frocks and 1960s cocktail wear. I love this site because it puts day wear and evening wear in separate categories, and because you can filter items by decade. A gorgeous peach dress was in a sale for £95. By the time you read this it’ll probably be gone. C’est la vie!
Leluxe Clothing does high-quality faithful reproductions of 1920s vintage dresses, mostly of the flapper variety. Amanda Palmer wore their ‘Vamp Black Copper’ dress to the Golden Globes in 2012. At around 370 dollars plus shipping to the UK they’re hardly a snap, but their peach silk slips at 49 dollars are far more affordable. When you’re on a 1920s event and woken at 4am by a tentacled monster (this happens frequently) it’s important to know you’re looking your fighting best.
I thought only British people said ‘posh’, but Posh Girl Vintage is a US store from California. They do some shockingly nice 1920s coats and jackets, and sometimes these items are harder to find than 1920s evening dresses or day wear dresses. 1920s fashion was all about layers, so getting a lovely cropped kimono or flowing jacket to go on top of your dress is a bit of a must for a convincing 1920s look.
Honestly, just look at this vintage 1920s flapper dress in coral silk with metallic embroidery. Look at its tiered scallop lace overlay! This is the kind of flapper dress that makes me swoon. What the cheap 1920s costume fancy dress merchants choose to ignore is that flapper dresses weren’t that short. They were short for the age, but they revealed your calves, not your knees. A dress like this will set you back 230 dollars.
1920s coats for women are an absolute nightmare to get hold of, so for my next 1920s event in November I might cheat and get this 1930s coat in navy wool suiting instead; if I make sure the cloche hat is right I’ll feel cosy and warm as well as rather natty. Puttin on the Ritz don’t do real vintage, but they do very high quality reproductions of predominantly 1930s (but also 1940s clothing) and are well-known in their field. This coat will cost me 195 pounds so I’ll have to be sure I plan to wear it for many years to come, and not just at 1920s events. But look at it – it’s beautiful. Of COURSE I’ll be wearing it for years to come.
Like many of my favourite 1920s vintage clothing online stores, So Loves Vintage allows you to shop by decade as well as by item type. While the flapper dress above isn’t quite my style, I appreciate the beauty of its lines and the delicacy of its colouring, and the tiers of fringe work beautifully.
Genuine vintage 1920s clothing on eBay
eBay is the perfect place to grab a bargain item of 1920s clothing. You can buy sturdy 1920s daywear and evening dresses, coats and evening shawls for Downton Abbey dinners and Great Gatsby parties. I love getting authentic 1920s, early 1930s and art deco jewellery because that ancient, tarnished jewellery can make the outfit.
When shopping for vintage 1920s dresses online…
… It’s important to remember that the women of the twenties were tiny compared to us millenial giants. They had tiny narrow shoulders and tiny little heads and feet (I dare you to fit a 1920s cloche hat or pair of shoes if you’re anything but an eight year old child). I suppose it’s because we consume so much more protein nowadays. Regardless of the science, don’t shop for 1920s clothing online unless you have a measuring tape to hand, because today’s dress sizes mean nothing when it comes to early vintage – you need to make sure the dress fits. The 1920s evening gowns on So Loves Vintage are to die for. Or to kill someone else for, definitely. A tentacled monster, ideally.
And don’t worry about imperfections. The women of the 1920s smoked and drank and stained their dresses and left tiny little holes in them – but the imperfection just adds to the character and the individuality of the dress, and it’s a wonderful feeling to know you’re wearing history.