We love all things retro and reproduction here at What Katie Did, however you just can't beat true vintage pieces. Whether you a true vintage fan or new to the vintage game, read our guide to the perfect underpinnings below - with a little help from the fabulous Lady Eccentrik!
Although we usually feature reproduction pieces on our style sequences, true vintage pieces are a joy to own. Good vintage is often of higher quality, crafted and cut better to flatter and fit your shape, and available in more fabrics and designs than you could possibly think of - no more worry that you'll turn up anywhere wearing the same dress as somebody else!
Of course, true vintage also requires the right foundations; not just to keep the garment hanging correctly and looking immaculate, but also to protect the garment itself while you wear it, and minimize the chance of seams splitting, buttons popping off, or runs appearing in old fabric. You can of course mix and match most of our lingerie to create this effect, but today we're putting together a good basic foundation set for under that most classic of shapes - a perfect vintage dress suit.
We've started out with an old favourite - the Maitresse Bullet Bra. Non-wired and soft cup with supportive circle-stitching, this bra is the perfect base for most mid-century outfits, and is available in sizes 30-40 A-FF in a mix-and-match black satin. (The same style is also available in peach as our Harlow Bullet Bra). Wearing a bullet bra will ensure that the tip of your bustline fills out the tailoring of your dress of top - most vintage style apparel is tailored with bust darts designed to accommodate this shape, so wearing a modern-style bra often results in a saggy-looking bust!
We've added our Luna Corset to this outfit, although we could well have used a Glamour Nouveau Waspie or Waist Cincher. Of course you can go without any of these if you'd prefer, however it is worth knowing that as well as shaping and smoothing your figure, wearing some kind of corset or cincher is a huge benefit to your clothes. Delicate vintage items, especially in fine light fabrics, are often prone to pulling at the seams - wearing something to scultp and shape your waist puts less pressure on the garment and so prolongs its life. We've teamed the Luna with our Maitresse Nouveau Deep Suspender and Knickers here. Although they are pictured under the corset, wearing a pair of high waisted knickers over the corset is also the best way of smoothing down your boning and lacing (plus making it easier for you to visit the powder room!)
And to finish? Well, we couldn't resist a pair of Fully Fashioned Stockings! These 100% nylon beauties are exactly what ladies would have worn back in the day. As a particularly luxurious touch, treat yourself to a pair of these Contrast Cuban Heels, with their eye-catching darker seam and flattering Copper leg.
Now, the dress! This utter beauty is a piece from Katie's own personal collection, a blue satin-style dress suit with diamante detail and an unusual wrap collar. Katie actually purchased this piece from a Facebook group, Ooh La La Vintage Hive Mind run by a lovely lady called Juliet Jarvis - proving that you needn't leave the comfort of your sofa to become a vintage shopper! This particular Facebook group has members worldwide and comes highly recommended, but there are a few other places you should certainly check out! On Instagram alone you can find many trusted stores - Butch Wax Vintage, Scarlet Rage Vintage and The Girl Can't Help It are just three feeds of hundreds we regularly scope out for retro gems. Elsewhere, try weekend markets or look up brick-and-mortar stores near you - chances are if you're near a town there will be many more than you think!
And there you are! Just a little insight into the world of vintage glamour from WKD! We're always on the hunt for new places to shop, so let us know where your favourite vintage store is in the comments below!