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After years of browsing vintage clothes online and adding a dress or two along the way, I finally started the switch to add more vintage inspired items to my wardrobe. I tend to wear the same clothes until they wear out or become too small. A couple of weeks ago, I finally reached a point where I had so few clothes in my closet, that I needed to buy some more in order to not wear the same things every few days. My one pair of jeans that fit had a hole in them. It was not pretty.
A change had to be made.
I liked the idea of a capsule closet, but avoided it because I didn’t want to wear the same things everyday. But, I pretty much ended up doing that anyway.
So, when I decided to buy new clothes, I chose a more capsule closet approach. Additionally, I thought why not switch to more 50’s inspired clothes? That’s how I started building my 50’s inspired capsule closet on a budget.
Where My 50’s Inspired Clothes are From
The vintage inspired items that I have received previously were from my aunt who was pretty much the person who helped me develop any sort of fashion sense growing up. My moms didn’t really care about style. So, one dress is from a store in San Jose California. Another is from Steady Clothing.
The items I bought from my capsule closet most recently are all from Amazon. Eventually, I would really like to get some dresses and other pieces from Unique Vintage. I’m waiting to purchase the pricier stuff until I figure out what looks best on me. Seems silly to spend money on something that may not fit my body type at all. Now that I’ve established all that, on to the new clothes I recently bought from Amazon for my 50’s capsule closet. You can find all these in our “Vintage Fashion Finds” list on our Amazon storefront www.amazon.com/shop/cutecannycouple.
I wasn’t too sure about how an a-line skirt would look on me. I typically wear tighter fitting stuff because otherwise I feel like I just look undersized and frumpy. This skirt actually looks better than I anticipated. It’s plaid, which gives it a little bit of interest and works well with solid color tops. There are a few loose threads in the buttons around the waist, which show it’s not the best quality, but it was relatively inexpensive, so is to be expected. It comes in many other patterns and colors.
It has been around 35-55 degrees here lately. Although I would love to wear dresses and skirts without tights, that’s just not an option. These tights that I found on Amazon have a fleece lining, so they feel more like the thickness of leggings than tights and are very soft. Black goes with everything and I think looks a little more grown up than white tights. If I wear white tights I feel like a 10 year old going to a birthday party, so for me black is where it’s at.
Since the office is pretty much the only place I go where I’m not in gym clothes, I have to make my outfits business appropriate. Given the dress code of my job, that’s pretty easy. This peplum top is kind of retro, but also has a bit of a modern feel to it. It comes with a thin black belt. The belt is kind of cheap-looking, but the plasticky-style belt was kind of in during the 50’s and 60’s, so it’s not too weird. The material of the top is rather stiff and not soft, but I wasn’t uncomfortable in it.
I have not actually worn this yet. I had a dress that I thought needed a petticoat. The dress still doesn’t quite work, but I think the petticoat is a good basic item to have for a-line dresses and skirts. I just need an occasion to wear it. It’s a bit too fluffy for work. This one isn’t the best quality, but it’s not made of the scratchy tulle like in kids’ costume dresses, so that is a plus. Since I won’t be wearing this too often, I’m not concerned with the quality. If you’re going to wear a petticoat daily, I’d go for a better quality one, probably not from Amazon. It works for my purposes though.
These two belts instantly make my outfits more retro. I like the black style more than the white, but both work well. I went with these two basic colors because they’ll work with any color scheme other than maybe earthy tones, which I don’t wear much of. The hourglass shape was big during the 50’s. The cinched belts help accentuate the waist and lead more to that shape.
Tank tops are one of my favorite items of clothing. I wear them to the gym and even to work with a cardigan sometimes. This one isn’t as stretchy as some, but it looks more professional. There are other colors available.
Mock Turtleneck Sweater
I have issues with sweater necks stretching out and looking weird, so a mock turtleneck style made sense. It’s tightish to get on and off, but not restricting. I might just have a big head too. Not sure. I went with light pink just to branch out of my usual color scheme. It’s very soft.
This is made of either the same or a similar material to the pink sweater, so it’s also quite soft. Also many color options and a few with cherry patterns. It has 3/4 length sleeves which work better for me. My arms are long so most sweater sleeves are too short. If they’re deliberately short, then it’s fashion. If they’re just ill-fitting, it looks like I don’t know how to buy clothes for myself. The buttons seem to be sewn on a little flimsily, but I have plenty of thread, so I’m not concerned if one comes off. I probably wear this most frequently out of everything I bought.
I’m not sure if cigarette pants are stretchy or not, but these ones definitely are. I’m planning on getting a black and white patterned pair eventually. I love these. They feel like leggings, but look more like dress pants, but not overly formal ones. Very comfortable and flattering.
This is a classic skirt that works with pretty much everything. Fitted tops, flowy tops, whatever. It’s high waisted and fits well. It’s stretchy and forgiving. I had another for work awhile ago, but it was too short to be comfortable for work.
Here are a few ideas for how to put these items together into outfits. I’ve been wearing these with a couple of other items that I already have in my closet. I usually wear neutrals, jewel-toned colors, + red, so those are the colors I picked for most of the items. The only exception was the light pink sweater, which is pretty out of character for me.