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Vintage Style In A Modern World

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Getting a Vintage Shape with a Modern Bra by Gail Carriger (Blog Post By Request)


One of the questions I get a lot is where to find and buy a new bra (with modern measurements) but that will give the conical pointed shape of the 1950s.

Well darling fashionable reader, I am here for you.

Getting a Vintage Shape With a Modern Bra


First there is a vintage bra re-creation company out there called What Katie Did. Their bullet bras run small (I've never managed to fit one so gave up) and have little to no stretch to them. But they even have a circle stitch one for $64. Their return policy is draconian. Try at your own risk.

Getting a Vintage Shape with a Modern Bra by Gail Carriger (Blog Post By Request)


Second, one of my personal favorites is the Freya Dotty Nursing Bra ($72 30D-40G). Yes I know, it's a nursing bra, but the design means that it's a good shape for vintage. However, the band is a little narrow and unsupportive, so it can cut in at the ribs. But this is the single biggest range bra for those of use with tiny rib cages and want a retro shape.

Getting a Vintage Shape with a Modern Bra by Gail Carriger (Blog Post By Request)


However, if you are going to buy one vintage style bra for multiple purposes it should probubly be a neutral color. Plus $72 is pretty steep for a show bra.

So I went on a tear recently looking for a good one and here are a few options I found and tried out. (Keep in mind I run at about a 32DDD - 34DD these days) which means large boobs and small ribs...

Exquisite Form Fully Women's Original Full Support Bra #5100532 


Getting a Vintage Shape with a Modern Bra by Gail Carriger (Blog Post By Request)



This puppy is only $15 (in my size) and honestly it is the most like an actual vintage bra that I have found made modern from material to design. For $15 it's obviously not very well made but it will certainly do the trick for light use. For me it ran a whole size too big in both band and cup, and unfortunately it doesn't come in a 32. I now have the 34 D to wear on the tightest band setting and that's OK. But still sizing is kind of a pain with this one.

The vintage shape once you get the fit though? That is spot on.

$9-28 Comes in white, black, and light beige. 34B - 48DD Cup sizes only go up to DDD. But like a said, runs large.

Playtex Women's 18 Hour Original Comfort Strap Bra #4693

Getting a Vintage Shape with a Modern Bra by Gail Carriger (Blog Post By Request)

Great support and good shape but the lace edging is HELLA sharp. Seam line is rather prominent, but really hard to beat this kind of support PLUS a good vintage shape. Also a silky material is nice, things don't cling to it. I ended up keeping it as a fall back, despite the lace. Mostly because in my size it was only $18. Oh yeah it ran true to size. 

 $11-95 Comes in multiple colors. 34D - 54DDD Cup sizes up to G. 

Carnival Women's Full Figure Longline Camisole Strap Soft Cup Wire Free Bra (no lace)


Getting a Vintage Shape with a Modern Bra by Gail Carriger (Blog Post By Request)
This one is VERY vintage but the cup sizes run larger. I found it more comfortable than the lace version (see next) and so I returned this one for the smaller size cup. Because it is a long line it is a bit warm. The support is great though. This is the first bra I've owned in a long time that really doesn't rely on straps AT ALL. In fact, this could easily be a strapless on me.

$25-112 (I paid $42) Comes in white, black, and champagne. 34B - 48DDD Cup sizes only go up to DDD.

Carnival Women's Full Figure Longline Padded-Strap Soft-Cup Wire-Free Bra (Lace)


Getting a Vintage Shape with a Modern Bra by Gail Carriger (Blog Post By Request)

Oddly enough, this one, while the same company and size as the previous long line, ran exactly true to size on me. I like it and it looks lovely on, BUT the lace is a bit sharp. Also the support isn't awesome, so if you need a lot of help, this bra isn't for you. Finally I had to wear the straps on the very shortest setting, rare for me. So if your boobs are high, this may not have short enough straps for you. Although the shoulder padding is nice.

I gotta say this bra does one thing REALLY well, it gives GREAT sweater.

Getting a Vintage Shape with a Modern Bra by Gail Carriger (Blog Post By Request)


So if "sweater girl" is the look you are after, hard to do worse than this. Very little over-boob seam line showing on my lightest weight knit top.

$25-112 (I paid $41) Comes in white, black, and blush. 34B - 48DDD Cup sizes only go up to DDD.

Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.

You can shop my recommendations via the following lists:
Steampunk, Retro Jewelry, Makeup, Retro Clothes, Lifestyle


Product links on this blog are usually to Amazon using my associate code. At no additional cost to you this means I get a slight kick back if you make a purchase. Thank you! This allows me to continue to produce this blog without sponsors.

Vintage 1950s Versatile Black Dupioni Suit - Daytime, Evening, Everytime Many Ways with Gail Carriger


So one of my most worn wardrobe pieces is a little black dupioni suit, Fashionable Reader. Here I am wearing it over the years in various different ways. It's basically a sheath dress with a little short jacket over top.

ALA in Las Vegas. 

I call this my Dior suit (and it might be, hard to tell as someone tore out all the lining at one point including labels). I'm thinking, from the cut and the length, that it's late 1950s.


Vintage 1950s Versatile Black Dupioni Suit - Daytime, Evening, Everytime Many Ways with Gail Carriger

Here is is not on my body...

Vintage 1950s Versatile Black Dupioni Suit - Daytime, Evening, Everytime Many Ways with Gail Carriger

"Dupioni (also referred to as Douppioni or Dupion) is a plain weave crisp type of silk fabric, produced by using fine thread in the warp and uneven thread reeled from two or more entangled cocoons in the weft. This creates tightly-woven yardage with a highly-lustrous surface."

~ From Wikipedia

Dupioni's biggest flaw is that it wrinkles, so this is one of those pieces I always have to plan time into my schedule to iron before wearing, and it's not for sitting still for long times.

The suit is basically a simple v-neck sheath dress...


Vintage 1950s Versatile Black Dupioni Suit - Daytime, Evening, Everytime Many Ways with Gail Carriger

The skirt is pencil and to below the knee. It's hard to tell with black fabric, but the seaming is to die for (so flattering, that image is BEFORE reduction) especially in the bodice. This is one of those deceptively simple dresses that I really wish eShakti would get hold of and deconstruct because I would buy it in a million different colors and patterns.

I find the arm holes a little high (or perhaps that's because of my swimmers shoulders which pull the bottom of the arm hole up).

With a short jacket...


Vintage 1950s Versatile Black Dupioni Suit - Daytime, Evening, Everytime Many Ways with Gail Carriger

It comes with this little short jacket, one big button and a very wide lapel and the much-coveted half length sleeve. (I adore this sleeve.) Also super versatile.

Vintage 1950s Versatile Black Dupioni Suit - Daytime, Evening, Everytime Many Ways with Gail Carriger

Here I am wearing the whole suit as an evening look. (I met Mercedes Lackey in this outfit!) I have a fancy hair bob in, a nice jet beaded tassel necklace ($20), peep-toe wing tip stilettos, and long red gloves ($8).

All I need to do is change the hat & gloves and this look works fine for daytime too. I love that kind of versatility.

Vintage 1950s Versatile Black Dupioni Suit - Daytime, Evening, Everytime Many Ways with Gail CarrigerVintage 1950s Versatile Black Dupioni Suit - Daytime, Evening, Everytime Many Ways with Gail Carriger

Here it is with shorter gloves and no gloves, and more casual accessories.

If I want to turn it super daytime I put a shirt on underneath it, like so...

Vintage 1950s Versatile Black Dupioni Suit - Daytime, Evening, Everytime Many Ways with Gail Carriger

See? I am even wearing it with flats. (I try to avoid flats with a pencil skirt but sometime the feet just hurt too much.)

And here is one of my favorite versions...

Vintage 1950s Versatile Black Dupioni Suit - Daytime, Evening, Everytime Many Ways with Gail Carriger

So there you have it, so many different outfits out of one vintage suit.

Any preferences on which one you like the best?

Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.

You can shop my recommendations via the following lists:
Steampunk, Retro Jewelry, Makeup, Retro Clothes, Lifestyle


Product links on this blog are usually to Amazon using my associate code. At no additional cost to you this means I get a slight kick back if you make a purchase. Thank you! This allows me to continue to produce this blog without sponsors.

Gail Carriger's Imprudence Tour Outfit ~ Red Trumpet Skirt in Texas


For the first two stops of my Imprudence Book tour I wore my new red trumpet skirt. I know, the same skirt, 2x in a row! But you see, Fashionable Reader, 10 stops in 10 days, carry-on only, will limit even my choices of outfit, especially with the impossible heat.

Gail Carriger's Imprudence Tour Outfit ~ Red Trumpet Skirt in Texas
Sorry I didn't note the source, but I think it was on Instagram.

Gail Carriger's Imprudence Tour Outfit ~ Red Trumpet Skirt in Texas
with Valerie & Shannon (via Valerie on FB)

For both Texas events I wore my new red Power Broker- 30s Vintage Style Retro Double Button Skirt $30 (also comes in black). I own the size small (and I run size 4-6 on my lower half). It fits beautifully. This was its first major outing and it was GREAT. It travels like a dream, hardly any wrinkles (taking it into the steamy bathroom while I showered dealt with those). It also washed well out the other side (cold water delicate and a line dry and it looked as good as new).

Gail Carriger's Imprudence Tour Outfit ~ Red Trumpet Skirt in Texas

For both events I paired it with a tiny red bow headband (modern, dying, can't find a good replacement but I'm thinking of something like this), red beaded necklace set (one is vintage the other modern, similar single strand $13, similar earrings $8, similar set $24), obligatory pen necklace (modern replica, $18), and a pair of Via Spiga suede sandals that I got about 10 years ago (no longer available, similar pumps $20-50).

Gail Carriger's Imprudence Tour Outfit ~ Red Trumpet Skirt in Texas

In Houston I paired it with a stretch velvet 1940s style sleeveless top. This was originally a dress from Ross but I cannibalized it into a blouse and I wear it all the time. I adore it. It looks better in person.

Gail Carriger's Imprudence Tour Outfit ~ Red Trumpet Skirt in Texas

In Austin I wore the red skirt with my cherry top. I got this one overseas, I want to say Germany or France, although I think it's a UK brand. Paid too much for it but I've certainly got my money's worth. Here's something in the same pattern if not cut, $34.

Gail Carriger's Imprudence Tour Outfit ~ Red Trumpet Skirt in TexasGail Carriger's Imprudence Tour Outfit ~ Red Trumpet Skirt in Texas
 via Elizabeth on Facebook (thank you!)


More tour outfits to come!

Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.

You can visit the following shopping lists: Travel Dork, My Steampunk, My Wardrobe.
Product links on this blog are usually to Amazon using my associate code. At no additional cost to you this means I gets a slight kick back if you make a purchase. Thank you! This allows me to continue to produce this blog without sponsors.
Getting a Vintage Shape with a Modern Bra by Gail Carriger (Blog Post By Request)Vintage 1950s Versatile Black Dupioni Suit - Daytime, Evening, Everytime Many Ways with Gail CarrigerGail Carriger's Imprudence Tour Outfit ~ Red Trumpet Skirt in TexasGail Carriger's New Acquisitions ~ Staples, Bras and T-shirtsOld Corsets and a New Rack with Gail Carriger ~ Steampunk, Modification, Breast ReductionRack Reduction (Gail Carriger Discusses Going Under for Breast Reduction Surgery)TV and the Rack ~ 5 Fashion Tips via Joan from Madmen from Gail CarrigerGail Carriger's Book Tour Outfits ~ Team Purple!Gail Carriger's Top Ten Fashion Bloggers

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