The problem remains however that the prices for the vintage I want to wear with a hat and heels are now beyond my means. Especially as vintage clothes also come complete with challenges: difficulties of sizing, moth nibbles and that unique, not entirely pleasant smell of damp. I like reproduction clothing, but the difficulty is that when I wear a Stop Staring dress everyone recognises it, nice in a way but I cannot help feeling profoundly unoriginal. New companies and designers keep on appearing to fill this demand but their clothes are often as expensive as the vintage versions.
Sometimes the High Street throws up good alternatives. I love my Jasmine Guinness cherry- print rockabilly style dress. Recently I bought her navy blue day dress featuring fabric with a little peach coloured pattern which has an 'atomic' feel to it. The combination of navy and dusty pink is also very retro. The tie belt is far too long but anyone with basic sewing skills (ie not me!) could shorten it and attach a vintage buckle quite easily. Her sleeves to be snug but other than that I love the cut and the crepe like fabric. It has been mistaken for a genuine vintage item even though in truth it is a hybrid of 40's cut with 50's pattern and 30's detailing.
The other shop that seems currently to have some dresses with a distinct vintage feel is Laura Ashley. I also recently bought a good emerald green embellished dress from Phase Eight that had a late 40's feel about it with a fitted draped waist and sweetheart neckline. Coast also have an elegant long navy crepe de chine like dark blue evening gown that is pure 30's in stock. Although the price is steep it might crop up in the new year sales and it is nice to see something in such a classic colour. Coast dresses are manufactured for giants so a seamstress would probably be needed by most to shorten the hem.
Laura Ashley 30's style grey silk gown (I want this one!)