Well it seems that spring is taking its time to get to us this year. It's still the perfect time to be wrapped up in jumpers, cardigans and twin sets. Wait...twin sets? Aren't they what your granny wears from M&S? Firstly, yes she does, but secondly the M&S twin set is an absolute vintage inspired classic, and twin sets can still be a staple in your midcentury wardrobe. Enter the 'Sweater Girl' style...
Sweater Girl style is basically what 1950s style pinups wear when it is a bit nippy outside for a spaghetti-strap dress, or when they just want a day off from cinched waists and towering heels. The look is inspired by Old Hollywood queens such as Marilyn Monroe, Mamie Van Doren and Diana Dors and originates all the way back in the 1930s when jumpers really came into their own.
We're going to jump ahead to accessorising before we get stuck into the outfit details. Just because you're all wrapped up doesn't mean that you can sparkle with some of our vintage inspired fakelite jewellery. A few rolls of the jumper cuff reveals space on the wrist to be filled with stacks of bangles. We love the classic look of the Starburst range, but the sky really is the limit. Clash, combine, and create the best stacks of your lives! Don't forget to add a pair of earrings as well. The iconic fakelite drop hoops look fantastic with this sort of look, and we love contrasting them against the colour of the sweater.
As with all 1940s and 1950s looks, you're going to need a solid foundation to begin with. The best way to get that iconic vintage silhouette is the famous bullet bra. Stick with us here, we know what you're thinking..."they'll poke someone's eyes out!" but you really will get used to it. In modern times we're used to a fuller, rounded bosom, but during the mid-century years it was all about really sticking them out. What Katie Did is every vintage gals first stop when needing some pinup style underpinnings. Famous for their corsets they also have a spectacular range of bullet bras in sizes 32-40 and cup sizes A-FF - plus if you're not brave enough just yet for the full cone effect, they also do a softer 1940s style which can get you on the way to Sweater Girl chic.
Now, onto the main event! You can still pick up some true vintage sweaters if you are in the right place at the right time. They might not be actual 1940s or 1950s items but the 1970s and 1980s took a huge amount of inspiration from the mid century when designing their winterwear. Head to your local vintage fair to see what you can find, have a search at online shops like eBay and Etsy, or join a vintage selling Facebook group. (On that note, have you joined our Facebook group yet?)
If you can't get your mitts on true vintage, fret not. There are lots of retro-ready sweaters out there to suit everyone. You can find some amazing jumpers, cardigans and twinsets on the highstreet - I found a corker of a 1940s style jumper in Topshop about ten years ago and it's still something I reach for frequently. But we're a small business, and we love supporting our fellow small businesses on the vintage scene.
If you are more of a 1950s kinda gal then you need to pay a visit to Freddies of Pinewood. They're best known for their high-waisted denim wear but they are now taking the sweater world by storm. They have nailed the three-quarter batwing sleeve style which was everywhere in the 1950s. This length is perfect for showing off your stack of fakelite bangles from your's truly.
What if you prefer a touch of vintage inspiration to your outfit you can still get involved by going to our pals at Miss Fortune. They specialise in a modern day pinup with an alternative flare. They have dozens of knitwear designs over on their website - I think my favourite are from the Snake Charmer collection. This sort of jumper is always enhanced by a carefully placed fakelite brooch from the Splendette collection.
Underwear done, jumper on. You have to put some bottoms on (apparently it is inappropriate to go out in your knicks!). We have two choices here: the skirt or the trousers. Personally, I prefer trousers but there are lots of lasses out their that team their jumpers with pencil or circle skirts. Both style are taking their inspiration from the 1940s and 1950s so you do what you feel most comfortable in.
Let's stick with trousers for now. You can always rely on aforementioned Freddies of Pinewood for a really great pair of jeans, but there is also the capri pant route to go down. They look effortlessly chic but also are super comfortable and have that "oh...this old thing?" look about them. We love Piplotex's Cigarette Pants as they can be completely customised to fit you individually (I'm 6' so am always in need of an extra inch or so in the leg!). Her iconic 1950s style black trousers are always a classic, but you can be that bright and bubbly pinup with bright pink, red and even yellow pairs too.
Finally, lets pop some shoes on. Heels are always going to finish of the look perfectly, but let's not do flats a disservice. The good thing about vintage inspired heels is that they tend to be a bit lower than modern ones - usually ranging between 5-8cm in height. This is because they were designed to be worn all day,every day by a lot of women. Johnson Shoes take a lot of inspiration from these day-to-day shoes, and they're also super comfy. I've worn them all day on shoots before and never had an issue.
Sometimes (like right now) it is absolutely pouring it down and you really don't want a sogger. This is where the beauties that are saddle shoes come into their own. Originally worn by men, and made famous by Elvis Presley in Jailhouse Rock, saddle shoes are a classic, often two-toned, shoe which pair super well with cuffed jeans for a more casual vintage inspired look. Rocket Originals are by far the best on the market at the moment and come in a wide range of colours so you can get a few to go with your new wardrobe. Oh, and did we mention they also do great twin sets?
And you're ready to go! The Sweater Girl look is the perfect way to see out the colder months but still being having a great vintage vibe.
Show us your winter looks! We love seeing what you create over on Instagram - don't forget to tag us!