Vintage clothing and accessories are one of the most accessible and affordable (not to mention creative) ways to reduce the environmental impact of your wardrobe and home goods. So every week, I'm going to comb Etsy and eBay and find beautiful vintage pieces around a particular theme.
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I've been watching the new "Pan Am" show on ABC religiously since it first aired, and have been inspired by the early 1960s dresses the cast wears when off duty. The costume designer for "Pan Am," Ane Crabtree, is clearly having a ball dressing her lovely cast, which includes a redhead, a warm brunette and a cool brunette, as well as a golden blonde. While each of the four leads has a different style and coloring, they all share what seems to be a love of color and pattern, which wasn't uncommon during the era.
The early '60s were all about American exuberance, and even though hemlines weren't quite mini-skirt short yet, dresses were quite trim and required pretty serious undergarments. Matching bags and shoes were key. To bring one of the dresses below into the modern era, and so you don't look as if you're off to a costume party, try wearing them with flats and tights, a structured jacket or with a long-sleeved shirt underneath.
Here are some vintage dresses that have that "I've just jetted to Paris and I'm off to lunch and a bit of shopping" feel.
This bright and fun green and red print dress sold by Sonja on Etsy hardly needs any accessories — those red buttons are plenty!
What could be more American than a red, white and blue shift dress from The Style Asylum on eBay? This one's got pockets at the hip and a conservative neckline, perfect for the office.
This vintage dress set (one for summer, one for winter) is made with a gorgeous blue/green brocade, and sold by The Paraders on Etsy as a dress team.
Concetta's closet in New Hampshire found this pretty vintage dress, which was still wrapped in its original box! What a find.
This sweet all-wool dress from Great Lake Outfitters on Ebay has a big bow collar and a sky-blue color that's almost universally flattering.
Also on MNN: How ABC's "Pan Am" is going green on set