Recently I received a comment on my blog from Jessica from Chronically Vintage and she brought up the statement about the movie “League of their Own” being a big vintage influence in her life.  Then when I returned her response I had to think for a moment who MY vintage influences were that helped shape the vintage gal I am today.

Well I have given it some thought and now I would like to share them with you and then maybe you can share yours with me?

vintage image of 2 ladies talking

I was a late bloomer when it came to my transformation into the clothing side of the vintage world. It was not really until that I moved to Toronto for Fashion school in 1999 that I started to stumble upon vintage items that were hard to come by in my home town (thank you Kensington market!) which then helped start my vintage clothing obsession.

BUT I was exposed to many vintage “things” growing up before this time. Here are some of the things that influenced me in my early days:

My Grandfathers Big Band Collection of Music– I remember spending what felt like hours sifting thru his collections and asking to borrow one or 2 CD’s to take home and listen too each visit. He is the reason I fell so deeply in love with the early sounds of the Big Bands.

Glenn Miller Record
Source: Flickeriver

Sunday Afternoons watching MGM Musicals with my mom It was a tradition for my mom and I too sit down and watch one of those amazing Technicolor fantasies together. I loved escaping from the world around me for 2 hours as I was serenaded by Gene Kelly or Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers or Anne Miller danced across my screen in one stunning outfit after another.

meet me in st louis Trolly Song
Meet Me in St. Louis with Judy Garland
Cyd Charisse and Gene Kelly in "Singin' in the Rain"
Cyd Charisse and Gene Kelly in “Singin’ in the Rain”

Anne of Green Gables and Road to Avonlea– I adore all of Lucy Maud Montgomery books and so when they were turned into a TV mini series (Anne) and a TV series (Road) I was even more hooked. Hooked on the stunning outfits from the early 20th century (1903–1912) to be even more exact.

Anne of Green Gables
Road to Avonlea
Road to Avonlea

I feel so in love with the show Road to Avonlea that I wanted to create my own clothing for the characters, so sketching of my own designs became my new hobby. And eventually was the reason I entered Fashion marketing school in Toronto (and forever changing my life).

Road to Avonlea Clothing
Costume from Road To Avonlea-Sullivan Entertainment

Swing Kids the movie I must have watched this movie 10 million times and vowed to one day learn how to dance like that.

Enter the..Swing Revival in the 90s which lead to my ongoing love of Lindy Hop.

Johnny Favorite Swing Orchestra
Johnny Favorite Swing Orchestra-First Neo Swing Band I ever saw that visited Sarnia

The famous Gap commercial from 1998 that helped bring swing music back into mainstream: a real swing revival in the US.

Here are my more recent influences:

Vintage bloggers (thank you internet) My first vintage blogger I ever found was Retro Chick and she ended up sending me down a rabbit hole of awesomeness that I have never been able to get back out of (or want to).

Retro chick
Retro Chick herself

Toronto Vintage Society Being part of this group and their awesome knowledge of all things vintage has really pushed my passion to the next level. Thanks everyone!

Vintage Prom-Toronto Vintage Society

Flickr and Pinterest These 2 sites are every vintage lovers dream. The image below I found on Pinterest but was originally seen on Flickr. Seeing real-life images of ladies in gents from your favorite era is a great way to perfect your vintage look.

1930's vintage wedding photo
Source: Flickr-PROprofkaren

Etsy and Ebay What I don’t have to leave the comforts of my home to pour over tons of vintage dresses and accessories in a store but can instead buy them online? Yes Please! And boy have I ever used these sites (Etsy more than Ebay) to push my style to the next level.

1950s vintage dress
Source: Etsy-TheVintageMistress
1940s vintage dresses lot
Source: Ebay-raer_city

Vintage Events VIVA Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend, All the vintage events being held in Toronto, Lindy Hop weekends and so many others. You can’t help but be inspired after leaving these events.

Toronto Vintage Events past
Source: Toronto Vintage Society

Mad Men I don’t think I have to say much about this show as this show is pretty much everyone’s modern vintage inspiration. Hello..Joan!

Mad Men ladies


Okay I have so many more but I think I will stop here for now.  It’s your turn… What are YOUR Vintage Influences?

Liz 🙂


10 comments on “What Are Your Vintage Influences?”

  1. Yes, these are all good sources. Couldn’t you just eat up Gene Kelly? Now you’ve got me thinking. When I saw “The Wizard of Oz,” I became a voracious Judy Garland biography reader, which I found at the public library, next to Marilyn Monroe bios, and books about MGM musicals, and one called “Glorious Glamour Years,” which was all about the fashion designers. I liked Adrian designs the best. I would pore over pics of those 30s and 40s starlets in their satin dresses or flowy skirts, big hats, pleats to crinolines, and think, “That’s what it means to be a woman. When I grow up, I’m going to wear heels and dresses and look put together and make the men turn their heads!” And to this day, that style still appeals the most, when you could tell the difference between a man and a woman in a heartbeat.

    • ohh you picked a good one. Adrian designs are drool worthy, even to this day. If I could bring anyone back to design my wardrobe that is who I would bring back.

      Now as for Gene Kelly…dreamy. I had a mad crush on him when I was younger and wanted to learn to tap dance just so I can be like him. Well that never happened lol

      Liz 🙂

  2. Deeply wonderful and entirely relatable post, sweet Liz. I’m sincerely honoured to know that my comment about ALOTO helped to inspire this post. I might have to get entirely meta and pen one of my own along these same lines. We share numerous vintage inspirations in common, including those most iconic and marvelous of Canadian staples, Road to Avonlea and Anne of Green Gables.

    Seriously, dear gal, this whole post was a true joy and such a special way to get to know you even better.

    Big hugs & many thanks for the thoughtful mention,
    ♥ Jessicauu

    • Thank you so very much for the inspiration. Seriously when you said it, it hit me on what I wanted to write about and I’m glad I did. It would be great if this question went to all the vintage bloggers and they responded because I agree with your comment, it’s a GREAT way to get to know someone better.

      Can’t wait to read yours 🙂


  3. So interesting to read all about your influences. Seeing that Gap advert made me giggle, I worked at a Gap at that time and there was a staff competition to see who could sell the most khakis in a day and I won a photo frame! I would need to give it more thought for a proper answer but some of my influences would be wearing 1960’s dresses from jumble sales as a teenager, going to antique/junk shops with my mum, knitting and reading social histories/autobiographies of people in the 1940’s/50’s.

    • Congrats on the photo frame! That is so awesome 🙂

      Ohhh love your influences! It’s so cool to see how everyone kind of ended up in this crazy vintage world we love. I love that you too had a cool memory of doing something “vintagee” with your mom that influenced who you are today. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  4. Oooh what an interesting topic for a post. My path to a serious obsession with vintage style was through the millinery, which I got into through a love of historical costuming, which was largely fueled by period dramas, but probably began with the American Girl dolls my sister and I had.

    I also had a lot of classic movie watching in my childhood, especially musicals, the Marx Brothers, and all the usual Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn staples. These days, I still find the movies to be a great source of inspiration, but bloggers and the rest of the internet are big ones for me too. I find that the friendliness of the online vintage community is so encouraging and inspiring. I also love talking to my grandmother and her friends about their memories, and looking at old family photos.

    • Thank you for sharing your vintage inspirations Tanith..loved it! I do love how we both had our vintage fire fueled with “Period dramas”, GREAT source of vintage inspiration.

      Thanks again for sharing, I just love hearing everyone’s stories.

      Liz 🙂

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