I recently did a blog post on the “The Stylish Toronto of the 1940s” and it was pretty well received, so I decided to expand my search to any location in the world for today’s post. BUT honestly what really motivated me to do a “new version” of that past post was the below image that a friend in Toronto shared of her mother when she was younger (around 1953), taking a canoe ride in England.

What stood out in my friend Ann’s mind and everyone else’s who saw this picture was the fact that her mother was not bundled up in “canoe wear” but instead chose to wear a pretty dress AND pearls around her neck. THAT is Style, don’t you agree?!

So with that, lets check out some more “regular folks” and their own fantastic fashion sense.

vintage photo of a woman in a canoe with pearls 1950s
Photo Courtesy of Ann Mayer

At the Hair Salon

Possibly these lovely women just finished getting their hair done or maybe they are the stylist themselves but it is clear no matter whether they are customer or professional they know how to look good. Their hair is perfect and I adore their simple but stylish style (especially the lady to the far right).

vintage image of women in a salon in the 1940s
Source: Ebay-growinggarlic101

Bows and Ruffles

When I saw the below image while browsing the amazing collection they have at one of favorite vintage shops in Toronto-Gadabout, I quickly knew this pretty woman named “Eva” had to one day be shown to the world. How can you pass by such lovely fashion?

Her peplum blouse with its wonderful bows and ruffles is paired so nicely with a textured skirt. Excellent combo!

1940s woman in a pretty dress
Vintage Inn Image Collection

Stylish Coats and Perfect Hair

This image speaks for itself. Simply Beautiful.

1940s woman in stylish coat
Vintage Inn Image Collection

Hanging in the front yard

I dream of owning a playsuit like you see below and to see it on this lovely photo of this pretty girl in the 1940s make me want one so much more. These playsuits are seriously the cutest and the fact that you can go from dress to shorts in one easy step makes this a must to add to my list of “stylish folks”.

1940s girl in vintage dress
Source: Ebay-Darrins Car Photos

Sisters with Style

I know the rockabilly/vintage community ladies love their “Spanish” style blouses and their circle skirts. Well ladies and gents here are 3 ladies who are pulling off this look in real vintage time. Are you able to make out what looks like I’m assuming to be beautiful embroidery on the tops? And the patterns on 2 of the skirts are really great. Hair..perfect.

1940s vintage girls in mexican style outfits
Source: Ebay-Darrins Car Photos

Pants and Blouses

Going along with the “Spanish” style blouses (gypsy tops they are also sometimes called) here is an image of a stunner of a woman from my own collection. I love the combo of a pretty blouse with pants (sorry for the not super clear image, the picture was very faded) and I’m pretty sure a really amazing belt from what I can see. Nice look!

1950s woman in pants and spanish style blouse
Vintage Inn Image Collection

At the Swimming Pool

Here is Ruth, Anita and Ellen in California in July of 1954 enjoying at day the Giant Swimming Pool (according to the sign in the back). What caught my eye was the lovely suit on the right on who I think I might be Ellen (she looks like an Ellen). I would give anything to see the full details because the little peak of what we do so is so pretty. That is why this picture is on the list.

3 women in 1954 in bathingsuits
Vintage Inn Image Collection

Stripes and Mustaches

What a dreamy Best Dressed Couple! I love everything about their outfits and this picture. His suit with that great tie and his nicely trimmed mustache is perfect. And his lovely wife in her ‘Katharine Hepburn’ like dress is oh so lovely.  Very nice indeed.

1950s vintage image of a couple
Source: Etsy-ljpsales

Saddle shoes and dances

We cannot possibly leave out the fashionable kids of times gone by. Look at these two doing a little dance together?  Her dress and saddle shoes and his teeny tiny cardigan… Ahhhh!! High Fives to being adorable.

1950s children dancing vintage image
Source: Etsy-EphemeraObscura

Beautiful Suit and Peplums

If you follow me on Instagram then you would have seen this picture already, this is MY family on my mom’s side. My Grandfather is the very stylish, handsome man in the middle of his equally as fantastically dressed sisters (my great Aunts). I do believe this is his wedding day if I’m not mistaken. I absolutely ADORE my Great Aunts dress with the asymmetrical peplum design…drool.

1940s Men and Women in stylish 40s clothes
Vintage Inn Image Collection

The Dior Look

And one last family picture, my 1950’s Grandmother (once again my mom’s mom). Her “Dior Look” is spot on and I now know where I got my good fashion sense from 🙂

1950s Dior Look
Vintage Inn Image Collection

And that is the roundup for today’s post, but I had so much fun working on it that I don’t think it will be the last post I ever do on this topic. Stay tuned for more.

Question Time:

Do you enjoy looking at “real life photos” of everyday folks for style inspiration? Or do you prefer to take tips from the stars (or maybe both!)

Liz 🙂

12 comments on “The Stylish “Regular” Folks of Days Gone By”

  1. 1) Your grandmother does a nice Dior.

    2) Obviously her name is Ellen.

    3) The Spanish sisters look amazing, and I bet men like this look as well.

    4) Not everyone can pull of peplum like that.

  2. I love looking at vintage photos so any posts like this are great for me. I like to see how people at the time wore their clothes and styled their hair, more real life fashion than film star looks. I can never resist having a rummage in boxes of old photos in case I find treasures like these.

    • I could spend hours looking thru old photos as well for gems, so I’m with you that 🙂 I’m lucky that one of my fav vintage shops in Toronto knows my passion and always stocks up on images that she knows I will want to buy. Love it!

  3. Seriously fantastic post and photos. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, real world vintage folks will always (!) be my favourite and biggest source of vintage fashion inspiration. Here, it’s the happy gal with the bow at her waist that is slaying it for me. Vintage swoon! 🙂

    ♥ Jessica

  4. Gorgeous and inspirational! I love your own family photos here. Those are the most special, aren’t they? And in the case of your family, really genuinely stylish too!

  5. Thank you for your recognition of the Vintage Fashion Guild in your “Vintage Inn Likes”.

    As an international collective of people who are passionate and knowledgeable about vintage clothing we are happy to share our resources with like minds.

    Best regards,
    VFG Public Relations Ambassador

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