Being a bit of a dress addict, I don’t often wear trousers or separates other than my jeans on casual days. I’ve been wanting a pair of 40s style trousers for ages. I’m quite fussy and having a long body, I prefer trousers that are very high waisted. I recently tried the 40s Style Swing Trousers from Pretty Retro in the Denim Blue colour way. These are a great start to building a staple wardrobe of vintage style separates and they are definitely a very useful addition to my wardrobe.

I love the simplicity of these trousers, which also come in navy and red. They simply fasten at the side with a row of three buttons and this really helps to create a great fit. They are light enough to hang well and are cool enough to wear in the summer. They are made from a poly, viscose and elastane blend, giving them just enough stretch to fit comfortably.

I opted for my usual size 14, having checked the size guide on the Pretty Retro website. I was really impressed that they were spot on fit wise and the stretch really helped to get that perfect fit. The trousers are quite long at 31″, which is why I opted for heels, I have also worn them with my flat brogues and they worked pretty well too.

The trousers are just one part of the fabulous selection of separates from Pretty Retro, who are the sister company of well known repro brand House of Foxy. In addition to the pair I tried they also have a great selection of simple trousers, capris and skirts alongside some lovely tops and blouses to go with them. Most things come in black, navy, cream and red, so you can mix and match the looks. The range is perfect for both wearing to vintage events and for everyday things like work and casual days. They are also perfect to mix in with a wardrobe of original vintage items.

I’ve had quite a few things from Pretty Retro now and I’ve always been so happy with the quality. My favourite thing about their clothing is the attention to detail that goes into the designs. Although their styles are quite simple, things like gathers and tucks and good quality materials really make them stand out from other mid-priced reproduction brands. Although I still, need to get used to wearing trousers, as they’re a little out of my comfort zone, I’m really looking forward to trying different tops and shoes with these and mixing and matching my looks. I’d also really like to get them in a darker shade as well. The trousers I tried are priced at £42 and can be bought online from the Pretty Retro website.

*Thank you to Pretty Retro for sending me this dress for the purposes of review. All opinions as always are my own. 

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I have a wardrobe absolutely packed with lovely dresses, if in doubt I always wear a dress. However hanging unworn and neglected I also have a lot of vintage separates, mostly skirts and trousers. This year I decided to buy fewer dresses and start thinking about things I need to fill the gaps in my wardrobe and one of the things on my list was to get a few blouses. When Pretty Retro offered me a top of my choice to review on the blog, I took the opportunity to invest in one of their lovely vintage style blouses.

Pretty retro 40s style blouse reviewPretty Retro are the sister brand of House of Foxy and have a great selection of reproduction vintage items, including lots of basics and wardrobe staples. The blouse, is a simple 40s style blouse with an elegant v-neck and large tortoiseshell plastic buttons. It has gathers at the shoulders to give it that perfect vintage detail and darts for a great fit. It is made with viscose, so it hangs beautifully.

Pretty retro White Blouse ReviewIt is designed to be worn tucked in to swing trousers and pencil skirts, but I wanted to go for my own look with this one, so I wore it over a pair of original vintage wool trousers by Pendleton. I like creating a classic look, with both modern and vintage influences, which is what I tried to achieve with this outfit. I really like that the blouse is long enough to be worn tucked in or out of trousers.

Pretty retro 40s Inspired OOTDI paired the blouse and trousers with a vintage handbag, lots of bakelite bangles and a vintage plastic necklace. I also wore my trusty Orla Kiely shoes (which I wear with everything!) I put a pair of warm mustard socks underneath to fight off the winter chill.

I went for my usual size 14 and I think the fit is just right. I was really happy with the fit across the bust as there is no gaping and the darting and gathers help it to fit around the body perfectly. The website mentions that the blouse will shrink by about 3% in the wash, mine shank a little but not enough to alter the overall fit. It should be hand washed or dry cleaned to keep it looking its best.

Pretty Retro 40s Style Blouse ReviewThis is a great addition to any vintage wardrobe as it can be worn with so many different things. I’m already planning to wear it with everything from jeans to my high-waisted shorts in the summer. It would also be perfect for under a vintage suit, something I really want to get my hands on this year.

Price wise the blouse costs £39, which I think is excellent value for something of such lovely quality that I’ll wear a lot. The blouse is also available in black, which I would really like as well.

I am really happy with my new blouse and would definitely recommend it as a fantastic flexible garment. I love the fit and feel of it and that it will work very well with my original vintage garments. I’d really like to show some other looks that could be created with this, so if I can get a willing friend to take some more pics for me, I’ll show you some more outfit ideas soon.

View the full range of tops on the Pretty Retro website.

I find choosing outfits during winter so much harder than I do when the weather is warmer. In the summer you can throw on a cotton sun dress in any colour and it looks fabulous. As someone who doesn’t usually go for dark colours I struggle to find things I feel happy wearing. So naturally when I come across a black dress which fits beautifully, feels comfortable and I feel good wearing, I know I’m on to a winner.

The lovely House of Foxy recently rejoined me as a blog advertiser and offered me a dress to try from their beautiful range. I chose the lovely Grable dress in black and peony print and I absolutely love it. The Grable is a 1940s inspired dress which pays homage to the beautiful war time pin-up Betty Grable.

20th Century Foxy Grable Peony Dress
The dress has a light flowing chiffon top which gathers beautifully under the bust and features a tie detail at the neck. I found this part super flattering and easy to wear. I particularly liked the loose fitting short sleaves which lightly skim over the tops of the arms. If like me, you feel a little self conscious about your upper arms, then this a really good choice.

The skirt is made from a poly-rayon blend and is really light, I loved the way it skimmed over my least favourite places and I found it really flattering. The dress nips in at the waist and hides my tummy which I absolutely love. Because the dress is so light you can see the line of my girdle underneath it, so next time I’ll probably wear lighter underwear or a full slip underneath to smoothen it out a bit.

House of Foxy Grable Dress Review
I opted for a size 14 and was a little concerned that it would be too small on the bust, but it was actually just right. There was no gaping or stretching at all, because of the cut of the dress I think this could suit most bust sizes, so it’s not just one for the curvy girls.

Hotter Donna Pink
I am so happy with the dress and it’s definitely going to become one of my winter staples. I teamed the dress up with a few vintage bangles, an original 40s handbag, nude seamed stockings and my favourite shoes from Hotter. The dress also comes in navy polka dot finish which I’m very tempted by.

I’d also like to mention that all of House of Foxy’s products are made in the UK, using absolutely beautiful fabrics to a very high standard. Supporting small British businesses is really important to me. They are at the higher end price-wise but you get what you pay for in quality. I see dresses like this as investment pieces which will see me through a few years and will last.

House of Foxy Grable Dress In Retrospect Magazine

Outfit Details

Dress – 40s Grable Tea Dress – £99 – House of Foxy

Handbag – Original 1940s Cordé

Shoes – Donna in Pink – Hotter

If you’re looking for the very best in reproduction vintage, then be sure to check out the House of Foxy website. They have lots of beautiful dresses and separates which are very authentic in appearance and are inspired by the 1920s to 60s.

Over 2 years ago I shared a post featuring my Top 10 Reproduction Vintage Shops. It has been such a hugely popular post with people reading it and discovering all the great shops I mentioned, every single day. Since writing it, I’ve discovered more shops and brands that I love. I thought it was high time I compiled an up to date list and share some more great brands with you. So without further ado this is my new improved top 20 list…

My Top 20 Reproduction Vintage Shops

What Katie Did – When choosing clothing, lingerie is the best place to start. Whether you’re wearing true vintage pieces or a reproduction piece, having the right foundation can make such a big difference to the finished outfit. What Katie Did have all grounds covered from beautiful bras to corsets and stockings. They also have a great range of sizes.

Heyday – Heyday make beautiful 40s and 50s style dresses and separates that are absolutely perfect for vintage events and reenactments. Their Fleur dresses are based on a vintage Swirl dress design and the one I have in my wardrobe is one of my favourite dresses. Look out for their amazing limited edition Christmas prints in December. They also have a menswear range so the man in your life doesn’t need to feel left out!

House of Foxy – For beautiful dresses with the most gorgeous details House of Foxy is there when you need something a bit special. Their designs look very authentic and are perfect for ladies wanting to recreate looks from the past. I love their gorgeous floral print dresses, but their separates are perfect for every day looks to wear to work.

La Vie En Swing – For lovely clothes based on the 30s, 40s and 50s La Vie En Swing have something for everybody. I love their 4os style blouses and swing trousers which come in a selection of colours. They also have plenty of dresses which would be perfect for wearing to vintage events and dance classes alike. Their 40s style dresses remind me of wartime utility wear. I’ll be doing a review of their swing trousers later in the year so watch this space!

Vintage Reproduction Dresses Vintage Frills

Lindy Bop – I adore Lindy Bop, firstly because they have so much choice and also because they are so affordable. They have literally hundreds of gorgeous dresses in a great selection of styles, colours and prints.

Collectif – For fun girlie dresses in both swing and fitted styles you can’t go wrong with Collectif. Every collection seems to get better and I love them for all their feminine ginghams and bright mid-century inspired prints. They also stock Miss L Fire shoes which I can’t afford at the moment but want really really badly!

Tara Starlet – Tara Starlet offer fashion forward vintage inspired clothes that would suit both vintage fans and ladies who love modern clothes alike. Expect gorgeous flattering styles and bright prints, their oversized ginghams are amazing.

Vivien of Holloway – For fun 40s and 50s dresses and separates Vivien of Holloway can’t help but make you smile. I particularly love their gypsy tops which look amazing with 40s gathered skirts. Their dresses all come in a huge selection of prints and colours. Be sure to check their size guides as their sizing is slightly different to most shops.

Pin-up Girl Clothing – Pin-up Girl Clothing just keep getting better and better! For amazing novelty prints and 50s style Americana this is the place to go. I desperately want a wardrobe filled with their amazing Jenny skirts and dresses. The full range is only available in the US although they do shop to the UK. There are a full stockists over here so it’s worth doing your research.

Dolly Dagger – For lovely dresses and inspired by the 1950s, Dolly Dagger have some lovely choices. That also have plenty of cute accessories.

Reproduction Vintage Dresses Vintage Frills

Love ur Look – I have been a fan of Love ur Look for such a long time. The owner Ronke designs beautiful dresses which pick out all the beautiful features you’d find on original vintage garments. The novelty print fabrics are all absolutely gorgeous and I love the extra details like big pockets and oversized buttons. I have 4 dresses from Love ur Look so I feel really confident recommending the brand.

Freddie’s of Pinewood – When people talk about retro jeans they always seem to mention Freddie’s. They are well-known for stocking fantastic denim for both men and women as well as authentic looking knitwear to finish the look.

Bettylicious – If you’re looking for lovely vintage style swimwear that you can actually get into a pool wearing, then Bettylicious is the place for you. I love their high-waisted bikini bottoms and one pieces which come in plenty of prints and colours to suit all tastes. Next time I go on holiday I’ll definitely be stocking up on flattering swimwear from here.

Miss Bamboo – Miss Bamboo specialise in Hawaiian, American and Mexican style vintage. Many vintage lovers dream of owning an original vintage sarong dress, but if you don’t own the real thing then Miss Bamboo is the place to go. I adore all the tropical prints and there are plenty of gorgeous accessories to complete the look.

Atypical Girl – This lovely brand launched last year, not only do they sell gorgeous authentic vintage pieces, but also beautifully designed vintage style pieces as well. Simone the owner has a great eye and I adore her in-house range.

Dolly and Dotty – I recently discovered Dolly and Dotty and was lucky enough to get to try a couple of their cute vintage inspired dresses. If you love bright colours and easy to wear repro clothes, then this is a great place to start. Their prices are also fantastic so a little indulgence here won’t break the bank!

Top Vintage – Top vintage sell a huge array of brands, including some of those featured above. I love the gorgeous pictures on their website and the fact that you can shop by decade. they cover a huge range of eras from the 1930s – 60s and they have everything from dresses to jewellery and handbags. Everything you need to recreate a vintage look.

The Seamstress of Bloomsbury – Everything in this great shop is made from original 1940s designs and the choice of fabric makes every item look like the real thing. Their website is absolutely gorgeous and I just love everything they have on offer. They even have a siren suit, prefect for anyone who loves fashion history!

Lady K Loves – If you’ve been looking for jeans, but can’t find a pair that flatter your curves, then look no further. Lady K Loves Hug Me Baby Jeans go in and out in all the right places. They are so popular that they regularly sell out. Their gorgeous vintage inspired separates are also amazing, 

Darcy Clothing – I’ve included this lovely site, mostly for my male readers. If you’re a dapper gentlemen looking to deck yourself out in vintage style attire, then head on over to Darcy clothing. They have everything a well dressed vintage gent could need.

Like my last post, if I discover any more amazing companies I’ll add them to the bottom of this post as and when. If you have any favourite shops that I’ve not included, please leave them in the comments so I can go and check them out.