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The Complete Countdown of My Most Worn Vintage Brands: Part 2

Happy 2017, everyone!  At the end of 2016, I began the first half of this series in an effort  to countdown my most worn vintage brands to showcase how and why I wear what I do.  Entering a retro style of dressing can be overwhelming and tricky to navigate in regards to justifying how much you'll wear something.  After years of experience I decided to countdown why I wear the brands I do in an effort to break it down and celebrate a year passing, instead of listing my favorite outfits from the year.  Without further ado, here are the top 5!

5. The Oblong Box Shop
I have not yet written about this glorious skirt, but you can find it HERE as well as read my first review on The Oblong Box Shop skirts HERE.

Denialle Von Fitch (designer of The Oblong Box Shop), you are a woman after my own heart!  So many retro brands pull from the same fabric companies and therefore tons of nearly identical items get released from multiple brands--not that that's a sin, mind you as there's more style options to find great prints in--but it's always nice to see total originality.  Besides Pinup Girl Clothing and I believe Trashy Diva (both discussed in the first half of this countdown), The Oblong Box Shop is the only other main game in town where you will find styles that are exclusive to the brand.  And my goodness, I literally drool over basically EVERY print Von Fitch comes up with.  I own a solid majority of her original novelty print skirts and am constantly figuring out a budget to acquire more because they have prints that are based in space, The Brady Bunch house, puffer fish, and mid-century furniture.  This is truly wearing art on your skirt.

Because these skirts are so loud, they're actually kind of perfect for someone like me who prefers to spend limited time getting ready.  Especially in the summer, I'll slap on one of these skirts with a basic tee and sandals and effortlessly look pulled together.  

I discussed this skirt VERY recently and you can read about it HERE!

Shopping Tips: If you join the fan club (for free) once a month you a privy to a coupon code.  It's usually 30% off either the whole site or a selection of items.  Shipping is like Heart of Haute in that it's never free (scratch that; for the first time to my knowledge the week before Christmas they DID offer free shipping), but it's also SUPER FREAKIN' FAST!  Unique Vintage used to carry OBS skirts, but they don't appear to anymore.  I'm currently unaware of anywhere these skirts and other products are sold, but if you know otherwise please let me know in the comments and I will update this!  

Additionally, TOBS also carries other brands, so if you're searching in vain for a Folter dress or pinup top in your size this is a great site to peruse for those items as well!

4. ModCloth
This dress is a Black Friday purchase and I have yet to speak of it on the blog until today (I love it!).  Find it on the site HERE!

ModCloth is not just for vintage loving girls, fair.  In fact, I would argue that the brand has been flirting with more modern looks more often over the past year or so than they used to.  But ModCloth is typically a gateway drug for a woman deciding to go more retro in her wardrobe, and that certainly was the case for me!  Because ModCloth can walk a thin line between retro and modern, I couldn't place it higher than 4th on this list.  But it's a brand I wear a ton and often my pieces from there are more retro, so obviously it had to make the top 5!  And, I had the pleasure of hosting the ModCloth pop-up store opening here in Denver and as they are popping up sporadically in other cities and even have a permanent home in Austin, check out the piece I wrote on that HERE!
This dress is also a recent sale find and today is it's debut on the blog.  However, feel free to read about my Gaga for ModCloth I wrote a few years back when the blog was new HERE!

Shopping Tips: It's gotten to the point where it feels like ModCloth has some kind of a sale nearly every week.  Granted, it's not usually site wide.  15-30% seems most common and the selection could be anything from a specific kind of clothes (coats, shoes, dresses, etc) or  gifts, house wear items, etc.  They occasionally make their sale selection up to 70% off, so that's always a fun day when that happens!  Shipping is $4 and used to be free once you hit the $50 mark, but now it's $75 and up and it's free.  It usually takes a week for me to get packages from ModCloth.  It's about a day or two until it actually ships (usually), and then the trek from western PA to Colorado is another 4-7 days (depending on time of year).  I believe those closer to the region ModCloth ships gets their packages quicker.  Their new and wonderful namesake brand is exclusive to their site, so you can't find those pieces anywhere else.  (Both dresses I'm featuring here are from the namesake label).

3. True Vintage

Okay, this isn't a "brand" per se as it's real vintage.  But most girls that start wearing vintage inspired threads eventually make an actual vintage purchase at some point.  Honest to goodness: my vintage clothing is the most cherished in my wardrobe.  I take some breaks from wearing them but most seasons they are staples.  I love modernizing them in spaghetti strap tank tops or bandeaus, rocking them out in concert tees, or even being more on the nose with delicate blouses that evokes visions of times past.  So if you're flirting with a more vintage styled wardrobe, I 100% recommend splurging on an actual vintage outfit.

Shopping Tips:  I'm planning a MEGA true vintage shopping tutorial post that will hopefully make the blog before spring.  But for now, if something is the right measurements,the item is in good condition, you're in love, and you have the money...get it!  It's not that vintage never goes on sale, but each shop is so different and sporadic with sales that it's hard to give blanket advice on how to shop sales with vintage.  Because most stuff is one of a kind, or at least will be a very rare find in your size, consider investing in a piece you like when you find one.  Etsy and eBay are the biggest sites on the Internet to find vintage.

This dress is making it's debut on the blog today, but you can read about my love of this brand HERE.

These sister brands honestly could have taken the top spot.  (Both are largely novelty print based, with Folter tending to have darker prints and Retrolicious having more quirky prints).  They may be a dead tie with my #1 worn brand, and possibly could have won as I almost exclusively wear them in the summer.  BUT they're more of a novelty brand as opposed to just a straight up vintage inspired brand.  While many of their styles are an homage to vintage silhouettes, there's very few dresses that actually feel like they're from the 50s or 60s when worn because there's a modern feel to most dresses--even their retro ones.  So by default, these brands had to take second place.

I think this brand is the greatest gateway drug of sorts into dressing in a more vintage or novelty based way.  They have some of the more bold prints in the business, so wearing them a ton is practice for dressing in a non-conventional way, vintage or otherwise.  Because most dresses go above the knee like so many modern sundresses, it's not a huge switch to make in the brain when converting to a new style.  I find this brand to be the most practical of all the brands I've listed, as the fit is typically more relaxed (a lot of pinup inspired dresses are supposed to fit hella tight and while it looks great, it can be uncomfortable, especially after a meal) and as alluded to above it's the perfect brand for the sweltering days of summer.  I can honestly wear a dress from them with flip-flops and not much accessorizing and feel like an outfit is complete, because the bold patterns speak for themselves.  Since I am deceptively low maintenance, this is basically a dream come true brand for me and a huge part of why I wear these dresses so much!  
While this dress has not seen the blog yet, I did wear it on my most recent birthday and can be seen on Instagram HERE!

Shopping Tips: Folter does random flash sales that are dirt cheap, like right after New Year's this past year they put a dozen dresses on sale for $20.16 (get it?  2016).  This was AMAZING because most dresses at full retail are roughly between $65-$120 and it's rare to find one of their dresses reduced before $30.  Their sister site, Retrolicious, recently opened up their own website after being on the Folter site and I haven't fully figured out their sale patterns yet.  Shipping is amazing, in that it's $4 or free after you spend $50 and like The Oblong Box Shop and Heart of Haute, it is lightning fast shipping!  Both ModCloth and Unique Vintage carry a large selection of their clothes, and because they often do big sales--including sales on sales--it's easy to nab these amazing dresses for less than half price.  Those stores are actually largely the reason I own as many of these dresses that I do!  However, if I truly want something from them I will pay full price because I can't stress how much I love and wear these dresses (my blog or Instagram, though saturated with photos of me in these dresses, actually under represents how much I wear these dresses from the spring through the fall), but finding a bunch on sale is always a dream come true.  

Additionally, some smaller sites like Lovely in Lilac have popped up and carry these brands (read about them HERE and HERE!).  Pinup Girl Clothing has carried a few of their dresses before and eBay has plenty of small vendors and women selling their Folter/Retrolicious dresses that they no longer wear.

1. Bernie Dexter
I was last seen in this dress in a YouTube video promoting Glo Minerals skincare while going make-up free.  Watch that HERE!

Oh, how I love me a Bernie Dexter dress!  This brand was probably the first brand I became familiar with from the vintage inspired world (after getting my first dress of hers from ModCloth in 2013) and an addiction quickly ensued.  Like Folter/Retrolicious, she has incredible prints.  Being a novelty print queen, it's not a shock that the number 1 and 2 spot on this list consistently have the most fun prints in town!  Bernie can have soft and subtle prints as well as very attention grabbing ones, and they're all kind of perfect in my mind.  Some are VERY vintage inspired, while others I find to be classic and feminine dresses that are timeless (especially if I style them that way).  My mom is a very stylish lady, and having bene born in the 1980s I have a lot of memories and photos of her wearing dresses that were simple and elegant Ralph Lauren-chic of the late 70s and early 80s, and I think this has influenced my style tremendously.  The long and short of it is that regardless of trying to be a timeless or a vintage lady in my choice of clothing, Bernie Dexter has my back!

This dress is making it's debut here today, but you can read about several of the Bernie fits HERE!

Shopping Tips:  Sadly, the shopping tip that was both the best and simultaneously the reason I was able to collect as many of my early Bernies as I did is no longer with us.  ModCloth used to carry Bernie Dexter but they had some form of a fall out.  Once or twice a year ModCloth would clear most of their Bernies to $49.99!  Despite that this option is gone, there are still ways to grab Bernies for less!  1) Her site almost regularly does 25-35% off coupons if you're subscribed to their email list.  2) She doesn't use her eBay store as much as she used to, but occasionally she'll list things for $45 or start a bidding low and you can get lucky.  3) Zulily has featured Bernie dresses nearly every month of 2016 and you can find relatively new dresses of hers there for roughly half off.  4) Unique Vintage, Doll Me Up, Pinup Girl Clothing, and A Classic Paradise all carry Bernie Dexter and all have sales.  Despite my love fest with Bernie, I do have a bone to pick: her shipping sucks.  It's by weight/item so it's roughly $7 per dress...meaning if you buy two it's $14ish and you buy more...well, I just don't.  It doesn't make sense because when she sells on eBay it's usually free shipping so I can't make sense of this to save my life.  But other than that, no complaints!

Thank-you so much for reading my most worn vintage brands posts, and for those of you who said you were looking forward to this post after last week's first half!  (READ THAT HERE!)  Though the last handful were definitely favorites, a lot in the first half were brands I loved but wore over other brands I love.  A few were missing from my closet and a few I have to discover!  I hope my explaining why I love and wear these brands helped some people out with committing to this type of a wardrobe!  And, I hope you're having a great 2017 so far!  XO
~Lauren-Blair Donovan



  1. Great tips, great brands! I just love this post all together. And you look just beautiful in everything you wear.
    I had never even heard of the Oblong Box Shop, but I am very intrigued. Quickly perused their website, and wow. Which is very bad because I don't have any more room for clothes.
    Anyway, thanks so much for these pointers.
    Oh and Happy New Year darling!
    Much love,

  2. So many unique and colorful looks.

  3. You always have the most beautiful skirts and dresses! Those are all statement pieces!!! <3 Great recap. I like the second one where you're in bomber jacket and those heels! <3


  4. YAY BERNIE IS #1! If only her shipping was more reasonable...

    I absolutely loved this post, and the first half of the countdown as well! I totally hear you on the Oblong Box Shop -- Denialle Von Fitch's designs really stand out on their own, and can definitely be the star of the outfit! And Modcloth was my retro-style gateway drug as well! I knew Folter had to be in the top 5, and I'm really looking forward to your true-vintage shopping tips <3!

  5. I like your fashionable look and style

  6. The one name that really stood out for me is ModCloth because I've seen it mentioned a few times in your posts. I need to check the others for sure and wishing you a brilliant new year, Lauren!

    Shireen | Reflection of Sanity

  7. I still haven't tried ModCLoth yet and I love most of their items!!
    It's true about what you said about the loud skirts----it makes the rest of the outfit easy since they are the stand out piece!!
    You sure know how to look fabulous Lauren!

  8. Oblong, Modcloth, Bernie Dexter and Rue Vintage, or in short, all - the other I also loved, but these 4 are my favorite ones :) I loved the pictures and the big gingham green dress is my favorite one, although you know that everything you wear I really love! Hope you have a very beautiful weekend!

  9. I'm yet to buy anything from The oblong box shop...I hope to do so one day!
    Also I'm getting that sunflower Bernie dress soon, a lady on facebook was selling it for half the price! :)

  10. You have such a colorful wardrobe! I love those Barbie shoes!

  11. Great post, dear Lauren, sounds like there are so many vintage brands in U.S., personally I really like your clothes from Modcloth and the fact that this brand conects modern and vintage styles. :)

    Have a lovely evening dear,

  12. Thank you for this list! Your wardrobe is beautiful. I especially love the Mid Century Modern Furniture skirt (Need!!!). I haven't heard of a few of these shops so I am excited to learn about them :]


  13. The vintage clothing world is a little bit foreign to me, so this is super helpful. Great roundup.

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

  14. Love these looks!



  15. You look so pretty with all of them!!
    Mónica Sors

  16. Love this list and love seeing what your top company picks are. I totally agree with you about Modcloth and Folter being a gateway drug! Those are the two I started the most with when getting into more retro looks. And I'm right there with you about being a bit sad that Modcloth is no longer carrying BD (and TD-- as much. I loved it when I would get super lucky and see something by one of those brands for a good price.


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