June 8, 2014

The Soubrette Brunette's favourite vintage fashions

Wowzers, my lovelies, do I have a special treat for you today in the form of a guest post by one of the most stylish, sweet, beautiful, kindhearted, and seriously inspiring ladies I've ever encountered online: Sammi Cohen from the magnificent fashion blog The Soubrette Brunette (thank you so much for guest posting while I'm in Vancouver, my dear friend).

If you don't know Sammi yet, chances are you'll quickly fall head-over-heels (girl crush material? you bet!) on this awesome and wonderfully talented lady who imparts an positively glorious sense of whimsy, femininity, and charm into everything she wears and blogs about.

Though Sammi isn't a strictly vintage sporting gal, many of her looks are a distinct nod to various elements of the past and she's certainly no strange to donning yesteryear threads either. Today Sammi is sharing about some of her favourite vintage items from her (jaw-droppingly-amazing!) wardrobe – complete with equally stunning photos - with all of us.

Pull up a chair, devote a few minutes, and see why one encounter is all it takes to make you a firm fan of The Soubrette Brunette.

plaid vintage dress
Hello, readers of Chronically Vintage!  I'm Sammi from The Soubrette Brunette, a fashion and style blog that focuses on everything retro, kitschy and girly!  I'm an actress, singer and cat-lover from Upstate New York, and I'm a longtime fan of Jessica's beautiful blog.  I was tickled pink when she asked if I'd be interested in doing a guest post in her absence; not only does she have impeccable style, but she one of the sweetest ladies in the whole blogosphere.  I am constantly inspired by Jessica's keen eye for -- and knowledge of -- vintage fashion, and I thought it might be fun to share some of the most beloved vintage pieces from my own wardrobe for my guest post.

vintage dresses 1
Floral and plaid dresses: Cricket Capers
Pink house dress: Great Lake Outfitters

Since I come from a theatrical background and grew up with a huge costume closet at my disposal (I was rather dismayed to learn that this was not part of every child's experience!), my sensibility definitely tends to sway towards the costume-y.  I draw from many different eras and cultural facets, but I really love the fashions of the 1940s-1960s.  I love pin-up and rockabilly culture, and I often mix in a dose of sweet lolita street fashion, too.  To put it simply, I just love playing dress up!

vintage dresses 2
Pink dress and peach dress: Newman & Hall
Teacup novelty print swing dress: Soulrust

I absolutely love vintage fashion, and I could spend hours -- nay, days! -- swooning over gorgeous (and pricy!) frocks in pristine condition, but most of the vintage pieces in my closet were inexpensive finds.  I do the bulk of my vintage shopping online, which can scare some people, but I've found that being completely familiar with one's measurements and the most flattering silhouettes for one's body type really takes most of the guess work out of the process.  Etsy has always been my go-to platform for vintage finds, but I've recently branched out to eBay and Instagram for some of my browsing and buying.

Because I'm an artist by trade, I don't have a ton of extra income for expensive pieces, so I know that many of my pieces may be of the "1980s does '50s" variety (which still counts as vintage, technically!).  Though nothing can quite substitute for "true" vintage, I do love retro reproductions, and I think it's a really great way to build one's vintage collection while staying on a budget.  I honestly don't know the origin of most of my vintage pieces (though I know zippers and tags are a great way to tell at first glance), but since all of my pieces were well under $100, I know that it's absolutely possible to at least achieve a retro look without breaking the bank.

vintage dresses 3
Pastel plaid dress: Crush Vintage Candy
Blue plaid dress & house purse: eBay
Watercolor print dress: Cricket Capers

vintage dresses 4
Blue dress with peplum: Hep Threads Vintage
Bunny appliqué dress: The Kissing Tree Vintage
Striped floral dress: Sam and Milly Vintage

I've also found that other bloggers are a great resource for vintage finds!  This green floral print dress (below) was a trade with my friend Elana from Room 334.  We both blog for Flock Together, which is a style collective that focuses on remixing swapped pieces from other members.  Elana loved a dress of mine (to which I didn't have much emotional attachment), so we decided to permanently swap!  Lauren from Someone Like You has a little online vintage shop, which is where I snagged this gorgeous pale blue number, and I purchased the citrus print dress from Kate of Scathingly Brilliant in a "shop my closet" sale in her shop.  I'm lucky to have friends with such excellent taste (and who were willing to hand these pieces over to me)!  I love the idea of finding vintage treasures through this community.

vintage dresses 5
Green floral dress: via Elana
Blue vintage dress: via Lauren
Lemon and lime print dress: via Kate

Some of my favorite accessories are vintage, too.  One of my favorite pair of heels -- a pair of silvery-white Mary Janes -- was a lucky find at an estate sale store.  I have some vintage novelty purses (including this wooden one that's shaped like a house) and a few vintage hats, too.  My favorite vintage hat was a gift from my friend Polly, who runs PaulinePaulie Antiques.  I also have a thing for novelty brooches!  Two of my favorites are this telephone one, and my green milkshake brooch.  I especially love this daisy one, which is not only vintage but is a hand-me-down from my fashion-loving mom!

novelty brooch
Milkshake brooch: Good Goody Girls Jewels
Telephone brooch: Kitty Cat Shop
Daisy brooch: hand-me-down from my mom

vintage accessories
Shoes: estate sale store
House purse: eBay
Cherry hat: c/o Paulie Antiques

What are some of your favorite vintage resources?  We only have a couple of brick and mortar vintage shops near me, so if you have a favorite online vintage shop, let me know in the comments!  I love finding new vendors!  Thanks so much to Jessica for asking me to guest post today, and thank you all for tuning in!  I hope to see you around my blog sometime.  Have a wonderful day!

xox Sammi


  1. Beautiful dresses! Right - morning inspiration over, time to don my own new vintage dress for the day :)

  2. Great interview! I love when bloggers interview each other!

  3. her brooches and purses always make me swoon!! these are no exception, thank for sharing! such wonderful fashion inspiration.

  4. Gorgeous outfits, Sammi. This showcases how classy, stylish, and beautiful one can look on a budget.

  5. Lovely to meet Sammi. She is a gorgeous gal that has some adorable frocks.

  6. great post...Sammi is an Artist of Style!

  7. Jessica is such a nice and kind person I am really happy to have met her here.
    It is adorable of you to take care of her posts I hope she's well , actually I wanted to thank her about that order I received she knows me well because she added stuff I actually wanted and well everything is lovely. But I will leave her a Etsy review for that.

    Nice meeting you Sammi ! Will check out your blog !


  8. wow you have a really great look! I will definitely be out your blog

    retro rover

  9. I've been following Sammi's blog for a while--she has a lot of gorgeous dresses!

  10. Great post, Sammi. Vintage is not big in Denmark, where I live, so I also hunt online. Etsy is also my favourite, although it is quite pricey. But do remember RubyLane and Tias too, I often forget them. I've grown out of eBay, I suppose I have met too many rude sellers. Ouch. I will take a look at your blog very soon. Have a gret day. :)

  11. You've got a great eye! I'm with you- I'm fine with (properly noted) 80 does retro pieces, because they are affordable and I can wear them without worry of damage. Frock on, chicita.

  12. Great blog 😁 please can you check my blog out? http://bettysbottomdrawer.blogspot.co.uk/?m=1

  13. Hello from India :)
    I simply love your blog. This guest post just added a whole new dimension to it.
    It took me back to the TV reruns of 'I Dream of Genie' :)

  14. What a fine way to meet other incredible bloggers. Sammi you have a very refreshing look! I love the colors and the fabric prints. The cute brooches. All entirely lovely! :-)

    Many hugs to sweet Jessica! ;-)

    Miss Beta

  15. Sammi, you are just beautiful! I love your fashion sense and style. I'm bookmarking your blog so I never miss a post.

    So nice of you to fill in for our dear Jessica! Wonderful post. :)


  16. Wow, talk about a great sense of what fits right and vintage combined together-
    I have such a hard time buying anything vintage where I live that i actually get a little envious when I see so much of it!
    In my case my resources are thrift shops when I travel and handmedowns from great aunts.

  17. sensation sense of style, sammi! i will most certainly be stopping by your blog!