August 19, 2013

CV interviews etsy vintage seller Rebekka Adams of Bloomers and Frocks

Names, especially business and brand names, have long been a source of fascination for me. I'm intrigued by the history behind them and can fall head-over-heels for a shop or company before I've even become a customer, based solely on its name. It may come as no surprise to those who know me then, that when I was first introduced to etsy vintage seller Bloomers & Frocks, I was smitten from the word go!

With a moniker based on two endlessly classic garments - one inherently feminine, the other famous for the ways in which it often allowed women to break traditional gender molds, Bloomers & Frocks is the perfect name for a well curated etsy shop that focus on vintage fashions spanning the late Victorian era right on up to the 1980s.

In the past little while, I've had the great pleasure of getting to know the beautiful, intelligent, passionate woman behind this shop, Rebekka Adams (pictured above), and have found that we have much in common - including a love of mixing vintage appropriate modern pieces with genuine old school articles to great a timelessly lovely vintage look all our own.

Another commonality that we share is that Rebekka is, in addition to running her etsy shop, also a blogger, regularly writing posts on a myriad of vintage fashion related topics for her eponymously named blog, Bloomers & Frocks.

This summer Chronically Vintage welcomed Bloomers & Frocks as one of our newest blog sponsors, and I recently sat down - via email - with Rebekka to learn even more about this entrepreneurial woman with a deeply rooted passion for the past, and I'm pleased as punch to share our wonderful interview here today with all of you.

Your etsy shop has such a charming lovely name – which instantly conjures up thoughts of fashions past – what inspired you to come up with the name “Bloomers and Frocks”?

I had been contemplating a vintage store for a while and during a long road trip, my husband and I were brainstorming ideas for the shop. We were conjuring vintage words to describe the business. The name Bloomers and Frocks was actually his idea. He is a word nerd!
Bloomers and Frocks is a curated online vintage boutique that caters to women of all sizes to incorporate mixing vintage fashion into modern wardrobes.

How long have you been operating Bloomers and Frocks on etsy? What inspired you to launch your shop?

My first vintage sales experience was as a child at the Trufant Flea Market with my grandparents in the early 1980s. I didn’t totally understand it at the time, but as I have aged, I have come to appreciate the fine craftsmanship that comes with vintage items. After dabbling in other careers, I have come to follow my passion of finding and sharing vintage with others who are as passionate about craftsmanship as I am. I finally opened shop on etsy in November 2012.

Is a bricks and mortar shop something you'd like to see happen one day (whether in conjunction with your etsy sales or otherwise), or do you prefer to sell online?

Right now, I enjoy being able to share vintage with customers worldwide. If the right opportunity presents itself in the future, I may open a B&M in conjunction with my online shop.

Your etsy listings are chocked full of clear, excellent photos that really highlight the garments and accessories you’re selling. I think that this is one of the most crucial steps any etsy seller can take. What are some of the other key points that you feel really help your etsy shop stand out from the pack?

I try to set my shop apart by curating a collection that is wearable. Many items have not been properly cared for over the years, and older garments especially, are very fragile and not meant for daily wear. I also clean all of my inventory so that it is ready to wear upon arrival. I do carry goods from a variety of eras and actively seek out a range of sizes. I want every women to be able to look and feel good in vintage clothes and accessories.

What are some tips that you would give to new vintage fans who are just starting to venture into the world of buying vintage fashions online?

First of all, sizing numbers have changed dramatically over the years. Make sure to base your shopping off your measurements and not dress size. You will need to know your bust, waist, and hip measurements. I have put together a handy resource guide on how to measure your body if you are new to shopping for vintage.

Secondly, go to stores and try on garments to get a feeling of what looks best on you. Even if you are trying on modern clothes, know which shapes of garments look best on your own figure. Take an honest friend shopping with you so that you have another opinion. Also, try on clothing that is outside your comfort zone. Many garments look amazing on your body that look less than stellar on a hanger. Don’t be afraid to try something new once and a while.

Once you know your measurements and have an idea of what you like, you can turn your shopping online. This opens you to many more options in terms of styles, sizes, and eras. There is no better place to search such a large inventory of vintage. If you have any questions about a garment, don’t be afraid to ask the seller. I personally love hearing from my customers and it helps me become a better seller.

What decade, or decades, is nearest and dearest to your own heart? Do you tend to gravitate towards this/these decade(s) when sourcing items for your shop?

I love post WWII vintage fashion. My first love was Buddy Holly and I gravitate towards clothing from the 1950s Rock and Roll era. That said, there is something I love from every decade, from the lace details of Victorian clothing, the flapper styles of the 1920s, 1960s mod, 1970s maxi dresses to over the top glam of the 1980s. So many vintage styles allow me to choose what I like best from each decade. I like to mix and match different eras with modern pieces to create my own custom look. When sourcing for the shop, I look quality craftsmanship and wearability from the 1890s to the 1980s.

You wear vintage clothing yourself, which I just love! I think that those (vintage clothing) sellers who do just that often have a special affinity for vintage and are able to connect on an even deeper level with their customers. Have you found that running your own etsy clothing shop has altered the way in which you dress in your day-to-day life at all?

I am often found in jeans and a vintage blouse and accessories for daily wear, mainly because I am running around a lot and am a somewhat clumsy person. Heels don’t quite agree with me. When I am heading out to meet friends or on a date night, I like to pair fun printed vintage dresses with bold accessories. Running the etsy shop has definitely expanded my wardrobe.

How does wearing and selling vintage make you feel?

Fashion is not only an expressive art, but a sign of the times. Garments have been inspired by everything from military utility to weather to political movements. Wearing vintage makes me feel connected to the women that came before me. Wearing their clothes helps me understand where we have come from and some of the events that have helped shape the world as it is today. Wearing vintage makes me feel unique while respecting a piece of history.

What are five of your all-time favourite vintage garments and/or accessories?

1. Vintage Silk Scarves – You can do so much with scarves to dress up an outfit. You can wear a vintage scarf around your neck, wrist, waist, or even as a top.

2. Vintage Dresses – From day dresses to cocktail dresses, when you slip on a vintage dress, you are setting yourself up to create new memories. In the summer, dresses are a must have to stay cool.

3. Vintage High Heel Shoes –As I grow older, I seem to get clumsier and my heels seem to be getting shorter. However, I still love a sexy pair of heels.

4. Vintage Lingerie – Vintage lingerie, especially vintage shapewear, is meant to be worn all day and gives your body just the perfect squeeze to create curves and make them pop.

5. Vintage Blouses – I love to mix and match vintage blouses with a pair of comfy jeans or a skirt. They can be dressed up or down depending on your pairings and accessories.

During the process of running your etsy shop, what are some things that have surprised you about the vintage fashion world that you didn't know before launching Bloomers and Frocks?

I was surprised at how amazingly resourceful and supportive the vintage community is. From blogs such as yours, to Sammy Davis helping vintage sellers out of NY to local collaborations with shops like Amelia’s Retrovogue here in Austin, there is some amazing resources for both buyers and sellers of vintage. Vintage is a passion and those that have the passion seem to assist each other.

It’s natural to want to see pieces that resonate with our own personal tastes, do you tend to stock your shop with items that might fit right at home in your own closet, a wide variety of pieces that appeal to many different types of vintage clothing fans (though are not per se what you’d wear yourself), or a mix of the two?

I stock my shop with a combination of pieces that I would wear myself as well as current trends in vintage fashion. I do have to admit, that I buy many pieces for the shop that end up in my own closet.

Before launching the shop, I wasn’t a big fan of 80s fashion, perhaps because I lived through it. However, there is a big demand for 80s right now – from casual daywear to beaded dresses. Clothing was still made in the USA in the 1980s. Once you weed out the ridiculous trends, there are some amazing pieces with great craftsmanship, a wide range of clothing sizes, and tributes to earlier eras.

What kinds of things can customers look forward to expecting from Bloomers and Frocks in the years to come?

Bloomers and Frocks is always on the lookout for high quality, wearable vintage clothes that will fit into a modern wardrobe. You can expect to see the selection growing as I process more clothing. I currently have a backlog of several hundred pieces. I will have a great selection of scarves coming in the near future.

My husband is quite the collector and he stocked up on some men’s goodies on a recent buying trip. Further down the road, there may be a "Mr. Bloomers and Frocks" coming.

 photo BloomersandFrocksVintageYellowDressandAccessories_zpsd62a54bc.jpg

In addition to Rebekka’s gorgeous etsy shop and blog, you can also connect with Bloomers & Frocks on the following sites:





{All image used in this post were kindly supplied by Rebekka and are a stellar overview of the kind of immensely pretty, timelessly stylish vintage items that Bloomers & Frocks offers their customers.}


 A name may hook you at first, but ultimately it is the substance that counts when it comes to shops, and Rebekka's is teeming with excellent array of hand picked, excellently photographed, perpetually lovely vintage garments, shoes, accessories, and household objects that any vintage fan would delight in the chance to browse though, which thankfully you can whenever your heart desires in Bloomers & Frocks etsy shop.

And should you be headed over to do just that anytime soon, I'm thrilled to let you know that all Chronically Vintage readers can save a hefty 20% off their total purchase price on all items bought from Bloomers & Frocks between now and September 30, 2103. All you have to do is use the coupon code ChronicallyVintage when you checkout to receive this discount.

In addition, if sign up for the Bloomers and Frocks email list, you will automatically be entered to win a $50.00 gift certificate to spend on anything you please at this terrific etsy store.

Thank you very much, Rebekka, for both this great interview, as well as for becoming a sponsor of Chronically Vintage. It's an absolute pleasure to share your shop with my fellow vintage loving readers the world over. If your husband does indeed decide to launch his own shop one day, be sure to let me know so that we can shine the spotlight on his fabulous old school offerings as well!


  1. So funny you profiled B/F today! I just found her shop a few weeks ago, and bought a fantastic late 1950s handmade housedress from her. Am wearing it right now and so happy with it! I also love that she lists her garments by size, so I dont' have to sift through hundreds of listings that won't fit me. :) I also like her very reasonable prices and her photography is great. The dress I bought was in great shape and well reflected by the photos!!

  2. Woohoo! A great introduction to a now great temptation! hahaha, at least there is a coupon! I'm off to shop!

  3. Jessica,
    I have wrote this once, but I'll do it again:
    you really do get the loveliest sponsors on your blog, dear girl!
    I was looking around her shop and I find Vintage Emerald Green Emerald Cut Rhinestone Earrings just stunning!

    Do tell her she's got a great store!


  4. Great interview! I especially loved her quote about respecting history and remembering the women who came before us, because that's exactly how I feel about vintage.

  5. The shop name is adorable I will have to check it out immediately, thanks so much!


  6. Oooo, such lovely items. I think I'll stop by and see what catches my fancy.

  7. Jessica, Thank you so much for the interview. I absolutely adore your blog and am so happy to be featured here.

    Juliana - I am so happy to hear that you love your dress. It is super adorable and I hope it gets lots of love.


  8. I too feel like wearing vintage is wearing history....!