If you swooned over the exquisite costumes in Autumn de Wilde’s adaptation of Emma earlier this year, or have always dreamed of attending Disneyland’s Dapper Day, try exploring the vintage community on Instagram. Here, you can feast your eyes on gorgeous gowns and funky playsuits, learn vintage styling tips, train your eye to identify different eras, and learn about fabric, clothing construction, and the lives our ancestors lived in these clothes.
Karolina is a Polish author and fashion historian whose YouTube videos drop both knowledge and laughs. Her videos range from fashion history presentations to TikTok spoofs, costume design reviews to girl-power dance videos. Her most creative work combines fashion history with cultural commentary, and often she comments specifically on internet trends such as “get ready with me,” “haul,” and “through the decades” videos. Scroll Karolina’s YouTube and Instagram accounts for the pretty dresses from the 1600s through 1940s, and stay for her wit and wealth of information.
Mars Dilbert’s Instagram is a gorgeous spread of authentic vintage from the 1900s to 1950s. The artist and fashion historian mixes it up with both romantic dresses and menswear-inspired adventuring looks. Her photographs are beautiful and usually set against pastoral U.K. backdrops. She discusses decades and fabric details in the captions, and she also writes fashion history and vintage tips for The Vintage Woman magazine.
Egyptian academia-turned-fashion is something I never knew I needed until I found this gorgeous channel. Dr. Colleen Darnell serves up sleek 1920s and 1930s vintage, and alongside each outfit, she includes detailed descriptions of Egyptian art, history, and culture. This clever take is apropos because 1920s clothing and Art Deco architecture was heavily influenced by Egyptian design after the discovery of King Tut’s tomb in 1922.
Cheyney McKnight is a historian and historical interpreter for eighteenth- and nineteenth-century American history, with an emphasis on enslaved people. Follow her on Instagram for her extensive knowledge and frank discussions of difficult topics. McKnight’s work combines beautiful historical costumes and sewing adventures with photos of reenactments, devastating snippets of first-person memoirs, and cultural critiques of problematic depictions of race in art, fashion, and design. For more, check out her writing in The American Duchess Guide to 18th Century Beauty: Period-Accurate Hairstyles, Makeup, and Accessories.
Jess Murrell’s feed looks like a 1930s fantasy leisure wardrobe, populated with peasant blouses, sailor pants, fun prints, delicate details, and bright accessories. She sells 1920s to 1950s vintage at Piper Club Vintage, so if your sizes run small, you can buy one of her pieces and bring the fantasy to life.
Alexis wears mostly 1920s through 1940s style, with an emphasis on formal-wear and Tiki-themed attire. Follow her IG for to-die-for gowns and shoes, often snapped in famous Art Deco and Beaux Arts buildings of Los Angeles, such as the Cicada Restaurant and Club, the Millennium Biltmore Hotel, and the historic Catalina Island Casino.
Lauren Rossi is an artist, collector of antique clothing, and a seamstress specializing in antique designs that, she says, are sometimes “tinged with a modern aesthetic.” Her page is practically a museum of dresses and details from the late eighteenth century, late nineteenth century, and the 1920s. Not only does she sew elaborate dresses by hand, but she also posts photos and videos discussing some of her processes (only after they are finished!). She has been featured in various news outlets, including Racked and The Daily Mail.
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