I have nothing but love for the cuties who rock fitted jeans, graphic tees, and other hot yet usually gender-neutral clothing. At the same time, I haven’t worn pants that aren’t workout leggings in years. (In 2017, I was in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” The goth lace tutu I wore as one of Titania’s fairies came straight from my closet, but for the second character I played, I had to borrow jeans from my sister, because I didn’t own any.) To me, though, the best kind of femme fashion is the vintage-inspired kind — the retro-throwback kind. There’s something about seeing a gorgeous lady dressed to the nines in full skirts or 1930s hats. After surveying my personal collection and polling my cutest femme friends, I found eight brands featuring the frocks we adore in a variety of sizes and price points. Happy shopping!
Ever wanted to construct your perfect dress, except you don’t know a sewing machine from a hole in the ground? Thanks to this miraculous site, you get a hand in designing a dream femme frock! Dresses start at $30 (this sweet pink cotton gingham is my fave), and if the detailed sizing chart isn’t your jam, eShakti will customize your dress to your exact measurements. You even get a say in the style! My femme friends of all sizes rave about eShakti, including one who got married in a stunning red swing dress.
After binging the latest season of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” I placed a Lindy Bop order so large that the company called me, convinced someone had stolen my credit card. Nope; I just love the swingy skirts, fluffy dresses, and poofy rainbow petticoats, not to mention the crazy-good sales that pop up more often than Midge Maisel wearing a cute hat while making a sex joke. Heads up: the quality often isn’t quite what you get from more expensive brands, but the sizing charts are on point. And with sizes ranging from XS to 6XL, there’s something retro-cute for every femme.
ModCloth does the near-impossible, mixing bright colors and whimsical patterns (hello, “cats in space” dress I didn’t know I desperately needed) with lines and silhouettes that are appropriate for grown-up, vintage-inspired femmes who want to shine everywhere from the office to a party. The regularly priced dresses can be steep, but ModCloth frequently offers great discounts, not to mention a killer sale section and ModOutlet, where you can score adorable clothes, jewelry, and shoes for as little as $10. Though sizes tend to run small, ModCloth goes up to 4X, and best of all, often features more than one model in a garment.
Get ready for your wildest vintage Hollywood wet dreams to come true. LA-based designer Pitt draws from the City of Angels’ most beautiful bad girls in her drool-worthy circle skirts, crop tops, and dress styles that range from wiggle to swing. Sizing is often limited by the garment, but femmes up to 4X can find something guaranteed to delight and/or seduce. Though it’s difficult to find a dress under $100, Vixen offers installment plans and a cute AF final sale section. Even the website has old-movie charm, and if you’re in the Burbank area, the Vixen store is open Friday through Sunday.
Quality and inclusivity meet in this first-rate brand of ‘40s and ‘50s inspired clothing. Flared or fitted, patterned or plain — whatever your pleasure, Collectif has the squee-worthy dress you’ll want to make your own. Because the brand is UK-based, use this handy-dandy size chart; Collectif styles go up to US size 18. Channel your inner vintage-inspired head bitch in charge in a dreamy fitted pencil dress, or roleplay as the Little Mermaid in this emerald satin gown. For femmes on a budget, the sale section alone is full of happiness: this butterfly swing dress will have you twirling all night long.
Flowers, polka dots, and 5’0s sweetness with a little bit of sexy take the lead in this adorably-named, vintage-inspired brand that fits up to a 4X (there’s even a specific plus-size section with tons of darling togs). Founded in fashion-forward London in 2003, Hell Bunny’s unique rockabilly style is a must for the vintage-mad femme. Buy your crush a cocktail in this to-die-for sailor dress or channel Marilyn Monroe circa “The Seven Year Itch” in this classic halter. Dresses and skirts are generally in the $40-60 range — with both cheaper and pricier options — and like ModCloth, Unique Vintage features women of different sizes modeling the same dress (because everyone looks fab in ’50s apparel).
Are you bananas for the streamlined gowns of the 1930s or the funky maxidresses of the ‘70s? Unique Vintage has your back, organizing its collections by decade so you can indulge your femme nostalgia through the ages and to its very fullest. There’s even an entire section for flapper dresses, shoes, and accessories. You can also outfit your entire gay femme wedding party in UV’s bridal shop! Sizes run up to 5X, and Vixen’s Micheline Pitt has her own exclusive line. Though you may drop $150 or upwards on your fave, the sale section has its own joys, including this navy striped swing dress.
I’m gonna be shallow for a sec: this punk, rockabilly, and vintage-inspired brand’s website is worth visiting for the gorgeous tattooed models alone. Sizes go up to 4X and full-price dresses tend to range from $40-60. If your taste leans toward the goth, Sourpuss has plenty of treats, from this badass pinafore (yes, pinafores can indeed be badass) to this kittycat-patterned wrap dress. Also, you can rock literally any of Sourpuss’s offerings with fishnets and Doc Martens, stomping your way in the world and looking hot while doing so. Psyched for Halloween but not a costume femme? Try this sexy yet comfy jack o’lantern skater dress.