Joanna over at Dividing Moments Vintage put together a beautiful giveaway for any blogger who cared to share a post of ten things that inspire their vintage journey.  I've done a bit of thinking, and this is what I came up with!

1. My Grandmothers

 Family history and traditions have always been a big part of my life, and since I was young I've had bits of costume jewelry and other small presents from my grandmothers.  Both of them were inspiring, interesting, and stylish women.  Since both of them have passed on, I feel like I try to honor their memory in my vintage style, by wearing jewelry that I've inherited from them, by cooking their recipes, and in keeping family traditions with the rest of my extended family members.

2. Costume Jewelry

In all honesty, I'm a bit of a human magpie.  Since my Busia loved all thing that sparkled, I'm going to claim that the habit is genetic!  I've loved costume jewelry since I was little, and even before I started delving into vintage fashion I purchased and wore pieces of costume jewelry from all eras.  I've truly enjoyed seeking out new-old glittering baubles to wear daily with my vintage wardrobe.

3. Hats

My first love was visual arts, and although I've switched to the performing arts, there's still a part of me that sees the human body as one big walking 3D display board.  I adore vintage hats for their whimsy and artistic style, and have challenged myself to collect and wear them in the past year rather than just admiring them from afar.  It's been a lot of fun, attracted quite a bit of attention, and I'm excited to keep working on incorporating toppers as a bit of wearable art in my daily ensembles.

4. Silhouette

Growing up, I was never really very happy with how my body looked.  The current fashion was (and still is, for the most part) one with snug pants, dropped waistlines, and draped or fitted jersey shirts, and the ideal figure for those was either waifish or slim but buxom.  Low-slung jeans always cut into my hips, and finding ones that would zip up without gaping at the waist was a challenge... and I couldn't pass as buxom no matter how many Victoria's Secret bras I tried on.  One of the things that drew me to vintage clothing was styles that feature a cinched waist and full skirt, and over time I've found other silhouettes that make me feel comfortable in my own skin and happy with my body.

5. Vintage Underpinnings

I've always been one of those people who gets twice as much done if I put on proper clothes when I get up instead of shuffling about in my sweatpants.  There's something about the transition that enforces being really awake... and on the flip side, it's nice to be able to  put on relaxing clothes and know that my responsibilities are over for the evening.  I've always enjoyed the ritual of getting ready in the morning and getting ready for bed in the evening as a little time to myself to prepare and decompress, and vintage underpinnings add an extra layer, so to speak, to that process! 

6. Old Sewing Patterns

Finding a just-right vintage item can be tricky and expensive, but antiques stores regularly have piles of vintage sewing patterns for a few dollars each.  Obviously, sewing patterns allow me to explore styles, tailor things to fit, and make some dream vintage pieces that I'd never be able to afford to purchase... but the best part is patterns like this one, that come with newspaper clippings, notes, or some other connection to the seamstress who purchased the pattern.

7. Vintage Advertisements

If there's anything that makes a vintage-loving gal wish she could purchase clothing by time machine, it's old advertisements.  All the same, they provide a wonderful reference for styles that were available at the time that might not have survived the last 70 or so years.  I particularly love the shoe adds for scouting styles that were in vogue at the time so that I can look for similar styles in modern shops... my clodhopper feet and small budget rarely fit into vintage shoes!

8. Little Old Ladies (& Gents)

 I'm a performer at heart, and although I wear vintage because I personally enjoy it more than modern styles, I always do a little extra when I know I'll be around other people.  When I have a church job, I make a point of dressing in my "Sunday Best."  More than once, someone has remarked on how they had a similar dress when they were young, or that they had envied such a dress.  The very best, though, is to have someone tell me that it makes them feel young again.  It's silly, sure, but I feel that if I can brighten someone's day by taking a little more care getting dressed, it's all worth it!

9. The Seasons

Okay, bear with me here... I feel that the seasons and the weather really do inspire my vintage journey.  My wardrobe was very California-oriented, and I own lots of light, floaty dresses and blouses that stand up to the 100+ degree weather.  Now that I've moved to Massachusetts where, I've heard, there is real winter, I've had to look for new ways to expand my wardrobe to suit, and it's pushed me to consider more decades and look at more images to find styles that are both practical and beautiful instead of buying a synthetic puffer jacket at the nearest big-box store.

10. The Vintage Blogging Community 

Julie of Fab Gabs Vintage, Solanah of Vixen Vintage, Jessica of Chronically Vintage, and Janey of Atomic Redhead
The women of the vintage blogging community have been hugely inspirational in my vintage journey.  I came across Solanah's blog first, as many do, and envied and admired her wonderful style and fantastic hair.  Julie posted the challenge that got me into vintage blogging, Jessica always leaves the most lovely and supportive comments, and Janey was one of the first bloggers I talked to outside of the blog comments.  All of the other vintage loving women whose blogs I follow or who I interact with on Instagram provide me daily inspiration as they share their research and their own personal twist on vintage style.