Finding Retro-Inspired Women’s Fashion In the Land of Fleece and Clogs

When slogging through the snow and slush, the last thing that may be on a lady-Vermonter’s mind this time of year is fabulous fashion. However, spring is just around the corner (hopefully) and there is never a good excuse for looking bad.

Personally I’ve found that it’s a heck of a lot easier to find great rain gear and cycling wear in Vermont than fun retro-inspired clothing, but I’ve also discovered that great shopping finds do exist here even if they need to be supplemented with a few online purchases.

For those bespectacled readers of Vermodernist I highly recommend a visit to Eyes of the World on Battery Street in Burlington. They have a great selection of frames and knowledgeable staff who can help you pick out a pair of glasses that suit your tastes and style.  I purchased a slightly cat-eye pair there that have served me well on those days when I’m more in the mood for a more subtle statement rather than over the top style.

For clothing, I’ve personally found that in Vermont you’re probably going to have to shop for different pieces in multiple stores rather than find everything in one place. Check out Old Gold on Main Street in Burlington for over the top shoes, a few Stop Staring dresses and more costume-y elements for your wardrobe.  Stop Staring has a fantastic retro-inspired line. I own two of their dresses, which are my favorites for fancier occasions.

Sweet Lady Jane on Church Street offers some unique pieces that can compliment any retro-inspired wardrobe. Sizing tends to be on the smaller size and pricing can be on the higher side, but deals and fit can be found if you keep your eyes open. Last summer I picked up a great short sleeved red gingham top there that I hope to get much more mileage out of this coming season.

Stella, also on Church Street in Burlington, is a unique boutique that has some off the beaten path shoes and accessories that always seem to catch my eye. While I’ve yet to purchase anything here, I’m hoping warmer weather will inspire me to invest in some of their great shoes.

If you don’t have time to dig for clothes and are more of an online shopper like myself, we’ve listed many of our favorite shopping sites in our links section. Here’s a little bit more detail on a few of my top favorites: 

Modcloth.com =  Great dresses and tops. Tip: Order based on the measurements listed for the garment and not your normal size; some garments can run a bit small. They are super quick with their shipping and often add a fun token gift in the package. I purchased a makeup bag with a 1950s romance novel-inspired cover and hair flower clip here that always come along on my travels.

Dungaree Dolly Bags and Purses = Great made to order bags, purses, and hair scarves in multiple styles and fabrics. She has an Etsy store as well with many ready-made items. I own two bags and multiple hair scarves which serve as great retro-themed touches, visible even on days when I’m wearing a giant winter coat that resembles a sleeping bag.

Red Dress Shoppe = Fabulous retro-inspired tops, dresses, and accessories with accurate measurements on their sizing chart. This shop is also fantastic about returns if you happen to get something that doesn’t work for you.

Heartbreaker Fashion = Fantastic vintage-inspired dresses with many styles and fabrics and fast shipping. The Fifi dress is my current favorite that came along with me to Mod night in Montreal and our recent jaunt to Palm Springs Modernism Week.

I’m also a huge fan of Etsy where a simple search has garnered many a vintage and handmade, vintage-inspired find.  I’ve purchased clothing, jewelry, hair accessories, and purses from folks across the country.

Depending on what part of Vermont you reside in, Montreal is also a fantastic shopping resource not far from home.  While boasting all the big city chain stores that we miss in Vermont (H&M, how I miss thee) they also have fabulous vintage clothing stores and great antique shops as well.

As a fairly new Vermonter I’d definitely welcome any other reader suggestions for Vermont “must visit” retro-inspired clothing shops, so please pass those along. Otherwise happy shopping, and feel free to send us pictures of any of your favorite finds! 


  1. Hi there,
    How serendipitous! I design and sew vintage inspired womens clothing right here in Vermont, and often write about the sad saga of fleece and clogs. You can find my clothes here: etsy.com/shop/readyruthieoriginals or here: readyruthieoriginals.com

    1. Thanks so much for your comment. Always glad to hear from those helping to perpetuate great style in Vermont! We'll add your shop to our list and don't forget to check us out on Facebook and our vintage glasses shop (www.jenericVintage.com) as well!

  2. They have since moved on from VT to Chicago, and Devin Colman, a VT-based modernism scholar and aficionado has taken the reigns. lingerie