I suppose you can say that my tastes right now are leaning towards the vintage end. I love the feminine lines, the attention to details, and not to mention all of the accessories... Aprons, pillbox hats, buttons, etc. However as a modern feminist of sorts, I am heavily conflicted with the message and connotations this style brings to mind.
For a moment, let's think about what was expected of women at this time, and not just women, but other minorities of the time. Discrimination was rampant of the day. Let's face it, women were heavily expected to stay at home and when they didn't, they were seen as a second class in the workforce. In fact, the subtitle to the first pattern below is, "... All-in-One Secretary Jumper to Cocktail Dress."
While I do appreciate the fact that many items back then were couture and made of high quality and undeniably chic, it's hard to forget the fact that for many women, there were were very few choices for them to make for themselves outside the realm of personal style and fashion. One of my favorite movies of the day is Funny Face (1957). I love how it bridges preconceived expectations of women in the 50's to modern ideals of smart, independant women. Plus it's a musical with Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astaire... how can you NOT love that cast! Nevertheless, I digress... here's some inspirational photos for great style.