Women dresses only in 1940s attire, owning a £5,000 vintage self-made collection

If you thought you loved vintage, think again – a woman from Leicestershire has the retro inspired collection to trump all others.

Sarah Goodlad, 45, makes all of her own clothing out of fabrics sourced from the 1940s.

Her entire collection is worth an impressive £5,000.

The creative woman has designed her own dresses, blouses, trousers and lingerie – all of which are authentic to the era.

Now Sarah has over 300 pieces of custom clothing in her wardrobe.

The journey began a decade ago when she started dressing in 1940s fashion. While she gained old looks from strangers, she fell in love with it.

Her husband, James Goodlad, 50, dresses in modern-day attire but entirely supports Sarah’s unique dress sense.

‘I have always loved history and vintage fashion for as long as I can remember, especially the wartime era,’ Sarah said.

‘I find the clothing so much more refined and elegant than modern fashion, and the patterns and fabrics used were so much nicer than the poorer quality materials found in mainstream fashion today.

‘I feel some people just wake up and do not even look at themselves in the mirror but looking good and well turned out is what I live for.’

She regularly gets compliments on her style.

She added: ‘At this stage I feel like I am just known as the slightly strange vintage girl!

‘Everyone talks to me wherever we go and gives lovely compliments, but it is often still quite a surprise because this is just the attire, I wear every day.

‘I recently visited the Eden Camp War Museum in North Yorkshire with my husband, James, and somebody stopped me to ask questions about the exhibits to which I had to awkwardly explain this is just how I dress, which definitely took him by surprise.’

The avid crafter sources the majority of her materials from the US and will spend months at a time perfecting her outfits.

She said: ‘I source all of my materials from across the pond because they were not affected by wartime rationing, and subsequently have an abundance of fabrics.

‘Also the UK market is extremely expensive and most of my materials would cost up to five times more from what I pay from America.’

Quality is of the utmost importance to Sarah, as she searches for rare vintage patterns.

She added: ‘I collect McCall Company Patterns, a vintage brand which are very hard to come by in the UK, and they are such good quality to work with when designing clothes.

‘The most expensive fabric I have ever bought was a 1930’s Rayon, Tropical Hawaiian print which I have had it two and a half years and cost me
£250 for seven yards of fabric.

‘I have yet to work out what it will be used for and do not want to waste it on the wrong project.’

Rather than take inspiration from fabrics, she first visualises a design then sources materials.

She explained: ‘I cannot ever really start until I find the right pattern for the outfit.

‘I literally have thousands of pounds worth of fabric which I use for sewing but I never rush into using them until I have my idea.

‘I am like a magpie, and wherever I go I am usually looking at patterns, materials and buttons for inspiration on future projects.’

Wanting to show her collection more widely, she created a TikTok account – and now has 12.6k followers.

She said: ‘During lockdown I struggled quite a lot with my anxiety and used TikTok as a creative outlet to share my outfits and create good quality videos.

‘I had no idea at all it would grow to the extent it has done but I love that people are so interested in what I do.

‘I try to respond to as many followers as possible in my comments because it is so lovely that people take time out of their day to share positivity.’

Though she loves the fashion of the era, she’s not nostalgic for life in the 40s overall.

She explained: ‘I think we do tend to look at the past through rose tinted lenses.

‘I am certainly somebody who would not want to give up my technology or the freedoms we have fought for in the name of equality.

‘There is just something so nostalgic about the wartime spirit, sense of community and tenacity that I just adore.’

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