I know that I do have at least two male readers, so sorry about this, but I am going to talk about dresses.
I am very fond of a dress, especially 1950s styles. I have not had huge success with buying vintage dresses because they are sized very differently to the modern body shape, and although I do know some clever people who can adapt them to fit, I haven't been able to do this. The waists and arms are always very small. So, I am always looking for high street stores who can do a good copy. I have borrowed images from websites for this post.
To date, the best dress I've found for my budget is by Seasalt. This is their Lottie dress (£55, above). I bought one in pale green floral last year, wore it all the time, and I have ordered the sailing boats version for this summer. I can't recommend it highly enough.
This is the green version, a photo taken on holiday in Devon last year (10 million calories about to be eaten! No wonder I don't fit the 50s dresses ;)) My blue one has already arrived and it's lovely although I won't be wearing it for a few months.
Below is a subtle beauty from Toast. Out of budget at £129.
This was from White Stuff last year. I don't own it, unfortunately, but I think it's a great shape and polka dots are a favourite. If you were handy with a needle, this might be okay to copy.
Here is a Cath Kidston favourite from a couple of years ago:
This was in the days when Cath made tea dresses that weren't aimed at teeny tiny teenagers. It's a really flattering length, on the calf.
I do own this dress, original 1950s, but it's just for show.
This one is from Boden, £69. They also do a fab spotty 1950s style shirt waist dress, although I'm unable to upload a photo, and I did notice that some colours had sold out already.
When I was at Newark Antiques fair recently, I spotted a raspberry 1940s dress with collar and buttons. I fell in love with the colour. Several people were eyeing it up, and as I was holding it in my hands I had to make a snap decision. There was nowhere to try it on, so I had to take a guess at the size, and for once, it does fit.
So, there is a small dress selection. If you have any recommendations, let me know.