There's always a catch though, isn't there? You see something amazing on the runway and, not wanting to wait until the watered-down version makes it to the local Target (and not being able to pay the price for the designer variety) you run out to your favorite vintage store and scour the racks for original designs.
Alas! Women who lived and cooked in those fashions the first time around were tiny. Not because they were all naturally size 2, but girdles helped a lot of women achieve that hourglass look. Thus, modifying a true 1963 tea dress is a no-go; there's simply not enough fabric to let out (yes, even if you're a size 6). What's a modern, yet vintage-minded, lady to do?
This is the genius of Etsy. You love chiffon-rich dresses drenched in watercolor prints? There is an Etsy seller who is making just that. In fact, there are probably 1,000 sellers making varieties, practically guarenteeing you can find something that suits your exact taste, size and budget.
Case in point: Etsy seller Sohomade. She hails from - duh - New York, and specializes in tea dresses with sashes, lace and oh-so-flattering wide necklines. Her choice of prints is worth noting, too: feminine and colorful, in muted colors and floral allover loveliness. Nothing too modern to be found here! She also makes accessories, belts mostly, and skirts.
An Etsy-specific feature is a seller's willingness to custom make items also (Sohomade does this), as well as their "Alchemy" feature, by which you can request a completely new, custom item from the entire community. Sellers who think they can make what you want respond with bids to create your item within your parameters. How fun! For people like me - who know what they want but can't make a pattern to save their lives - this is a major plus for joining Etsy!
You can visit Sohomade's shop at this link, and here are some items I found particularly pretty:
If you could wear a cupcake, this is what it would look like.
Watercolor-y landscape print? It makes it feel like summer lasts all year long!
This belt would also satisfy your trendy urge for plaid, too!