A real estate agent has revealed how she amassed a $10,000 vintage clothing collection – because she’s obsessed with living like she’s in the 1940s.
Gwendolyn Erin Patterson, 25, from Dallas, Texas, says she is so obsessed with wearing wartime fashion that she now refuses to leave her house unless she is wearing glamorous period clothing of World War II.
The 25-year-old even married her boyfriend, Sam, also a huge 1940s fan, in a WWII-style wedding two years ago – but admits sometimes people assume she’s wearing disguises.
The vintage fashion fan admits her unique style has sometimes earned her some weird looks, but says her head-to-toe wartime glam look also gets plenty of compliments.
Scroll down for video
Such is Gwendolyn Erin Patterson’s obsession with clothes from a bygone era – namely the 1930s and 1940s – that the Dallas native stopped wearing modern fashions
V for victory: The Texas realtor now wears nothing but 1930s and 1940s clothes and regularly poses for photos that recreate the spirit of war
Kindred spirits: Gwendolyn had a war-themed wedding to husband Sam, 29, whom she met eight years ago at a WWII reenactment – they had an authentic car from the GI army on hand for their big day
With a wardrobe straight out of a 1940s fashion magazine, the estate agent says her obsession with all things vintage has become more prominent in recent years – and she’s ditched fashion stores usual in favor of more specialized retro stores.
In 2020, the estate agent married 29-year-old Sam, whom she bonded with and later fell in love with at a 2014 World War II reenactment.
She explains: “Vintage is linked to my whole life – I wear vintage clothes every day and everything I own is from the 30s and 40s.”
Gwendolyn says people often mistake her outfits for costumes and ask her if she’s looking in a play – but she says the look looks like her perfect fashion cut.
“I’m really drawn to this era – the lifestyle feels fair and normal to me. Although it was a tougher way to live, it was also simpler.
My own GI: The couple say people find their retro lifestyle weird but prefer to live their lives like they did in a bygone era
The couple say they love the idea of living in a ‘simpler’ time, which sparked their life in time
A dress for every season: Gwendolyn says her collection of vintage clothing is so big that she no longer needs or wants to wear modern clothes
“Everything was made and built to last – people still admire the style of everything at the time.
Her retail habits led her to buy classic clothes: “I’ve always shopped at thrift stores, but about a decade ago I really got into buying more old ones. I liked the look and cut of them.”
After ditching her old “trendy” style, Gwendolyn now has a historic wardrobe worth over $10,000, including more than 50 vintage hats, 60 bags, 75 dresses and even a bespoke suit designed by the Original Wizard of Oz costume designer.
Gwendolyn said, “It was a gradual transformation – once you accumulate a few pieces, everything starts to fall into place.”
The colorful blue wooden house the couple are busy restoring – they plan to live in the house as it was used when it was built in 1910
The real estate agent also has a 1940s-inspired radio show, The Swing Sisters Show, where she shares her passion with listeners.
Gwendolyn says people often mistake her outfits for costumes and ask her if she’s looking in a play – but she says the look looks like her perfect fashion cut
The couple pictured on their wedding day – Sam wore a vintage blue suit while Gwendolyn dressed as a bride could have done in WWII
‘Now I have the biggest vintage wardrobe for every season. I’ve always been a little different with my style.
“Before I got into this, I followed everything that was trending on the catwalk, but it’s just a style that works for me and I feel more comfortable in.”
Not only does Gwendolyn live in her own vintage fantasy world, but her husband Sam is also obsessed with the war era.
Even her best friend, Jamie, who co-starred alongside Gwendolyn on ’40s-inspired radio show The Swing Sisters Show, is also obsessed with old-world fashion.
The couple say their love was built on a shared fascination with America’s history – and they look forward to a life in time together
Once a follower of the latest catwalk trends, Gwendolyn says her passion for new trends has been replaced by her love for trends from another era
The vintage estate agent and Sam met at a WWII reenactment event eight years ago and were quickly smitten. The couple’s shared admiration for all things 1940s sparked their romance and they even had a 1940s-themed wedding two years ago – complete with a vintage US Army car.
Gwendolyn said, “We both have a common love for history and I happened to be at the right event at the right time.”
“Currently we are restoring an old 1910 house to its original state.
She sums up their passion by saying, “We’re these crazy people living this weird lifestyle – regular people probably think we’re crazy but we love it.”