Vintage Vibe: How to Build a When Calls the Heart-inspired Look

When Calls the Heart Eike Schroter
If you love Elizabeth's (Erin Krakow) style, When Calls the Heart's costume designer offers easy tips for creating a vintage look.

When Calls The Heart costume designer Barbara Gregusova says that it’s easy for fans of the Hallmark Channel series to give their wardrobe a 1910s-inspired twist. She says when sourcing clothing, look for things that you can change or add too, to create a more period look. That sometimes means finding a good tailor, or even better, pulling out your own needle and thread. She also says that vintage stores are great places to look for period pieces, and shares that she and her team make rounds every few weeks to their local vintage shops to see what’s new.

Related: Barbara Gregusova Talks about Costuming When Calls the Heart

Here are a few of her tips for building your own period-inspired look.
Skirts: Finding period-inspired skirts is Gregusova’s biggest challenge as a costumer and admits that the show makes almost all of its character’s skirts from scratch. If you’re lucky enough to find skirts that are long, she encourages fans, “Go for fuller skirts, but you can also go for more fitted, long skirts. Sometimes they can be ankle length, but usually they are an inch and a half above the floor.”

Blouses: Gregusova says, “Right now there are lots of the 1910-style blouses in the stores so that’s something you can find. Usually, it’s nice to find something that is white or off-white with a little lace detail. I avoid fabrics that are very contemporary — so, any stretch fabrics or knits. When it comes to fabrics, I want them to feel that they are from 1910. The color might be different but the feel of cottons, or linens or silks, or satins — they work. You don’t want something stretchy.”

Coats: “When it comes to coats, they should be fitted. Anything that gives you the nice silhouette. You could do a blazer; we got some of Dottie’s blazers at Brooks Brothers — we were really lucky. So, if you find a blazer which has a little pleat detail at the back, or a little bow; you may have to take it in a tiny bit to make it more fitted, but it gives you the look.”

When Calls the Heart
Isn’t she (G)lovely? While she strolls through Hope Valley with Bill Avery (Jack Wagner), Dottie (Erica Carroll) rocks an easy-to replicate vintage look. Eike Schroter/ Hallmark

Accessories: “Gloves are very important. They actually help a lot because we don’t wear gloves these days the same way as they did in 1910.” The When Calls the Heart costume designer also says that a period-appropriate purse is an easy way to add period styling to any outfit. She says, “When it comes to purses, it’s probably best to go to vintage stores and find some nice, little, cute clutches with a little embroidery or a little bead detail, which feels more period and not modern. Things that I avoid are sparkles or sequins. For jewelry, lockets are good and simple earrings — like ones with a simple stone detail or flowers — would work.”