Creating a 1930s Sportswear Look with Retruly

1930s sports jumper from Retruly

If you’ve not heard of Retruly before then let me introduce you to them. This vintage focused marketplace is a new kid on the block, having established just over a year ago in the spring of 2016. However, don’t let this fool you because its founders, Paul & Bernice Armstrong, have been selling vintage online for over 10 years. And not only that, they’ve had plenty of experience of all the big marketplace sites you all know and spend hours on trawling for that perfect piece of vintage!

What makes Retruly marketplace different from the others is that they only sell vintage. This means there’s no handmade or indie brand stuff to wade through and no ‘mass-produced parading as vintage’ nonsense. Hoorah!

Retruly Vintage Marketplace

And there’s a lot on offer too, from vintage clothing (both men’s and women’s), jewellery, home accessories and more, all provided by different sellers from across the world. They’re adding new sections all the time and their latest addition is vintage vinyl, which I’m definitely going to have to look through.

So, when Paul got in contact with me a few weeks ago, and discussed possibly collaborating with Retruly, I just couldn’t say no. I was given a budget to spend on the site and I could choose whatever I wanted. This was a great way to really get the true customer experience.

The women’s vintage clothing section was, of course, where I headed first and it has a wide range of garments from the 1920s to the 1990s. The latter decades have more of a focus, with the 1960s, 70s and 80s having the most to choose from. However, there are some earlier gems to be had and I spent a long time eliminating a few beauties. These included a 1940s Persian lamb Cossack style hat, a 1930s silk chiffon dress (which was unfortunately too small) and a 1970s does 1930s Horrockses Shirt Dress.

Thankfully, when you open an account, it has a Favourites section for both items and sellers, so I added the hat and the 1970s dress to mine for future reference. However, in the end I chose the most beautiful 1930s hand knitted jumper from a seller in Germany.

1930s sportswear outfit

As soon as it arrived I knew exactly how I wanted to style it. This stunning orange and navy blue jumper is an absolute classic of the 1930s sportswear look, so I headed straight to Google for inspiration. Immediately I fell in love with a 1930s photo of a group of women lined up all with a golf club in their hands. The lady on the end had the perfect golfing separates on of short sleeve jumper, kick pleat skirt and sensible Oxford shoes. Perfect, I had all of them, all I needed now was a golf club!

1930s handmade jumper

The jumper is beautifully hand knitted in basic stocking stitch. However, the orange sections of the front and back pieces have been knitted in reverse. This creates a lovely texture difference between the orange parts and the navy stripes and sleeves. The cuffs and waistband are then rib stitched. It fits me so perfectly both in length and across the bust as if it was made especially for me.

1930s Uranium buttons

The best part of the jumper, though, is the buttons. When it first arrived I thought what an odd choice of colour but just put it down to perhaps the original owner only having these to hand. However, once I’d thought about it I had an eureka moment. Could these possibly be the rare and totally amazing Uranium buttons that were sometimes used in the 1930s? Well, after getting my black light torch out I had my answer.

1930s Uranium buttons

Yes, they glowed!! Well, you can imagine my state of glee at this moment! Yay, genuine Uranium buttons! And just to point out, for those who may be wondering, they’re not in the slightest bit dangerous for my health. There is more radioactivity in the air than there is in these buttons or a piece of Uranium infused glass, known as Vaseline glass. I have a couple of pieces of 1930s Uranium glass ware that also glows, so I have done my research. And if you want a thorough explanation of the science behind it, have a read of this article as they explain it way better than I ever could.

1930s sports jumper from Retruly

The Retruly site was easy and fast to navigate and each section has a good number of filters to use to help drill down to what you’re looking for. One thing I did notice though, was that not all sellers had used the ‘Era’ filter on their stock. Therefore I had to search for both 30s and 1930s via the search box to make sure I saw absolutely everything from my favourite decade. This wasn’t a problem because most of the other big marketplaces don’t have this filter option, but it would be good if every seller made use of it this helpful feature on Retruly as they’ve actually made it available.

The buying process was nice and simple, despite my PayPal account playing up. Once the order had gone through I received an email from the seller to let me know when it would be posted and it arrived swiftly within a few days. I would’ve liked to give feedback to the seller on the site, much like you do on most marketplaces, but unfortunately this option isn’t currently available. It would be great if this could be added in at some point so that other customers know what to expect when buying from a seller.

1930s sportswear outfit

I would highly recommend Retruly to anyone looking for their next true vintage piece, so if you haven’t tried it yet make sure you do. And if you want to start selling vintage on the site, sign up today and you’ll get the first 3 months FREE!

I want to say a big thanks to Paul and Bernice for giving me the opportunity to review the site, especially as it means that I have a unique and beautiful 1930s piece of knitwear I can truly cherish. Now, whilst I head off into the club house for a cheeky cocktail,  I’ll leave the full details of my outfit for you to enjoy!

Outfit Details

1930s Hand Knitted Jumper – Retruly
White 1930s Sports Skirt – Made by Me
1930s Navy  Suede Shoes – Donna Flower Vintage
Navy Wool Beret – eBay
Lapis Lazuli Drop Earrings – Shepton Mallet Flea Market

Disclaimer: Retruly kindly provided me with this 1930s jumper in exchange for this review, however all views expressed are my own and reflect my honest opinions.


Just a vintage gal suffering from the Golden Age syndrome. A lover of all things old, especially the 1930s, seamstress, crocheter, maker of hats and enjoys rummaging at flea markets.


  1. You look sensational! Such an authentic look. Where did you find the golf club?! How fab about the buttons. A man had a uranium vase on the Antiques Roadshow recently, he said it was only harmful if he smashed it and breathed in the dust.

    I had a look at the site, it’s well set out and you can search by size, hallelujah, so many sites don’t do that.


    • Oh wow, thank you Sarah! The golf club actually belongs to my parents’ friend who is a big golfer and I got my mum to ask him if I could borrow one. He did think it was a bit odd that I needed it for a photo shoot! xx

  2. that sweater is fabulous, those colours really pop – perfect styling – love the glow in the dark buttons – hadn’t heard of them before

    • The colours are amazing, aren’t they? I was a little worried the orange wouldn’t suit me but I love it. I’m still totally excited about the buttons, I knew they existed but had never seen any in real life. Now I know what they look like I can keep an eye out for more! xx

  3. The jumper is delightful, and I adore how you have styled it so beautifully. I expect Hercule Poirot to be staying in the hotel attached to the golf club… K

    • Hehehe! Yes, it could well be an Agatha Christie mystery based around a golf resort, as long as I wasn’t the one getting bumped off! xx

  4. I am amazed at how perfectly the colors and fit flatter you. It is as if this jumper travelled all those years to finally find you.

    • Aw, thank you Emily! I feel that way too about this jumper. It honestly looks like it’s never been worn, so I wonder if the person it was originally meant for didn’t like it or wore it just once or twice. xx

  5. What a great find! The jumper looks stunning on you, love how the colours are still so vibrant after all these years. I’m going to read up on Uranium glass ware, very interesting.

    • Thank you Sonya! I was talking to my mum about the jumper last night and I actually think it has barely been worn. I wonder if it was just packed away for years unworn and unloved and that’s why it’s still so vibrant. xx

  6. I’m so jealous of those buttons! I have a few pieces of Uranium glassware but I only knew one of them was Uranium glass when I bought it. The rest were happy eureka moments!

    • It’s great finding out that they’re Uranium isn’t it? I’ve had that a couple of times with glassware. And it’s amazing the people who try and sell glass saying it’s Uranium but they’ve never tested it. I always ask these days to make sure. xx

    • Thank you Elaine! The buttons really are my favourite part, I still so chuffed about them! xx

  7. What a fabulous jumper! Those uranium buttons are amazing. I never knew these existed. You must have been quite excited! xxx

    • I still am! They are so unbelievably rare, so I really need to take good care of them. One is slightly chipped but the others seem to be in really good condition. I’m going to go over the stitching and reinforce them to make sure I don’t ever lose any! xx

  8. Wonderful sweater and such a great outfit! You look like a vintage fashion plate for sure, just in fun vibrant color!

    • Oh thank you Bianca! I had a lot of fun doing this shoot and there were quite a lot of photos to choose from. I’m not sure the one of me swinging the club and pulling an awkward face was quite so vintage fashion plate though! 🙂 xx

  9. This look I really love its very Jeeves and Wooster! The skirt pairs beautifully with the sweater

    • Hehehe! Thank you Kate! The skirt is very much based on a sports skirt, so I thought it was my most appropriate one. xx

  10. Very chic in your 1930’s sports attire. These photos could well have been found on a 1930’s knitting pattern, they are great! I love the fact that the beautiful buttons are an added extra on an already wonderful top.

    • Oh thank you Kate-Em! I’m so pleased at how these photos came out. I think perhaps having a prop helps me to relax and not worry so much that there’s a camera on me! 🙂 xx

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