Today’s blog post has been written by Sadie, you can follow her on Twitter at @sadiebp
It’s happened to all of us. You plan your outfit for that event, you pick something you love, you get to the venue feeling and looking amazing and then BANG! Another lady has the same frock on. Even if you look best in it, you can’t help feeling disappointed and it can ruin the whole event.
There are, however a couple of ways you can guarantee that this won’t happen. The first is to have all of your clothes made for you exclusively by a band of top designers. The other more accessible thing is to wear vintage.
Vintage clothing is a great way to express your individuality and there’s an era out there for everyone. From the straight boyish lines of the 20’s and 30’s to the curvy New Look of the 50s through to the colourful madness of the 60s and 70s there’s something for everyone. I’m personally not a fan of the 80s but someone once told me if you can remember it the first time round, it’s probably not for you!
So where can you buy vintage clothing?
Well many towns have some great specialist vintage shops. They’re staffed by people with heaps of knowledge that are dedicated to vintage fashion and can give you loads of advice. If you have something specific in mind they can even try and get it for you sometimes. There are also excellent online stores, a quick google of ‘vintage clothing’ throws up a plethora of online boutiques. Another place to buy is eBay, this can however be a bit of a minefield. When you buy from a specialist online boutique you can generally trust the seller. They are run by brilliant people who have sourced the clothing, and know what they’re talking about. On eBay, although there are specialists who know exactly what they’re selling there are a lot of people who know very little about vintage fashion and although they may not be deliberately trying to mislead you, it can happen.
There are however, a few tips that can help steer you. Firstly read the description carefully. Many people will list something in the vintage section but when you read the description the item is in fact ‘vintage style’. This means the 1950s dress you thought you were buying is simply a modern frock with a cinched in waist and a full skirt. That’s fine it that’s all you were after but if you wanted genuine vintage it can be very disappointing. It’s also worth looking out for the word ‘retro’. This often means ‘looks vintage but isn’t’. People will also sometimes list items as ‘80s does 50s’ . This generally means it’s a 1980s dress that was done in a 1950 style.
One of the most important things to remember when buying vintage is that sizes have changed a huge amount in the past 50 years. A vintage dress marked size 10 on the label will not necessarily be a size 10 as we know it today. Consequently it’s important to read the actual measurements which most people will list. That way you will know for certain that the dress will fit.
Two of my favourite online vintage sellers are:
Love Miss Daisy does a great range of vintage wedding dresses
Natasha Bailie also has a great blog and sells vintage style dresses which are just beautiful
There’s a lot to be said for vintage. Apart from the fact you’ll nearly always be the only one wearing the garment it’s fantastically green! You’re recycling clothing and in today’s disposable society it’s a great feeling to know that you’re doing your bit to save the world and looking fabulous at the same time!
You can follow Sadie on Twitter at @sadiebp