A Beginners Guide to Buying Vintage

VINTAGE – CLOTHING FROM A PREVIOUS ERA

Let’s uncover an appreciation for this avant-garde fashion trend. It may be the elegance attached to these garments or possibly the uniqueness of each piece but if you haven’t discovered vintage attire, you’re missing out. Before you head out to begin exploring, there are a few things that you should know.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

1. Sizing – take note.

Vintage attire fits differently and their sizes take a little getting used to.

Marilyn Monroe was said to have worn a size 12 (US) (16 UK) dress but, by today’s sizes, that would put her at around a size 6/8. At the same time, women wore real foundation garments back then – garments that were both body mounding and size reducing.

• Don`t fret when you read the sizes. Go by the measurements instead. Most good vintage stores will indicate the measurements of their garments.

• If buying vintage online, it is absolutely imperative that you go by measurements!

2. TO TAILOR OR NOT TO TAILOR – THAT IS THE QUESTION.

Experts go back and forth on whether or not you will be damaging the piece or reducing its resale value by tailoring it; however, if it doesn`t fit properly, you will never wear it. I hereby give you permission to tailor away so that you have the perfect fit. I spoke with a vintage store owner in Calgary and a vintage guru from the east and both strongly recommend that you tailor everything.

• My personal motto about clothing: everything should be tailored! There are few one-size-fits-all.

3. TRY, TRY, TRY!

Vintage shopping isn`t like traditional retail! If something doesn`t fit, you can`t ask for a different size because each piece is unique. I encourage you to take some time to warm up to the idea of trying things on -and I mean lots of things! By the way, don`t shop on a full tummy. Shopping just after you eat is a no-no. Remember to wear clothing and shoes that are comfortable and easy to remove.

4. BUY IT!

These are one-of-a-kind pieces. You will likely never find that same piece again so if you really like it, don`t wait. Buy it!

Eras

1920`s Flapper girls were all the rage in the Roaring Twenties but, even though we entered into a more modern era, evening fashion wasn’t always practical for women. Evening wear was all for show and often times it was over the top! Low waisted dresses were introduced, hats became a must and bras became much more common with the ladies. At the same time, girls chopped their hair into adorable bobs. Style Icons: Coco Chanel & Elsa Schiaparelli waist

1930`s The Great Depression forced most women into making their own clothing which, inevitably, resulted in fashion becoming much simpler – still, hats remained a must for ladies’ fashion. Style Icons: Betty Davis, Greta Garbo, Mae West

1940`s Dresses often emphasized an hourglass figure. A-line skirts came …

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Out With The Old Wardrobe and In With The New

Christmas inevitably brings gifts, and for vintage clothing lovers this often includes many additions to our (already overflowing!) wardrobes. Deciding on what to replace, what to keep, and what to put away for a rainy day, can be hard; the last thing you want to do is throw away a key vintage clothing item. Here are some tips to help you make those difficult decisions.

– When was the last time you wore the item? This isn’t as easy as saying “I haven’t worn it for three months so I don’t need it”. Some of our most precious clothes are those that only come out once a week; so don’t just think about when you last wore it, also think about where you last wore it.

– Has it seen better days? Of course, all vintage clothing can have an amount of wear and tear that adds to the charm and authenticity of an item. But, if clothing is torn and you’ve never got round to repairing it, perhaps it is time to let it go.

– Do you like it? This may sound silly, but I know I’m not alone in having bought something, only to get it home and not be so sure. Said item then never sees the light of day, but I can’t bring myself to get rid of it. With new clothing to replace it, this probably means that now is the time to bite the bullet.

These three tips should help making any decisions about which clothes to replace a little bit easier. And remember, never to throw clothes away unless they are tatty and worn. A trip to your local charity shop is easy and the clothes you may have found difficult to part with will find a lovely new home!…

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