Vintage Fashion

Vintage fashion is wonderful, you can get a great outfit and be sure that nobody else will be wearing the same. Whereas a ‘one off’ designer piece would cost a fortune you can pick up vintage clothes at very reasonable prices. Even the likes of Kate Moss and Sienna Miller have been seen in charity shops from time to time.

When we apply the ‘vintage’ tag to clothing, shoes and accessories it means that it was made from 1920 onwards. Just as with modern fashion there was a difference between couture and mass produced clothing. The majority of vintage clothing you are likely to pick up in the charity shops would be mass produced and can be bought relatively cheaply.

If you are after a vintage designer garments you would have to pay a lot more.  Just like today, designers fetch high prices and you could expect to pay upwards of £1,000 for Christian Dior, Givenchy or Hartnell.

The eternal favourite, the beaded flapper dress from the 1920s, is now extremely difficult to find in good condition.  The fabrics were thin and delicate and easily torn.  You might have more luck looking for one the 1930s biased cut silk dresses.   The cuts and fabrics are wonderful and they really show off your figure.  Once again, they are not cheap, but would make a wonderful special occasion outfit.

Vintage fashion from the 1940s is not that difficult to find and you will probably find specialist shops and market stalls selling it.  Look out for 1940s American clothing which was more colourful and glamorous than the English fashion.  As England was at war there was not that much finery to be had.  If you are lucky you could find a well cut suit with a pencil skirt, which is very much in vogue now.  Absolutely perfect if you have a curvy figure with a tiny waist.

If the 1950s is your favourite period look out for printed cotton dresses which will look as good now as they did then.  If you can find one with the Horrocks label in it, grab it quick.  There is also the jive skirt and those smart little cotton blouses which can be picked up for very little money.

Once we get into the 1960s we are into man-made fabrics rather than cotton and linen and very often in bright colours of orange, purple, blue, yellow and turquoise.  The necklines of evening wear was often embellished with stones, crystals and coloured glass and if you find one of those dresses make sure that all the stones are in place.  The 1960s fashion was very young and it’s difficult to wear once you’re out of your teens.  If you’re lucky you might pick up an original Pucci, or Courreges.

If you don’t want to pay a lot of money but would like something vintage look for a handbag or a silk scarf which can be had at very reasonable prices.  You are likely to find these in second hand shops, antique fairs and, of course, eBay where the choice is broad and the prices are reasonable.

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