Vintage For Dummies

August 13, 2012 4:00 pm

To some, vintage is just smelly, used, out of date clothing. But what’s the difference between wearing an item of clothing that’s twenty-five years old or trying on something cheap and new from Primark that dozens of people have already tried on? Buy it, wash it and it is as good as new!

We are all naked canvases waiting  to become the colourful portraits of self expression. You are Picasso, let your paintbrush run wild with creativity and colour it in with personality.

You can tell a lot about a person by the way they dress (though we’re all guilty of a ‘bland’ day here and there). Even the most stylish people in the world are very consistent about what they wear, whether they embrace a classic aesthetic, a bohemian look, or a wardrobe full of clothing with shock value. Most of us become comfortable in our own style and that becomes our ‘fashion personality’.

Vintage clothes have become a bit of an obsession of mine over the past few years. I’ve collected around 150-200 pieces to date. I love walking into a vintage store and not knowing what treasures I am going to find.  I have bought everything from 50’s  style swimsuits and 80’s style tennis dresses, to flared denim hippy  jumpsuits and red carpet worthy dresses. I even found a velvet dress from a ‘bargain bucket’ for £5 that turned out to be a well known designer piece. The musty smell of a vintage piece and the mystery of where it has been completely fascinates me. When I purchase it, I become part of its history. I feel like a pirate looking for buried treasure!

You will find that the majority of modern trends are vintage ‘inspired’. Recent vintage trends have been known as the Peplum craze (y’know the dresses/tops that have that amazing flowing material around the waist that hides a multitude of sins) jumpsuits, high waisted everything, crop tops, midi and maxi skirts, tea dresses – the list is almost endless! I like to think of fashion like the London eye, it takes a while to get round but you will return back ]to the ground at some point.

So here are just a few  reasons why I love vintage:-

One of a kind pieces

There is a good chance that when you find your buried treasure that they’re aren’t very many of them left in the world (apart from they levi high waisted shorts around these days that everyone and their mothers are wearing) it might even be the only one in the country – or even the world for that matter, much like antiques although the value will be of sentiment rather than big bucks.

There is very little chance another person will turn up wearing the same item of clothing as you, unlike the mass produced ‘fashion’ of today.

Otherwise unobtainable excitement 

Picture this, you are about to get married and there is only one wedding dress left in the whole entire world (sorry for the girl only metaphor), there is no fabric left to make a new one, there is just no white, ivory or champagne coloured things lef it the world, they’re almost extinct; So you’re walking along the street unbeknownst and suddenly decide to walk into your local charity shop, you’re not sure why and have no reason to but you do and suddenly your eye catch a glimpse of white. Could it be? YES IT IS! It’s the wedding dress you’ve always dreamed of and it fits you like a hand in glove. You hear a choir of angelic harmonies sing in high notes, the wedding dress suddenly has a ray of light shining from it and your so happy you could hug the cute little old, frail volunteer behind the counter. This is exactly how I feel when I find a dress I just have to have and it’s in my size.

Alright, maybe not exactly but you get the gist. I feel good. Real good.


Whether the item is 25 years old or 100 years old think of the stories it has to tell. It’s priceless to put on an item that has such history.  The dress you just purchased could have been worn in the 1970’s to a girls first date to whom she later married or handmade in the 1950’s by a housewife for her daughter to wear to her first day of university. It could have seen someones happiest moments of their life or been present at there lowest . It could even have sat in one of the first cadillacs or been worn by a wife welcoming her husband home from war -the possibilities go on and on!


Vintage is beautifully crafted and very well made, using quality fabrics. These garments were built to last, not to be disposed of when the new season stock arrived. It will last for as long as you want it and as it’s vintage you can sell your pre loved item on! You would pay 100’s for quality like that in high street stores.

Economically Friendly

Imagine the following scenario:-

Three years on,  new landfills had to be created to deal with the new waste. Landfills were bulldozed from forests and fields, taking up living space and wildlife habitat. As more wildlife lost its habitat, the their numbers decreased. At first, only some species were affected, but the missing piece of the food chain puzzle caused a ripple effect. Soon, population numbers of hawks, squirrels, songbirds, moose, and even cute little turtles were in decline.

So technically speaking, by buying vintage clothes you are recycling and saving the world with each piece you buy. Go you, you superhero!


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