Once upon a good ol’ time I was reading an interview with a famous actress who confessed she once wore a pretty but normal branded dress (y’know the average dress which doesn’t cost 7 times more than my monthly pay) in a red carpet event. When asked about it, she innocently confessed it was not branded and they told her to say ‘it’s vintage’ next time. Now, I will not go into detail (or at least I’ll try) about the fact they told her to lie about a dress so she can keep up impressions, but still… does vintage play that much of a role? Nowadays the style of clothing has become quite a hit all over the world but what exactly does it take for a clothing item to be considered as vintage?
Strictly speaking, the term vintage refers to an item (in this case clothing) which is between 20 to approximately 100 years old, being clearly a representative of the era in which it was produced. Now it is important to understand that every decade brings forth new items which will be considered as ‘vintage’ and will eventually become ‘antique’ (more than a 100 years).
Of course, the interest for vintage clothing began surging when celebrities started sporting these elegant garments in major fashion and red carpet events, sparking up the interest of thousands. Apart from their unique flair, these timeless pieces also have an eco-friendly aspect – being re-used, repaired and recycled.
Here are some helpful tips when buying second hand clothing:
· Check out flea markets, garage sales, second hand shops, vintage shops or buy directly from owners.
· Before buying second hand clothing: always check the garments in proper light to see if there are any flaws, check the armpits (as sweat and deodorant spray can damage the fabric) and look properly at the fastenings to see if there are any buttons missing and that the zips are working properly.
· Talk to the sales assistant; especially if you are looking for era-specific garments.
· When buying proper second hand vintage clothing, make sure to check the fit, as the cut might not be the right size. Up until the 1960’s, women wore foundation garments that enhanced their voluptuous figures.
· It is important to treat these clothing items with care, as delicate fabrics such as silk, velvet, acetate and lace require gentle cleaning.
And for those of you who love vintage fashion but cannot afford or find such pieces:
· Do your research first to see which era you’re most attracted to!
· Floral, chequered, polka dots and lace are popular vintage patterns and quite easy to find.
· Emphasize your waist by wearing high waist garments or waist belts.
· Wear ribbons and bows- in your hair and clothes!
. Curl your hair and volume…LOTS OF VOLUME!
· Vintage accessories: clutch bags, pearl necklaces, silk scarves, cameo and locket necklaces, hats, gloves in leather, silk or lace…the choices are limitless!
· Vintage makeup: use eyeliner on your top lid only, curl your lashes and apply lots of mascara and wear red lipstick.
· Inspire yourself by watching old movies and look through photos of the era you’re trying to emulate.
· ….or raid your mother/grandmother’s wardrobe!
Whatever you do, always remember to be yourself! As Audrey Hepburn once said…