Fashion, Featured
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How I Hunt for Vintage Or Retro Item Of Clothing.

Fashion makes my heart sing but vintage fashion makes my heart sing and dance. When hunting for vintage clothes I am not thinking investment, I am thinking enjoyment. Enjoyment in wearing what I have just purchased. Like this 1970s wraparound floaty dress.

1970s Mayfair BY Berkertex wraparaound dress

1970s Mayfair BY Berkertex wraparaound dress

This Polka dot dress, my latest buy. It is by Berkertex for Mayfair. I say it is vintage, but a purist would disagree. They would say it is retro since it is from the 1970s. A Purist thinks a fashion item is not vintage unless it is pre-1960. Retro is anything after this period.

I don’t really care about the distinction in eras.Do you? My intention when buying an item of clothing is not to beautifully frame and mount on a wall. What I care for are items that make me look individual and stylish.

When hunting for vintage or retro clothing, I have a few rules for myself. These rules have always helped me in containing my eagerness to buy. Sometimes I get too excited when I have fallen in love with an item of clothing. My rules bring me back to planet earth. The planet reality!

So, what do I look for?

Smell. The first thing I do is to sniff the item of clothing I have just fallen in love with. If it has a strong mould smell accompanied by brown mould stains. I fall out of love pretty quickly.

Size. I am a a UK 10 but when buying vintage or retro, I am a 14. Today, I am wearing a St Michaels skirt and It has a big red 14 written on its label. When labels are missing, I try items on.

Durability and Sturdiness. As mentioned earlier, I don’t buy vintage clothing for investment. I only buy to wear purely for enjoyment. This means, the material or fabric must be willing and able to withstand my enjoyment. So, I check for holes, weakening in fabric and the washing instructions. These practical checks help in making the decision of either buying or not buying.

Fit. About a year ago, I bought a beautiful handmade vintage dress. The day, I tried to wear it, I couldn’t for two reasons. I could not breathe, and the cotton fabric felt strained – it was just too tight.

Fabric. As a full-time mum and for practical reasons, I generally buy wool and man-made fibres since they wash well and are easier to look after. Very low maintenance.

Out of experience, I only buy what I can wear without any alteration or repairs. I know the repairs or alterations will never be done. I have lots clothes still waiting to be altered!

Lastly, I go for the best that I am able to afford but it MUST be wearable.

These are the main rules I follow. I hope these rules or tips helps you as you venture into the world of vintage or retro.

Yvonne xxx


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