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Chic Weekly an on-line Fashion & Sewing Magazine.

CHIC WEEKLY ARTICLES

a new article every Monday about Sewing & Fashion

Article 47 - Sept 5, 2011
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DRESS MAKING & DESIGN:

Vintage Inspirations:

Tips for Shopping Vintage

Vintage inspirations, tips for shopping vintage

By Jessica Lynn Harris


     If you are like me, you are very happy about the recent return to vintage. Vintage clothing has become popular again for several reasons. One is because people are more earth-conscious. Vintage clothing doesnít use up the earthís natural resources, and you donít have to worry about whether or not itís being made humanly. In addition, much of older clothing relied on natural fibers as opposed to toxic, synthetic products that are more common today. Another reason people are turning to vintage is because the recession has made people conscious of the limits of their pocketbook and begin to value thrift. Secondhand clothes, excluding elite prized items, usually cost less. 

 

     Shopping for vintage clothing is advantageous for several other reasons. Vintage clothes allow for a unique personal style in ways that retail shopping does not: it ensures that the same thing hasnít been purchased by tons of other people this season. The humiliation of attending a party and discovering another girl is wearing your dress has been recounted in many Hollywood films and even on Broadway (How to Succeed). Finally, vintage gives the shopper a great variety of silhouettes to play with. Much of retail fashion is dictated by the latest trends, and whatís popular may not be best for your body. 

 

     However, not all vintage is created equal. Use the guide and the tips below to know what to look for when shopping vintage. 
  1.  
  2. Follow your nose. Unfortunately, dated clothes sometimes smell. Often this can be remedied using a solution of water and vinegar (2:1 ration). Gently wet your garments and spray over the offending area. Leave hang to dry. DO NOT WRING. This will wrinkle, perhaps permanently, manly delicate fabrics. Other times, the stench canít be removed. If the garment has a strong unpleasant odor, skip it, unless it is perfect in every other way. 
  3. Consider sizing. Vintage clothing uses a different sizing system than most contemporary brands. Chances are, unless you shop only at elite designer boutiques, you will be a larger size in older clothing, especially if the garment was made in the 1970s or earlier. Keep your measuring tape on you when you shop to check garments, and write down your measurements (bust, waist, hip) ahead of time. Then compare.  
  4. Beware inflated pricing. Because buying vintage has become trendy, the prices of many articles of clothing in these venues has skyrocketed. What before was considered simply secondhand is now seen as items to covet. Chances are, the more trendy the boutique, the higher the costs of the clothing. These places sometimes offer vintage designer brands, and sometimes the prices are worth it. But donít be fooled. 1980s elastic waistband pants for $15? Skip it and find it at a yard sale for $2.  
  5. Buy by Decade. You may want to ďbuy by decadeĒ or consider which silhouettes were popular when. You may find that certain fashion silhouettes may compliment your body more than others. Below is a simple guide. Last weekís article goes into more detail on this. 
For Lean/tall women: The 1920s & 1960s. Straight line dresses that drape loosely down the body, short hemlines, turban hats, etc.  Much of 1960s Mod fashion is a revival of the 1920s flapper look. 
To accent curves: The 1930s and the 1950s. Circle skirts, sheath dresses, hourglass silhouette, high-waisted tapered slacks, etc. 
To accent shoulders: The 1940s & 1980s. Pencil skirts, wide trousers, oversized  blazers, shoulder pads, etc.
  1. Known where to go. Check your local paper for yard sales (usually Saturdays), estate sales, and flea markets (usually Sundays). Make sure to arrive as early as possible. Another option that many people donít consider are thrift/consignment shops connected to small churches that a simple Google search could point you to. And of course donít forget the better known thrift shops like Good Will and The Salvation Army.
  2. Consider dressing rooms. Depending on where you go, there may be no dressing rooms available. Wear a bathing suit or slip under your outfit and be sure that what you wear is easy to slip out of (so that youíre not hopping around in the middle of the store half dressed).

 

 

Chic Weekly: on-line Fashion & Sewing Magazine
Founder & Publisher: Judi Harris
Editor in Chief: Jessica Lynn Harris
Art & Photo Editor: Andrew DiMaio
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copyright 2010 - 2011 Love To Sew Studio
Article 47 Sept 5, 2011

 

 

 
 

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