5 Tips for Shopping for Vintage Fashions

What is Vintage? Essentially, ‘vintage’ is just another name for second-hand clothing, but it can be expensive. Antique flapper dresses from the 1920s and original Raoul Dufy designs are gorgeous, but discovering unique pieces doesn’t have to be expensive.

  • Thrift Shopping If your funds are limited, but you are adventurous, try thrift store shopping. It sometimes takes effort, depending on how the shop is set up and organized, but the results can be very rewarding. My most recent finds were a full length Eileen Fisher silk skirt and a vintage Valentino Boutique Couture Blouse (tags still on) for $17.00, total. Another trip netted me several silk designer scarves (Echo, Ferragamo, Valentino, Liberty of London among them) for $20.00 total for the bagful. Even if I had the money for these at retail, I would choose to spend those 100’s of dollars on other things. I love owning a beautiful designer piece, but love even more that I own them, and spent so little.

  • The List The key to a successful shopping trip is to go with a piece (or pieces) in mind, otherwise it can be overwhelming. Do you need a skirt for a special event, a belt to freshen up a t-shirt and jeans look, or a silk blouse to brighten a dull business suit? This way you can scan shelves and racks for the colors and textiles you want, and only pull those items out. It is safe to say, if you are looking for a black slip dress, you can skip the obvious yellow neon plaid and green striped numbers.

  • Choose Well Build up a list of ideas whenever you go out and come up with your own thrift shopping rules. Steer clear of anything stained rather than just a little dusty, and things with the strong scent of mothballs should be avoided because that scent will never come out 100%. Tiny holes can be mended if they are not very visible, you want to look good not like a little rag doll (unless that is your personal look). Fabric and pattern choices should fit your current wardrobe if you want to incorporate it in everyday use. Choose the wilder looks for parties and special events.

  • Patience Give yourself time. You may not find the perfect piece the first time, or the second, but the third time you might. Take the time to build a perfect wardrobe. Explore the shops and flea markets and if you find yourself frequenting one shop, introduce yourself to the owner and ask if they will give you a call the minute new things come in.

  • Accessories If you’re still unsure about ‘second-hand clothes’, just shop for accessories. Bags, belts and scarves are easily incorporated into an everyday wardrobe. Finding pretty pieces sometimes takes as much dedication as scanning for clothing, but when you find that perfect pair of 1960’s pink rhinestone basket earrings for $2.00 you’ll be converted. Then you just might look around and take a chance on a new ruffled tuxedo shirt or a fun 1970’s mini skirt, and you’ll never see shopping the same way again. Look at it this way, it’s closet of fashion you can raid without mom and grandmom getting mad at you!

    Socially Responsible Shopping Thrifting and vintage shopping is also a great way to recycle. With so many beautiful fashions in thrift and vintage shops you may be able to find what you need and in essence recycle a well-made garment. If the current trends aren’t your taste, you may find past looks in great condition. If you are like me, and dress to express yourself, not follow the trends to the letter, then I think you’ll be very happy. Many thrift shops benefit charities too, so in some cases just by shopping, you’ll be doing a good deed. Just get out there and look!
    Photo, vintagevibes.com

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  • Modern Lady, Vintage Style

    thandie-newton-picture-6.jpgThandie Newton has the right idea when it comes to fashion. In a recent news item she says vintage clothes are not only glorious, but a great way to recycle. Thandie is known for her passion in making the world greener. Why buy new things when there are so many lovely fashions in vintage and thrift stores already? Her tastes may be vintage but her ideas are very modern.

    Thandie Newton has said she can’t understand why people buy new clothes when there is so much great vintage material out there.
    She said that she loves buying secondhand clothes because of the benefits for the environment: “It is grotesque how out of control manufacturing has become, and the excess, the pollution that’s caused by it.”
    “Vintage [fashion] is not only glorious and stylish, it’s also the way forward in terms of recycling.”
    “Whenever I go into great vintage stores, I wonder why we ever buy new things.” Source: fametastic.co.uk

    Remember to check out Thandie in her new film Run Fatboy Run with Simon Pegg.

    “Frock Me!” Vintage Fashion Event in June, London

    Frock Me! on June 8th is a vintage fashion event that is held in London several times a year at the Chelsea Town Hall. In addition to clothing, pick up accessories such as hats, shoes, gloves and jewellery from a retro era.

    And according to Frock Me! organizers, vintage clothing attracts a diverse clientele, from stylists and models to fashion students and collectors and even stage and film costume designers.

    Those looking to mingle with designers and celebrities may well spot them rummaging for fashion one-offs in the crowd as items can reportedly be found to suit “all tastes and budgets”.

    Stocking items from a range of eras including the 1920s, 1950s and 1960s, period Pucci, Lanvin and Chanel items are all among those likely to be found at Frock Me!
    Ckick here for more info: “Frock Me” Vintage Fashion Event

    Vintage Fashion Fair in London April 6

    Are you going? I have a feeling this one is going to be even more amazing than the last. The Vintage Fashion Fair will be held on Sunday 6th April in Notting Hill.
    Anita Bott founded this one after the end of her previous partnership with Battersea Vintage Fashion Fairs. Anita’s Vintage Fashion Fairs (AVFF) organizes six fairs a year and features vintage clothing, textiles and accessories dating from 1800 to 1970. Everything from vintage buttons, braids and trimmings to stage costumes and high fashion can be found at the Vintage Fair.
    She is hoping to make this the Number One Vintage Fair in the UK and is off to a great start because AVFF was voted 16th out of Vogue’s 100 ‘Guide to the Greatest Shops off the Beaten Track’.
    Click here for more info: Anita’s Vintage Fashion Fairs

    Beautiful Modest Gown Contest Winner

    emmaline.jpg Modest By Design has their 2007 winners posted and they are wonderful entries. It will be fun to see the dress made real like last year’s black and white stunner. Congratz to all and hope you had fun!

    Read the cool article below for more about the Modest by Design’s fashion show which spotlights lovely designs and announces the winner of their competition.

  • Search for more Modest Gowns and Dresses

    Modesty finds a niche in marketplace
    By Brittanie Morris
    Salt Lake Tribune

    Backstage at Thanksgiving Point’s red show barn, girls hustled to slip into evening gowns of all colors, shapes and sizes before the Modesty in Motion fashion show began.
    More

  • Another Project Prom, in Boston!

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    Welcome to Project Prom. Our judges chose the top four dress concepts submitted by local fashion design college students, and now each designer will have $500 from Fabric Place and one month to bring her sketch to life. Four high schoolers will win the custom gowns and get to show them off in a Macy’s fashion show and in the May 13 Globe Magazine.

    See the designs chosen to compete and see interviews with the contestants. Good luck to all! Any other contests inspired by Project Runway like this out there? Let me know!

    Duct tape Stuck at Prom contest

    camouflage_gaffers_tape_180.jpgThis looks like fun! You could win scholarship money for you and your school!

    The 2007 Duck brand duct tape Stuck at Prom Scholarship Contest challenges high school students to create and accessorize their prom formalwear with duct tape.

    Entries must be received by June 8. Go to www.stuckatprom.com for rules and registration.

  • Participants must submit an entry form and a photo of themselves wearing the duct tape prom formalwear.

  • Entries can be submitted at www.stuckatprom.com or mailed to: Stuck at Prom Contest; c/o Henkel Corp.; 32150 Just Imagine Drive; Avon, OH 44011-1355.

  • Ten couples will be chosen as finalists by judges who are looking at workmanship, originality, use of colors, accessories and quantity of tape used. Online public voting will decide the winning couple. Voting is June 15-24.

  • Winners will be announced on or around July 11. The winning couple will receive a $6,000 ($3,000 for each person) cash scholarship for college, and $3,000 will be awarded to the high school hosting the winning couple’s prom. Second-place winners will each receive a $2,000 scholarship, with the high school also receiving $2,000. The third-place couple each will win a $1,000 scholarship, and the high school will get $1,000.

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