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.

    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

    Coming soon! The Louisville KY, Cinderella Project

    Check out this event if you live in the area. Remember if you have an event for the donation of and receiving of low cost or free gowns coming up for formal dances and prom let me know so we can announce it here. Contact the Louisville Chums for the complete details. This is such a wonderful concept, to give and receive, and everybody feels great!

    Check out the big list of free and low cost gowns here . If you have or know of others please let me know so I can add you.

    prom gowns

    Free and Low Cost Gowns

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    Remember the list is always being updated (click here!) as I find mentions of these services. Plus if you know of one not listed here let me know! I hope this can help people have a great night and not miss out because of costs!

    Find Wonderful Fashions for Less

    Daily photo by Jonathan PalmerYou’ll never know what you can find at a thrift or vintage store if you don’t look! Check out this amazing article to see the kind of wonderful fashions you can find, yes even for formal events and Prom! Imagine too the things you can get for everyday at amazing prices. You are also helping charities in many cases too. So if you can’t afford a gown or tuxedo don’t despair just get looking. Department stores are not the only places you can find fashions like these. Why miss a wonderful night because the mall shops are too expensive there are alternatives and as you can see by this article you can find wonderful things. You friends may even be envious you found so much for so little!

    Armed with fashion, Spring looks at bargain prices at Salvation Army fashion show
    By Patrice Stewart pstewart@decaturdaily.com

    Maythion Casteel of Falkville got his first chance as a fashion model Saturday and bought the Brooks Brothers suit he wore for just $6.

    To brighten the black suit, he spent another $3 for a purple dress shirt by D’Amante.

    This bargain buy and others could have been yours if you moved quickly after the fashion show presented by the Salvation Army’s thrift store in Decatur.
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