The last few years have seen the popularity of vintage skyrocket with vintage inspired collections seen everywhere from Prada to Primark. But why has vintage become popular and how easy is it to inject a little into your wardrobe?
Vintage offers something for everyone. Wearing vintage does not have to be about recreating a look of a particular period, and it is often more fun to mix and match different eras to create your own unique look using vintage as the tools to do so. For example, I will happily mix bold printed 50s dresses with 70s jackets, 30s jewellery and new shoes.
There is no such thing as not being able to wear vintage. Vintage means you can pick elements you like from right across the past century. Personally I take great pleasure in wearing old clothes, and I love vintage because of the history behind each garment. Vintage offers the opportunity to form a strong emotional connection with your clothes. I find with buying vintage that I am less likely to get rid of my pieces and also that I look after them better than I may do some of my more modern pieces. If it has survived this long why not treasure it for a bit longer?
One of the problems people may find with vintage is how to look after clothes. If this is your fear then stick to fabrics like cotton that are easy to care for. If you are buying garments to wear rather than to form part of a collection there is no harm in buying a piece that is not in mint condition. Such pieces are often cheaper and sometimes this simply adds to the story of the garment. For example Coco Rocha wore Elizabeth Taylors jumpsuit to the recent met gala complete with wine stain. Rather than detracting from the aesthetic value of the piece this helped to give the piece an interesting narrative.
If you are in fear of wearing a particularly old garment though it is often easy to recreate the look of an earlier period with more modern garments. Fashion has always been cyclical. In the 80s for example they were borrowing the styling of the full skirted 50s dresses and in the 70s designers such as Ossie Clark paid homage to the bias slinky cuts of the 30s. This continuously plundering of the past by designers means that recreating an older look can be easier than I first appears.
Named brands are often highly collectible and expensive but not all vintage is quite so pricey. For example, in the 50s many women were still making their own clothes, which means it is often possible to pick up a homemade 50s dress for a fraction of the price of a branded 50s piece such as a Horrockses or a Blanes. I believe wearing vintage should be all about enjoyment and is a great form of self-expression. Wearing vintage has helped me stand out from the crowd, offered me exciting opportunities and helped me to make great new friends.
Guest Blogger Liz Tregenza is a vintage collector and fashion historian with a particular passion for the 50s. She has one of the largest collections of Horrockses dresses and dresses from her collection have featured in homes and antiques magazine. To find out more about Liz visit her blog or like her Advantage In Vintage page on facebook.