Today I have the charming Trudie from My Vintage Childhood guest posting. I was thrilled when Trudie took up my offer because I don't know a thing about wearing vintage but I have always loved it.
One of the comments I get a lot from friends, acquaintances and strangers, when I’m complimented on a vintage item or ensemble I might be wearing, is how they too wish they could wear vintage without looking like a try hard. Usually their second comment is when they suggest that they lack the ability to find vintage items that are suitable when op shopping. So with Rachel asking me to pop in to do a guest post, I thought I’d help those who would like the idea of wearing vintage or would like to give it ago, with a few tips and pointers.
Wearing vintage isn’t an all or nothing way of styling. Millions of people have been wearing vintage well before “vintage” became the popular term to refer to anything from a few seasons ago. When I refer to vintage or retro I’m generally referring to anything that is greater than 20 years old. Although I prefer items from the 1950’s – 1970’s, it doesn’t have to be about dressing in head to toe vintage, you can be selective. So I hope these tips help a little:
If you’re not sure that “vintage” is something you will embrace fully or it will even work with your current style, start small, start with jewellery. Scope out your local op shops, antiques centres and nanas jewellery box for old bangles, pendants and brooches. You don’t need to spend a fortune; costume jewellery can be picked up inexpensively from op shop and eBay like these brooches and pins that cost me only a few dollars each. I have interesting pieces in my collection and on further investigation of my favourite pieces (which is on loan at the moment to a friend), I discovered it was a 1950’s piece from a costume jewellery designer in Melbourne. So you truly can pick up genuine, unique pieces that are decades old by searching around. The great thing about jewellery is as women we all like to check out each other’s accessories and complement each other on interesting pieces. So my hottest tip is to give vintage accessories a go first.
· It goes without saying that if you’ve tried jewellery and you’re feeling brave why not give; bags, belts, scarves and shoes a go. There are few things I love more in this world of vintage then gorgeous bags (frocks come first). But a bag is a great investment piece to making an outfit pop. This tooled leather 1970’s bag, sure gets the compliments and works with a modern boho or full fledged vintage hippy look. So don’t be scared, give it ago, mix modern ways of styling with vintage pieces and that way you can still look relevant and on trend but a little unique.
· So if you’ve given the jewellery and accessories ago and you’re feeling confident that you can mix those pieces you now have with the modern aspects in your wardrobe, the next step is try some clothing. I would always suggest that you try a dress, there is so much variance in dresses in the world of vintage you can try, and dresses are so easy and versatile. From maxi dresses, houses dresses, day dresses, formal; and more from retro prints to high end vintage designer pieces spanning all the eras, you will surely find something that peaks your interests. Spend some time thinking about the colours, length, fit and prints you like. I’m a flower power lover so I rather fancy the bold colourful prints from the 1960 – 1970’s as well as some retro geometrics. So give some consideration to what you already have in your wardrobe to give you a hint towards the prints and colours you might like.
But now you’re probably asking but where do I find all these items, you’re suggesting Trudie. In fact you’re probably saying you’ve tried op shops and they don’t turn up anything but everyone else’s rejects from last season. If you’re new to trying vintage I’d suggest trying vintage boutiques, antique centres and reputable online dealers. In these situations you know that these business owners are well versed in the world of vintage and curetting a selection which you can be assured is genuinely vintage. Yes you will pay more than op shop prices, but it is a great place to start, even just window shopping to develop an eye for indentifying what you like and what is and isn’t genuinely vintage. Once you’ve developed your eye for vintage you will be able to spot potential vintage greatness in an op shop at a quick glance.
So there you go I hope that gives those wanting to give vintage a go a starting point to what undoubtedly (at least in my opinion) can become an obsession. Finally for those in the greater South East Queensland area if you find yourself in Brisbane, a great place to immerse yourself in a world of all things vintage and retro from jewellery, accessories, clothing, home wares, memorabilia and so, so, so much more is the Woolloongabba Antique Centre (otherwise known as the WAC to us crazy vintage lovers).
Thank you so much Trudie for sharing with us. You can find Trudie at My Vintage Childhood.