Friday, 22 May 2015

Buying Vintage: What You Need to Know

We all know I love vintage, and I encourage others to buy vintage too. It’s better for the environment, and you end up buying something that none else you know will own. It’s the best, most guaranteed way to look cool and unique. But what do you need to know before you go out and buy vintage? Read on to find out…

Some Things are Reworked

Some stores can be a little misleading with the way they word things. I’m not sure if they do this on purpose, or if they just think novice buyers will know what they mean. Some pieces will be referred to as vintage, when they have actually been re-worked. This means that vintage material has been used to make a different garment, or that the garment has been customised and altered quite a bit. There’s nothing wrong with this of course, it’s simply giving it a new lease of life. However, you should know this before you hand over your cash!

You May Need to Alter it

If you find the perfect vintage garment, it makes no sense to leave it on the shelf and think about it for weeks afterwards. Don’t worry if it doesn't fit quite right or it isn’t the right shape; you can alter it. Either do this yourself if you’re confident with a sewing machine, or take it to a trusted tailor. This is especially important if you’re using a piece for a wedding or a big event. You can then get a lot of wear out of your new favourite piece!

Check the Fabric for Faults

Don’t assume that every piece of vintage that is being sold in shops is a quality piece. Some shops will try to get away with selling faulty items, or items with wear and tear. It’s usually up to you to find these yourself. If you notice the price is a bit low for a piece, it’s a wise idea to check carefully for faults. Even if the price isn’t low, double check and check again. You don’t want to be overcharged or end up with a piece that is unwearable.

It’s OK to Buy Modern ‘Vintage’ Sometimes

On occasion, I buy modern clothes that look vintage. I don’t do this much mind; only when I can’t find the perfect vintage piece I’m looking for. Aran Sweaters Direct do some great traditional Irish sweaters that I haven’t found anywhere else.

Be Prepared to Take Care of Your Vintage

You can’t treat your vintage like you treat the rest of your clothes. NO floordrobes whatsoever if you plan on buying vintage clothing. You need to be prepared to look after your vintage. You can’t keep it in plastic like some items, as it can damage the fabric.

Gauging Authenticity

You need to make sure that the vintage clothing you’re buying is authentic. Some people consider 90s clothing to be vintage, others don’t. You need to decide what you’re happy with at the end of the day, but it’ll help you to be able to tell what comes from where. There are lots of guides online to help you!

Happy shopping!

Thursday, 14 May 2015

How To Bring Vintage To Your Wedding

Finding the right vintage look can easily become a hobby you enjoy for life. You may spend several hours each week searching eBay or vintage fayres to find pieces that you like. You and your partner may find the draw of vintage a joint interest that enhances your relationship. Having a joint interest in life certainly does help love blossom. You may both be ready to take the next step in your relationship. Committing your lives to each other is a big step. Now is the time to start considering how you can formally come together in your favorite vintage style.

For those of you keen to keep the vintage gal in you alive, shopping for the right engagement ring can be incredibly challenging. This is the one piece of jewelry that we might be the most reluctant to accept second hand. Fortunately, there are some incredible designers out there. Some produce diamond rings with all the glamor of vintage - just perfect for an engagement. You can find some of those designer engagement rings here or by searching online. If you or your partner prefer to keep the ring a surprise until the proposal, try dropping some hints about the kind of designs that you like.

As avid collectors of all things vintage, you may already have visited one or two vintage festival weddings. These are great for inspiration. Take your time to find the right pieces for your big day. When vintage is such a big part of your life, it's important to incorporate it into your big day. Even if you can’t find the right dress out there, you may find photos or illustrations to allow you to design your own. If handicrafts are not your thing, you can usually find someone keen to take the project on at a local education or community center. You could commission a professional to produce something glamorous enough for a 1940s movie star.

If you have a large social circle from your vintage interests, consider finding a venue for an outdoor wedding. You may also want to celebrate announcing your engagement. You can do this anywhere you like, but some people like to let their family know first. If you are having a big party, you can request that everyone comes in a particular vintage style. You might choose 1940s or 1920s as your theme. It can be great fun putting together the right playlists for music, and finding old recipes for dishes that were popular in that era.

While some people may call it a ‘theme’ wedding, walking up the aisle in vintage clothing is about your lifestyle. You wear your style daily, and you incorporate aspects of a bygone era into your life as much as possible. Don’t settle for second best on this important day, and be sure to hire a great photographer to capture everything. For vintage lovers, the style choices are about beauty, refinement, and elegance. What better day to show it all off than your own wedding day. Congratulations!

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Get creative with vintage accessories

Vintage clothing comes in a variety of beautiful patterns and fabrics. From delicate floral prints to bold retro patterns, there is something for every outfit! You can use vintage fabrics as accessories and make your outfits show your personal style. Read on to find out how we’d style these two gorgeous dress styles with a few added accessories.

This adorable shift dress is a classic example of 60’s styling. We think it’d look great in a cute pink colour, as softer colours compliment the feminine tailoring of a shift dress. A dress such as this would be perfectly complemented with a simple scarf tied in a large loose pussy bow. Alternatively, you could simply throw on a scarf and wrap it around for instant glamour! Pick a fabric that’s light so that it doesn’t overpower the dress.

Another way to include a scarf is to use it as a head scarf. Now there is a variety of ways to tie a head scarf. If you want to mix up your style, you could use a bandana to tie your hair up in a rockabilly fashion. If you want to go for a blast from a past, trying a 40’s style land girl style with some pinned curls is the way to go. You can also go for the classic Hollywood movie star look, and cover the majority of your hair with a scarf, just leaving a few curls out at the front.

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A gorgeous pink satin fabric would look wonderful as a headscarf with the pink shift dress, for a very cute daytime outfit. If you’re still looking for the perfect way to tie your scarf, Retro Chick has a variety of different tutorials on her YouTube channel. We loved the way she used a scarf in her 1940’s tutorial.


Although this dress is simply stunning on its own, you can still accessorise to make your own. You can adjust the hemline on many vintage dresses so they are your perfect length. To draw more attention to your waist, you can use lovely fabrics as a belt to give you an hourglass figure. For a more dreamy outfit, simply tying a light colored organza fabric around the waist with a bow to the front (or the side), leaving some fabric to hang down is perfect.  

If you’re feeling brave, adding a pop of colour adds personality and makes a statement. You may not think of dance fabrics immediately when you come to choose your belt. However, they come in a variety of colours and are often stretchy so you can get a good fit. If you don’t want to tie it, you can use a belt buckle and follow this tutorial to make your own no-sew belt. It’s easy to follow and adapt to your style.

Are you feeling inspired to use fabrics to accessorise your outfits? Don’t be afraid to choose fabrics with patterns and colours and to think outside the box. If you need more inspiration for your outfit choices, try browsing some of our previous spring/summer trends.