Sourcing Vintage Dresses

One of the things I have most missed about lockdown has been the chance to walk around Charity shops looking for a vintage bargain. I have been shopping online and have rediscovered eBAY all over again, buying lots of vintage and antique jewellery, but that thrill you get when you discover a genuine 1970’s dress for a few pounds has been sorely missing.

I love vintage dresses for a number of reasons, the main one being that as you are not following fashion, you buy an item that you can pretty much wear forever. I love the idea that someone else once wore it and loved it, and the fact that you wont be bumping into anyone else wearing it. Plus, when you feel that the High Street is letting you down (anyone else really bored with the shapeless, frumpy buffet dresses just yet) you can find your inspiration in the dresses of a bygone age.

Here is a guide to where you can source vintage dresses.

From a Charity Shop

For 70’s, 80’s and 90’s looks you need to look no further than charity shops which often have these more recent vintage items in abundance, usually in decent condition. All the dresses below were recent, pre lockdown finds, and I have so many more that I haven’t paid more than £10 for.

From a Vintage Shop

Vintage shops are a little more expensive as you are paying for an item that has been especially curated for you. You may find something older – 1950’s or 1960’s, and you also have the advantage of knowing you are supporting a small, independent business as well as finding something beautiful and unique. I love Only Joe’s in Barmouth, Cow Vintage in Birmingham, and lots of smaller independent stores in Lincoln.

From a Vintage Fayre

Under normal circumstances, Vintage fayres take place all around the Country. I often go to the ones held at The Manor House Museum and find the prices to be reasonable with a chance to haggle if you want more than one item.

From a car boot sale

Not always the best pickings, but definitely the best price, the 1970’s dress below was one of three that I purchased for 50p each. Car boots are also a great place to find vintage handbags and jewellery, especially paste brooches.

Buy Modern Retro

If you really can’t face rummaging, or frankly turn your nose up at vintage clothing, you can get the look in certain High Street stores. These are vintage style dresses that I have found in Peacocks and Primark, with the Pearl Lowe for Peacocks dress in particular a real favourite that I have pretty much worn forever.

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