Vintage Fashion Finds

It seems an age since I brought you a post looking at my vintage fashion finds, but lately, I find myself wearing more and more vintage pieces. I don’t have a favourite era when it comes to vintage finds, and I tend not to wear them in a particularly retro style, preferring to mix the vintage and the modern to create looks that could work anywhere, at any time.

Vintage is still relatively easy to find if you know what you are looking for and where to look. Charity shops often have vintage sections now, or the stuff is just nestling on the rails, in particular labels like M&S (look for those St Michael labels) and Dorothy Perkins (this is a store that has been going for years and years.) 1980s fashions are not always classed as vintage, but as 1980 is now almost 40 years ago I think they definitely pass, and these are easy to find – so many large shoulder pads, elasticated waists and belts and large prints to be picked up really cheaply.

I find most of my best finds in charity shops, this month alone I have found a Burberrys (not Burberry until quite recently) classic mackintosh and a pair of lotus brown leather platforms from the 1970s. The Burberrys Mac was £15 and is an amazing buy, whilst the shoes were £4. (You can see both below). My favourite town for real bargains is West Bromwich, where £1 seems to be the average price paid. I once got an Escada polo neck jumper for £1 and almost ran out the shop as I felt I should’ve been wearing a stripy top and a mask, it was that much of a steal.

There are so many preconceptions about vintage. One is that you can only buy vintage if you are size 8. This is frankly untrue, there are some amazing plus size pieces out there, and, as you can see from my piccies, I haven’t been a size 10 in years. Another preconception is that the clothes smell. I find that most of the stuff I find in charity shops has been laundered, and if not, it is worth a dry clean for the saving you are making, and the feel of buying something original, that no-one else will be wearing,

Featured here are some of the vintage buys I have picked up in shops. My fave vintage shop is Ego, based in Lincoln. It’s where I found the lovely Edith Flagg blue dress from the 1960s that is just so lovely. I teamed it with Mary Portas for Clarks shoes (another charity shop find) and a modern Topshop clutch from this season – proof you can mix and match your eras with ease.

Do you ever shop vintage?

Charity shop finds, a vintage blouse (1970s) and a pleated, school style skirt. (1980s?)

Early 1960s Edith Flagg dress from Ego (£14) worn with Mary Portas for Clarks shoes (charity Shop) and Topshop Clutch bag.

Modern outfit from H&M and Day Birger et Mikkelsen worn with 1970s Italian leather vintage shoes.

1970s day dress, £1 from West Bromwich charity shop.

Early 1980s pleated skirt, £1 from charity shop, worn with Carvela 1980s shoes (£1.99).

1970s Bettina of London dress from Charity Shop (£4.00)

More Vintage Finds

Skirt £1.00. 1970s.

Vintage Jaeger Knitwear

Lotus brown leather 1970s platforms £4.00

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Sourcing vintage and antique jewellery

When it comes to sparkly things, I am a bit of a magpie. I love jewellery, whether it be the costume and paste variety, or the real thing. But one thing unites all my favourite pieces of jewellery – it is vintage and antique pieces that I love the most. I love the idea that something so beautiful may also have a provenance, a story behind it, that it may have been super special to the person who first owned it. I wear my nan’s gold and diamond engagement ring every single day, knowing that it replaced a ration era thin band of gold and so was much loved and cherished, a symbol of times that were changing and improving. Only vintage and antique jewellery can hold stories like this.

The Real Thing

Finding really unusual and beautiful antique gemstone and precious metal pieces in perfect condition can be quite difficult, so it is best to consult an expert. Where else to head except Hatton Garden, the jewellery capital in the capital. Berganza is a good port of call, specialising in antique and vintage jewellery, including engagement rings that have now become super popular for those who want something that is a little different to modern designs. Berganza is the place to go if you have a reasonable budget and you want to get that unforgettable, show-stopping piece.

Art Nouveau Era ring - amazing.

Art Nouveau Era ring – amazing.

The colour of this stone.

The colour of this stone.

Costume and paste jewellery

If your budget does not stretch to the real thing, you can find some really interesting pieces of costume and paste vintage jewellery without breaking the bank. Vintage stores and Antique fairs can have rich pickings, but you can also find great pieces at jumble sales, charity shops and car boot sales. I wore a set of Austrian crystals on my wedding day that were from the 1960s and just sparkled so brightly with my dress. Names to look out for include Trifari, early Butler and Wilson, Monet (some really brilliant 1980s classics out there) and Lisner. But if you love it, and the price is right, you can pick up something that will become really special to you.

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1960s perspex necklace

1960s perspex necklace

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That brooch in that last picture cost a grand total of 95p. It is definitely worth looking around – you may just find a lovely bargain.

Where to find vintage fashion and accessories

Vintage fashion, and shopping for vintage fashion, just happen to be two of my favourite pastimes. This post is dedicated to sharing some of the best places for finding vintage fashion, along with sharing some of my favourite vintage pieces.

Where to shop for Vintage

Charity Shops

Admittedly, I don’t think charity shops are as good for rich pickings as they were in the past, but many charity shops, for instance, Oxfam, do have areas of their stores that are dedicated to vintage. Charity shops are good because they tend to be cheaper that specialist vintage shops, and yet they can be full of real bargains. I have recently found vintage Clarks shoes and M&S St Michael label pieces, both were less than £3.

Vintage M&S St Michael label skirt.

Vintage M&S St Michael label skirt.

Vintage skirt £2 from Age Concern shop

Vintage skirt £2 from Age Concern shop

Vintage Shops

There are now lots of proper vintage stores popping up, selling beautifully curated pieces that are often in perfect condition. Shrewsbury is one of my favourite places for vintage stores, with both Maggie Mae’s Vintage and Vintage being two shops I love to visit. I also love the town of Machynlleth in Wales, a treasure trove of junk and antique shops. I found a great 1950s faux fur in The Emporium, and wore it to death last winter.

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Online Vintage stores

Online vintage stores are also growing in popularity and interest levels. These websites have already taken all the legwork out of vintage shopping, and have wonderful curated collections ready to buy. Shpirulina is just such a site, offering free worldwide shipping and a 30 day money back guarentee. The Shpirulina website is brilliant in that it is arranged by both item and size, and also by decade, with ranges that go from the 1950s right up to the 1990s – am I the only one feeling old that youngsters now class that as Vintage?

The pieces from the Shpirulina online vintage store arrive clean and ready to wear, and are in great condition. I was recently sent a stunning dress that is a perfect example of how the 1980s stole from the 1930/40s era. With this season’s pleated skirt, sleeves and a beautifully pattern almost etched in the silver fabric, this dress would be a standout piece for a special occasion and is definitely trans-seasonal. I styled the dress with a vintage box bag and an old pair of wedge shoes, both in a red shade that I thought would look stunning against silver.

Vintage style from Shpirulina

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Vintage Fairs

Vintage Fairs can be a fab day put. They often have entertainment, afternoon teas and demonstrations as well as vintage clothes and accessories. Prices can vary, but you can pick up pretty clothes and accessories, as well as homewares too. At the last fair I went to, I got a dress, jumper and skirt for £7 – bargain!

Skirt £2 from vintage fair

Skirt £2 from vintage fair

Car Boot Sales

I love car boot sales. I find them to be a brilliant place for finding vintage paste jewellery (especially large brooches) and 1950s style bags (all boxy shapes and gold clasps.) I have also found some great items of clothing –  got a lovely 1960s crimplene pencil skirt for just 50p and have worn it loads since.

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1960s Crimplene skirt found for 50p on a car boot sale

 

Car boot sale bag - love this one!

Car boot sale bag – love this one!