Love for Vintage

Vintage

Just recently, I started developing this love for vintage things. It first started out with this vintage Coach small purse bag, then I won at an ebay auction this really nice vintage looking Fendi crossbody bag, next I acquired a vintage Just Cavalli printed jeans which I super love, then a leather wallet from Brighton Collectibles that may not be vintage but can be passed on as one because of its simplicity and elegance, I’m also keeping an eye on this vintage Prada black nylon shoulder bag (which won’t probably be mine), and next thing I knew I’m searching for vintage tops and more vintage jeans. This is certainly a big shift from my very much loved modern style. Born of the Generation Y, I’m not really a big fan of the classics and most especially the retros.

Love for vintage is not really strange or unusual. In fact, through the years, there are a lot of people who collects vintage items with cars as the most popular amongst the rest because of its whopping value. Some are even acquired at a damaged state thus the new owner needs to have it repaired. There are even vintage shops opened to trade specific vintage items.

To better examine what of the vintage look really appeals to me (and to a lot of others) let us first define the word vintage itself. Vintage, in general, may refer to a lot of things including, but not limited to, wine (of which it was originally intended to), cars, cloths, accessories, and stamps, but its primary definition remains as old, recognized and enduring interest, importance or quality (quoted from Joel Wright). Moreover, this word can only be used to explicitly refer to an item that is existing for the past 20 years and more.

Authentic Vintage vs. Vintage Reproduction

Technically, vintage clothes refer to hand-me-down or secondhand clothing. However, its meaning had gradually changed through time. It can now refer to either the original meaning or those patterned after the previous era’s fashion style. Although both follow the same style, it is important to note that this does not mean that both have the same market or users.

Authentic Vintage

Authentic vintage clothes are those that had been produced not less than 20 years ago but not past 1920s. To be more accurate, collectors are looking into clothes produced from 1920s-1980s. Its rare, if not impossible, to find a collector looking into 1990s vintage clothes. Authentic vintage are clothes that were made at smaller quantity and with a lot of attention to details. The garments and materials used to make these are also produced one at a time thus, if translated into the modern currency, it is too expensive. This is also why these clothes are able to survive through the years.

Although authentic vintage clothes are usually used, there are instances, very rare, wherein one finds an unused, not exactly new, ones. However, a buyer should always be careful when buying a vintage item. The demand for these might be smaller compared to the new ones but because of the increase in demand for vintage through the years there was also an increase in the number of counterfeits or fakes circulating. It is always best to know what are the signs of an authentic brand before plunging into purchasing it.

What really made authentic vintage a high value to the collectors and buyers is the fact that these were actually crafted by the original iconic founder/designer themselves, the said pillars of the fashion industry. Although used, its actually hard to find these vintage clothes especially those from the famous designers.

The Pros

  • It’s cheap. Its cheaper than its original value that is but, depending on the designer and era, it could also be more expensive than a brand new one you’ll find in your favorite boutique.
  • It’s unique. Since it is not being produced in the present period anymore and its production is just few you can expect that you won’t bump into someone of the same outfit.
  • It’s timeless. As said earlier, the fashion trend is just  repetitive cycle so you won’t need to worry of being out-of-place but then you must know how to mix and match. As blogger Paris Lux Design pointed out, the key to wearing vintage is to combine it with modern items.
  • It saves the environment. Its been produced long time ago so it won’t be adding harm to the environment.
  • Very good quality. Its been years and yet its still existing so that accounts for its quality. Plus, its not mass produced so the maker was able to inspect it thoroughly. And what more is that the materials used before were actually of better quality than the present.
  • True signature item. ITs crafted by the famous designer of the past era, you got them to deign your outfit, never mind that some are long dead already. Isn’t that amazing?

The Cons

  • It’s used. Expect that there is a sign of usage, whether minimal or not. Some may have odors, stains, missing article, and damage.
  • It’s hard to find an authentic one. Whether online or at the shop, there are a lot of fake vintage.
  • It’s delicate. Although not all, remember that even though it is made of highest quality the basic way of washing in past era is still hand washing. It is safe to hand wash it the first time and see just how delicate it is. If okay for machine wash, just mix it with your regular clothes but do not put it in the dryer.
  • It may need to be tailored. The measurement of vintage clothes differs from the presents and couture clothes are custom fitted to the original owner of the item. There will be instances wherein you will need to have it tailored to best fit you.

Where to buy

Before going through the list, it is very important to note that you need to know how to check for authenticity before purchasing.

  • Shop online via ebay (only if you have an idea on what you want in the first place), Etsy , Designer Vintage (highly recommended if you have a designer in mind and want to get into specifics) and Asos Marketplace (highly recommended if you want a specific era or label). Besides ebay, the last 3 are really quite helpful online shops if you’re looking for authentic vintage for the first time.
  • Browse to the numerous clothes on display at your local thrift shop. This one is the hardest way especially if you do not have a specific brand in mind especially if you’re not that well verse with the brands of past era.
  • Go to the nearest vintage shop. There are just very few of these and most are situated in USA.
  • A person you know might have something for sale.

Buying Reminders

Whether you opted to go to a thrift shop or shop online, inspecting the item is always a must considering this is a used one.

What to look for while inspecting garments:

  • Check for wear on knees, elbows, backsides, hems and cuffs.
  • Look for fading or discoloration.
  • Make sure all seams are properly sewn. If not, this is generally an easy fix as long as there is enough seam allowance and the fabric is in good condition.
  • Inspect for stains.
  • Sniff the fabric for odors. Most smells can be removed with a good washing or dry cleaning, but a smoky smell might be difficult to get rid of.
  • Look for tearing and rips in places other than seams.
  • Check for pilling, felting or threadbare areas.
  • Inspect the garment for moth holes. If you purchase something with moth holes, wash it in hot water or have your dry cleaner treat it to remove any larvae that might still be in the fabric.
  • Look at how securely any embellishment is attached.

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Vintage Reproduction

Because of the continuous rise in demand for vintage styles, reproductions had been made that are patterned or styled after designs of past era. Some were even tweaked to give it a modern twist. A vintage inspired clothing may be branded or unbranded, expensive or affordable, came from the high street or small shops. In order to lessen the cost of production, vintage reproductions are mass produced whether it be a designer one or not. It may come in different sizes, colors, and fabric.

Although called vintage, a collector will never refer to it as one. To a collector, this will be of no value as it is of different craftsmanship and produced at a different era. However, people who are uncomfortable with used or old clothes would prefer this over the other. And there are also times when these are cheaper than an authentic vintage.

The Pros

  • It is clean. At most, it was fitted by a handful of persons before you brought it but it was never worn outside the boutique or store.
  • Free of defects unless you buy it at a discounted price because of the defect. Otherwise, you are assured that all buttons are in place, the stitching is intact, no missing embelishments, and complete tags.
  • You can choose one amongst the varied sizes available that fits you perfectly.
  • You can choose the color you desire amongst the collection.
  • It is new. You can wear it without worrying if you’ll look like from another era.

The Cons

  • There are a number of the same outfit circulating. You may bump into someone who have the same clothes as you.
  • The quality is not as good as that of an authentic vintage. Depending on the brand, the clothes may last from a few months to a few years.
  • Unless it is a gown or custom made, the details are not as intricate.

Where to buy

  • Boutiques, stores, bazaars, and department stores. You will find one anywhere.
  • Online. Whether you go to ebay, Macy’s, Kohls, or some other online store.
  • Discount stores. You will usually find old or defective stocks here.
  • Thrift shops. Surprising, there are actually some in thrift shops but the clothe might be dirty so just clean it.

vintage

Whether you’re a lover of authentic vintage or vintage reproductions, keep in mind that there are still fashion trends to avoid. For me, those are:

  • shoulder pads – unless you want to be the next Lady Gaga
  • harem pants – got one years ago and so totally regretting it.
  • elephant pants – need I say more?
  • mullet skirt and tops – if its trending it’ll only last for 1 month.
  • platform sneakers – sneakers are made for comfort and that’s it.
  • fanny pack or waist pouch – no matter what you say it is so unflattering.
  • saggy pants – who wants to wear them?
  • uber flare pants – this is so totally Elvis Presley time.
  • furry boots and fur in general – unless you’re a celebrity, there is no way it will fit in any occasion.
  • disco pants – they’re a new trend and they’re super skinny and shiny? Yes, this is a nightmare that will go away soon, I swear.

As I said earlier, I’m looking for vintage tops and jeans online. I’d been scurrying the net for these items for quite some time now. There are a lot that I would like to get my hands on but majority are not available for sale. Anyways, of all the vintage items I saw online here are my top 5 list:

5. Town and Country 1950s top

Town and Country 1950s

Although one of the oldest brands, this one could be mistaken as a new design. This lovely top would be great for parties and events.

4. Elsa Schiaparelli beaded wool jacket 1940

Elsa Schiaparelli beaded wool jacket 1940

The embellishments are what got me attracted to this one. This would be a lovely topper to any casual or formal attire.

3. Enid Collins Jeweled Carriage Trade Purse

Enid Collins Jeweled Carriage Trade Purse

I love tote bags and I fell in love with this one at first site. Although the money tree is Enid Collins’ most popular tote, I still love this more because of its fun yet classy design. This would make a nice accessory to any dress.

2. Ossie Clark Black & Gold Gown

Ossie Clark Black & Gold Gown

I just love how the design is so simple yet very attractive. Instead of wearing it as a gown, I was thinking of having it cut and turned into a dress shirt. It would be a perfect match for jeans and leggings.

1. 1958 Chanel dress

Chanel dress 1958

Of course the design of the most iconic woman in the fashion industry, Chanel, would never be missing in my list. This classic dress just screams Chanel (and somehow Katy Perry, hahaha). This would be a lovely dress for any occassion.

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