A Celebration of Vintage

Shopping for vintage, to me, is a bit like a treasure hunt.  It's a move away from the same old, same old of the high street (though don't get me wrong, I still love a good high street find!) and an exciting way to think outside the box when it comes to fashion.  I love to wander Brick Lane and Notting Hill on the look out for that perfect find, so you can imagine my excitement when I heard that vintage was coming to the Southbank Centre in London this month!

Part of the Festival of Britain celebrations sponsored by MasterCard, Vintage at Southbank is a three-day event running from Friday, 29th July through Sunday, 31st July with all things vintage music, fashion, film, art and design.  Basically, one big, gorgeously dressed party  :)  Catwalk shows, make-overs and a marketplace with over 250 sellers.  Yeah, I'm pumped.  You can buy your tickets here...maybe I'll see you there!

Shopping for vintage is a skill, and one that I am still working on myself.  So I thought I would share some tips for shopping vintage:

- Know your measurements.  Vintage sizes on labels tend to fit much smaller than sizes today so best to know your measurements and get the actual measurements of the piece you are looking at.

- Be impulsive.  The fun of vintage is that these are unique pieces that you (probably) will only find once.  If love something, get it because chances are you won't see it again!

- Learn about vintage clothing and styles.  The better versed you are, the more you will get out of the experience and that kinds of things that you will end up buying.

- Check garments THOROUGHLY.  Do zips and hooks work?  Are there any stains (always check the armpits)?  Are there any odors?  Pulls?  Tears?  Holes?  Fraying seams?  If they are things that you think you can fix, try to negotiate.  Otherwise, let it go, it's not worth it.

- Allow time and have patience.  Vintage shopping, like I said, is a bit of a treasure hunt.  There is a lot of digging and looking beneath the surface.  But that is part of the fun!

- Get creative!  Use your imagination when shopping vintage.  Take time with a piece you like and think about how you would style it.  That always helps me to decide if the money is worth spending.

- Don't forget accessories...and even home decor!  Vintage isn't just about clothing.  Some of the most amazing jewelry and bits for your home are vintage as well.

- Buy big if needed.  If an item of clothing is worth it, it can be taken to a good tailor and fit to you.  But don't forget to work that into the overall price.

Etsy is one of my favourite places to hunt for vintage.  Here are some of my top picks: