Vintage fashion has never been more popular with more and more independent second-hand businesses popping up everywhere and even high-street stores taking influence from certain decades. Maybe this rise of retro has got you inspired to dress like a flapper or channel the swinging sixties - but where do you start?
Know your era
History and fashion go hand in hand, with most styles changing every decade. Important events in history can have a huge impact on the clothes, hairstyle and makeup worn at the time, so before you start dressing a certain way find out why that was the popular look! Think about the practical short hairdos of the 1930s and 40s when most women were working in factories, or the rebellious and powerfully short flapper dresses of the roaring twenties when women had just gotten the vote a few years previously. It’s fun to discover the reason for the styles, plus it makes you seem extra knowledgable when people ask about your clothing choice!
Know where to look
With any type of clothing, the cheaper the better, so when shopping vintage you don’t want to be spending way too much. Discover small and independent vintage stores online, on Instagram and Etsy, trek to your local vintage and second hand stores and try your hand at an eBay auction. Even if you have to search for hours or even days for that perfect find, it’ll make it even more worthwhile when you claim it for yourself!
A very important point and something I’ve only just accomplished myself lately. It is the 21st century after all, and unfortunately Edwardian hobble skirts, full-length fur coats and top hats aren’t as popular as they once were. When venturing out in your vintage finery, be prepared to be stared at - after all, you’ve chosen to dress uniquely and to stand out from the crowd. Own those stares! I’ve developed a motto for myself if I feel self-conscious about my outfits: “If people stare at what you wear, you’re doing something right. No one ever looks twice at a boring outfit!”
Start off small
When dressing vintage for the first time, it can seem tempting to dive right in and emerge a full-on rockabilly. But until you are a self-professed expert in your chosen era, it’s a good idea to start with small vintage touches to your outfit, such as a silk headscarf, winged eyeliner, knee boots etc. It doesn’t matter if these aren’t true vintage items, as long as the general style is accurate - once you’ve gained more knowledge of accessorising and styling, you can dress top-to-toe in second hand!
By Nallie Simpson
Check out Nallie on Instagram - @theblondeberet