Because you can't have depths without surfaces.
Linda Grant, thinking about clothes, books and other matters.

Monday, 24 March 2008

Buying vintage: The pros and cons

Personally, my days of buying vintage are long behind me. In my early twenties everything I wore came from the second hand clothes boutiques in Kensington High Street antique market or Portobello Road, or, when I moved to Vancouver, a shop called Joe's Old Clothes. I would swan around the windy university campuses in 1930s bias cut evening dresses worn with Mary Quant purple opaque tights bought at Liberty, with no thought to occasion-appropriate and didn't own a single pair of jeans. I still dislike trousers and prefer dresses to anything else.

Here's a piece in which sort-of famous people give their tips on buying vintage:

'This Ossie Clark top is the first designer item I ever bought. I was 18 when I got it on the King's Road in London, and since then both my mum and my daughter Leah have tried to nick it from me. I stole it back eventually. Isn't it amazing that three generations of my family have worn it, and it's never gone out of style?'

'I found a handkerchief in the pocket of a pair of second-hand trousers, which really made me realise that I was wearing a dead man's trousers. Old clothes do have a kind of aura of death, but a good wash usually sorts them out.'


Belle de Ville said...

I also haven't really been a vintage buyer since my college days but lately I've been paying attention to how beutifully designed 1950's and 1960's dresses were and how they flattered the woman wearing the dress rather than making a statement about the designer.

Anonymous said...

From the 1980's on, has anything been made well enough that it will survive long enough to be considered vintage?

Issie said...

I can't find vintage to fit, I'd love to wear original dresses from the 30s and 40s.
I wonder how many of our current fashions will be around in 50 years or so?

Anonymous said...

I used to be able to go into the crummiest thrift store and home in on the one perfect article of clothing there. Oh, for the 1970s when one could go into the "hippie hall" at the rag factory. Piles and piles of stuff. Dollar a bag!

I seem to've I lost my mojo when "second-hand" turned into "vintage".

-- desertwind