Whether you just want to collect them or you wish to proudly wear them out and about, vintage pieces are a valuable investment that’s totally worth the money. Here’s how to start your collection:
>> Start by learning the difference between vintage and plain old. While you may be able to accidentally come across a vintage item in a thrift store, a vintage boutique should only hold clothing and accessory pieces which, for various reasons, have stood the test of time, remaining elegant regardless of decade, which have an interesting provenience or that are in some way culturally or historically relevant.
>> Make sure you purchase vintage items from a trustworthy source. Lots of stores use ”vintage” as a way to lure clients in and sell them plain old clothes and accessories which are simply out of date. Have a good documentation, check the labels (most vintage designer items have the name of the designer present somewhere, and accessories should be engraved with the name of the jewelry house) and avoid purchasing things (especially online) from unreputable sources.
>> Don’t be intimidated by the price. Vintage pieces by prestigious designers tend to have prices that are even higher than those of current couture pieces, but they are valuable investments. If you find a vintage item with a price that’s too good to be true, it probably is.
>> Try on the things you plan to buy, to make sure they fit. Twenties’ fashion, for instance, was all about minimising the bust, so a 20s piece would probably not fit you if you’re quite busty, unless you also purchase a special corset.
>> Carefully analyse each piece to spot any flaws. While the ”old garment” odour comes of after a trip to dry cleaning, defects such as rips, tears or stains that have been there for decades, cannot be fixed. If you are purchasing your stuff online, don’t hesitate to ask for more photos.
>> Pay attention to details such as fabric and fastenings. If the fabric is starting to tear or if sequins start falling apart (given that back in the day, they were almost exclusively hand sewn), the item isn’t worth buying.
>> Go shopping well documented, in order to know how to spot fakes and how to tell them apart from the real thing.
>> Famous labels, such as Dior, Givenchy, Balenciaga or Chanel, are truly a valuable investment worth making, but remember that you can also find stunning vintage pieces that are not signed by well-known couturiers. Take your time to learn about the fashion style of each decade and about the lesser-known designers and only then start your quest to find vintage treasures.
>> Never store your vintage clothing in plastic bags, which don’t let the fabric breathe. (This piece of advice also goes for the rest of your wardrobe as well.)
Photos courtesy of: favim.ru, awhitecarousel.com