Vintage buying has became a quite a venture: from its plain and simple origins, with young people buying second hand clothes because they could not afford the high street price, to now, where it has became a multi-million dollar business, which both equally feeds off and encourages the whole of the fashion industry.
First of all, how did this happen? When was it that we began to treat smelly old clothes so seriously, and why is a 50’s dress with holes in now worth over $100? The answer lies in the huge changes in fashion in the last fifteen years, and a general sense of ‘seen it all before’ that existed at the end of the last Millenium. High end designers started to get inspired by the Golden Age of Hollywood, leading to a revival in designer brands like Prada and Gucci, with powerful and innovative new designers reviving the 60’s mod look and the 50’s housewife style. Vintage really took off when Julia Roberts wore a vintage Oscar gown, and wow – everything started to click. Why would we wear all the designers clothing when there are so many deserted masterpieces from the original era to choose from, and we can all look original and innovative? The rest is history, from the Olsen twins, to Reese Witherspoon, with women of all different shape, size, background and style all falling over backwards for Vintage.
High end designers started to get motivated by the Golden Age of Hollywood, leading to a revival in designer brands like Prada and Gucci, with powerful and ground-breaking new designers reviving the 60’s mod look and the 50’s housewife style. Vintage really took off when Julia Roberts wore a vintage Oscar gown, and wow – everything started to click on. Why exactly would we wear all the designers clothing when there are so many deserted masterpieces from the classic era to choose between, and we can all appear normal and ground-breaking? The rest is history, from the Olsen twins, to Reese Witherspoon, with a lot of women of all different shape, size, background and style all falling over backward for Retro.
2. Where do you go If you are that kind of girl who loves browsing, and the feeling of a chase? Places like Portobello Market and Camden Market in London are amazing for vintage. Or you can certainly search for a Vintage Fair around the country.
They usually happen a few times a year, and you can get some amazing finds. You can also find a wonderful and unique dress that someone had left behind in consignment stores, because there is always someone out there needing fast cash, so the bargains are there to have. Lastly, the charity shop around the corner might just have the item that you never could imagine there, and what an exciting prospect to find an original Karl Lagerfeld suit in a charity shop! I had a wonderful experience to find two pairs of Manolo Blahnik shoes for 5 each in a charity shop! That was a very good day for me, in fact, even though they are two sizes too large, I would never, ever throw them away.
3. Ebay hunt. I am a self confessed Ebay addict, in fact, I can called myself an Ebay expert. Do take your time, know your size and have a cool head. I used to buy a lot of my vintage clothing from US, but in UK, there are just as many goodies to find. Do not be like Reese Witherspoon back in 2006, wearing a polyester/satin looking dress from Chanel, having been told it’s vintage, only to find out someone else wore it only a few years back! Do your research, for instance if someone is saying something from the 20’s is stretchy, it just would not happen, there is nothing made in the 20’s with stretch in it!
Find all the keywords possible, use all the eras to start with, and you can start from obscure designers like Bill Blass, Romeo Gigli, Trussadi, and before you know it, Ebay can pull out all the keywords that are related to those brands you are looking for. Look for something that is not popular now, so you can score yourself a great buy before someone does. Try things with a wrong spelling; sometimes there is a great find to be had just because someone has written the wrong keyword. What would you do with something that you really love, that has already got 10 bids on it, and has 7 days left? Chances are, you will be paying a lot more than it is worth, just because the picture looks particularly good. Do wait quietly without bidding and then bid at the last minute, then you certainly have a lot more chance – rather than bidding all you can afford at the beginning.
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