To end this project, we now want to sum up all the advice that we shared in our first post to provide you with a quick overview about what we’ve learned so far concerning vintage shopping and styling. I hope that some of the points listed below are helpful for you. 🙂 Moreover, what will follow are a few ‘behind the scenes’ photos and some of the group photos Flo took of us during that vintage outfit photo shoot afternoon. 🙂
(1) So what do the terms ‚vintage‘ and ‘retro’ mean?
‘Vintage’ refers to pieces of clothing or objects from the decades of the 1930s to 1970s (1980s). Thus, it only refers to clothing which is actually old and from past decades, whereas ‘retro’ is used to describe clothes or things which are new, but have intentionally been designed in a way that they look as if they were older and from one of the decades which have just been mentioned.
(2) Why to shop vintage?
There are many reasons so shop vintage: it’s perfect for being dressed individually, it’s sustainable and it’s also perfect for the low budget of students.
(3) Where to find & buy awesome vintage clothes.
There are many possibilities to shop vintage clothes. You can find them on flea markets, in second hand shops and department stores, in grandma’s loft and of course, on the Internet. With a bit of patience, an eye for beautiful, old things and the knowledge where to search best, you’ll find awesome treasures. Some addresses and shop recommendations (online and in Berlin) can be found in our first post.
(4) How to find the size that fit you best.
When shopping second hand clothes, especially vintage, you shouldn’t pay attention to the normal sizes. In the past, the sizes haven’t been the same as they are today and that’s why it is important to try on a piece of clothing anyway. When you’re shopping for vintage clothes online, it’s helpful to know your measurements, because in online shops you mostly only see the size specifications of the pieces of clothing. Therefore, it’s best to know your bust measurement, your waist measurement and to measure up your hip size.
(5) What you should pay attention to when shopping vintage clothes.
Quality over quantity: It often takes a while until you find the perfect piece, not only because the patterns and color combinations sometimes seem strange with regard to what’s ‘in’ today. You need to take some time and be patient and you sometimes need to have a look at the bargain counters in the second hand shops, have to take a closer look and come back to the shops on a regular basis, because there’ll always be new, unique pieces.
Prices: Vintage clothes are often sold to high prices, as if they were new. This happens because of the current fashion trend and it sometimes takes good online research to find something for a suitable price.
Material & condition: Although vintage clothes should be washed before they are sold, you can always immediately smell their characteristic smell which mostly disappears after washing them for the first time. You should pay attention to the material of the respective piece of clothing, because many items are made of synthetic materials which begin to smell fast when you’re sweating. That’s why we prefer clothes made of cotton.
Cuts: Try to find the perfect cut that fits your body’s shape best.
(6) Adjustment & alteration.
As you have already read, vintage clothes are from a past decade and are at least 20 years old. Styles change, trends come and go and thus, vintage clothes often have cuts and shapes which we aren’t used to anymore. Sometimes you need to make a few alterations so that your new piece of clothing fits perfectly and suits your personal needs. When you’re shopping vintage clothes, you shouldn’t expect to find the perfect piece immediately – it’s rather important to have a good imagination, a little bit of creativity and to be skilled as a craftswoman, because then, you’ll be able to create the perfect piece of clothing for your own needs out of many awesome dresses that maybe don’t fit perfectly and maybe at first sight didn’t completely seem to be what you were looking for.
This was the tiny mess during our vintage outfit photo shoot afternoon. 🙂 We chose all the pieces of clothing at home, emptied my wardrobe and Stef and Stefanie’s suitcases and took all the outfit to the photo location at once.
(7) Advice for styling & how to combine vintage clothes
One of the best characteristics of vintage clothes is that they are so colorful – just think of all the amazing patterns and color schemes! Generally said, you can combine each accessory with your vintage piece whose color can be found in the fabric itself. This way, it looks good anyway. It’s always nice when you use accessories which match the style of the dress, a bag with matching colors, pretty shoes, maybe a hat or a headscarf, and, of course, a matching belt to give a dress a good shape and to cling it to the body. The advantage is that you can use belts for the waist to make a pretty dress out of a piece of clothing which looks like a sack. It’s simplicity which makes it special.