While dressing like a character out of Grease might not be your idea of a good look, wearing a piece or two from the movie’s era (the 1950s!) is an original way to set your style apart from all the other girls.
Since a piece of clothing is technically vintage if it’s 20 years or older, every era from the 1980s and earlier offers its own styles and designs unique to that time in fashion history. Identifying the trends of the era is the fun part–when you know what was popular to wear then, you’ll be inspired to don it as part of your personal look now!
Here are five important things to know about vintage fashion so your shopping trip is a success:
How Old is Vintage Fashion?Vintage fashion is technically a piece that?s at least 20 years in age. So, a piece that was designed and manufactured in 1991 or earlier technically falls into this category. While the early ?90s and its grunge influences are slowly aging into ?vintage? pieces, most vintage store owners and sellers agree that anything two decades or older is vintage. If it?s 100 years or older, it is technically an ?antique? piece of fashion.
How Does Vintage Fashion Fit?The number one rule to finding your fit in vintage fashion is simply to try it on! The reason a size on a vintage tag can?t be trusted is because designers have changed their sizing charts dramatically since the ?80s and earlier. While a modern size 12 may be way too large on a petite girl, a vintage piece from the ?60s marked a size 12 is closer to a modern 0 to 2, or extra small to small fit! When shopping vintage, hold a piece up to your body and check for similarities in waist size and appropriate fit to your body type. Too big? Try cinching with a belt or take to a tailor later for quick alterations.
Where Can I Buy Vintage Fashion?The fun with finding vintage fashion is the pursuit and hunt of it in a variety of places! Check out your town?s local vintage boutique for a well edited selection of vintage finds based on the style tastes of the store owner. Ask him or her to help find pieces best suited to your fashion personality and body type. If you want to shop vintage unassisted, check out your local thrift or secondhand store to scour the racks for finds. Come armed with some vintage fashion know-how to identify the pieces that are at least 20 years old. Flea markets, yard and garage sales and even shopping in your grandparents? or parents? closets will unveil opportunities to find vintage fashion! Look in your newspaper?s classified ads for market and yard sale dates. Ask your family members if they?ve kept pieces from their childhoods that you might be able to wear!
How Much Does Vintage Fashion Cost?From a few dollars for a piece of funky jewelry to a few hundred for an unusual or one-of-a-kind designer piece, vintage fashion prices are similar to what you find in mainstream stores today: It varies based on where you shop and what you want. Most vintage boutiques carry an array of styles suited to a variety of price points. Some may also carry truly valuable and rare pieces that cost more than your budget. On the other hand, shopping at thrift and flea markets will save you money?but take a whole lot more time! If you?re willing to spend a few hours longer on the vintage hunt, you can snag great style at a fraction of the boutique price.
How Can I Wear Vintage Fashion Not Like A Costume?While wearing a head-to-vintage is creative and unique, not everyone wants to look like a particular era or a nostalgic character. You don?t have to wear 100 percent vintage to follow the trends. Rather, mixing vintage pieces into your modern wardrobe is an easy and fun way to create a fabulous style just for you! Try wearing accessories first, or finding a piece from a specific era that suits your style tastes. If you like to wear a particular clothing fit, pattern, color or material, shop for it vintage and style it with modern touches like shoes and accessories.
Sammy Davis is a vintage fashion expert who lives and works in New York City. She loves inspiring girls to wear vintage clothing with her blog posts and lookbook videos on YouTube. Say hi or ask her any vintage style questions on Twitter and Facebook!