Go Back to OLD School: Vintage Style Part 1
August 17, 2012 by Cristi
All the money you saved from back to school sales can now be spent on your own back to school shopping…well back to OLD school shopping that is.
Nothing gets me more excited than a one of a kind 1950s vintage dress or skirt that fits like it was made for me. Why do vintage clothes always fit so well? Not to mention the feeling I get as I am transported back into time as Audrey Hepburn or Jackie Kennedy in these items. Each piece having a unique story to tell of what life was like back then- I LOVE it and consider it to be a big part of my personal style.
Fashion trends always seem to cycle through every era over and over again- so why not go for the real deal and pair it with something modern? Your grandmother’s closet just may be the new trendy place to look these days as the love for vintage clothing has picked up remarkably in the past decade- sometimes it’s hard to tell what is new and what is old!
I mean, can you tell me what is old school and what is not old school in this outfit?
How did you do?
How about this one?
I decided to ask a vintage clothing expert Nancy Zurcher, collector and owner of vintage a clothing shop called In Retrospect, to answer some of my questions about vintage shopping. Looking around her store, I was mesmorized by the color, patterns, and textures that seemed to go on forever. Each piece with it’s unique story and snapshot of history- I could have been browsing for hours!
Interested in adding more vintage clothing to your wardrobe?
Here are a few tips I recommend:
1. Don’t go by listed sized. You will be wondering if you had too many cheeseburgers this summer if you do that. Nancy informed me that a size 16 back then is more like a size 10 now- (it must make us feel better) so, trying on pieces in person is the best way to see if it fits. But remember you can always alter if needed- don’t let the wrong size stop you from buying a perfect piece!
2. Check for authenticity. You can check for authenticity by looking at the tag if is still intact. You will notice a union tag or a “Made in the USA” or even the city it was made in. I love looking at the tags for they are also little unique pieces of art. Another way to check authenticity is by the fabric which has more natural fibers. You will also notice a lot of metal zippers that they used back then. They don’t make clothes like they used – it’s no wonder they are still around 50+ years later!
3. If you notice a musky smell: Nancy mentioned hanging your items out in the sun for a day to rid of the smell (don’t leave it out longer than that so they don’t fade) or take it to your dry cleaner and see what they can do for you. I also have heard of placing the item in a bag with orange peels and baking soda- haven’t tried that myself yet but will let you know if it works!
4. Take time to dig around. Some of my favorite finds have been on the way out of the store and I just so happened to see something hiding behind another piece of clothing. Also, look in places like estate sales, yard sales, thrift stores, and on-line. I love raiding my grandmother’s closet as she graciously lets me wear her clothing and accessories- thank you grams!
5. Say YES to impulse shopping. You read right. This is my favorite tip… each item is a one of a kind and you just may never find it again so- if you love something…look for loose change in between the couch, sell things on ebay, have a garage sale, or a lemonade stand even to pay for it… but GET IT! There have been times I have passed on something and later wanted to buy it and it was gone!
Now that you know how to shop for these items…how do you wear them?
Coming up soon- I will be showing you just exactly how I like to add vintage items into my wardrobe. Stay tuned for part 2.
How many of you are ready to go Back to OLD SCHOOL?