The word “vintage” is brandished about in fashion circles more than a Pink song is played on the radio these days. It’s used to describe everything from Chanel couture to the black boots you bought three years ago which you’ve just stumbled across in the back of your wardrobe.
But “vintage” is still the best way to express individual style in an affordably chic way. Singer Lily Allen, 24, knows the value of a good vintage piece. She’s launching a clothing label, Lucy In Disguise, which will be a collection of great vintage buys available to rent. “It’s an antidote to the mass consumerism culture of high street shopping,” she says. “It's amazing stuff that would be really expensive but we're renting it out for a fraction of the price, so girls can come and get dressed up for a night out and have a laugh!"
The trick to making vintage work for you is to know how to spot a gem. Accessories are a great way to ease yourself into the vintage game because a fabulous vintage brooch, necklace, handbag, scarf or pair of earrings can work beautifully with a classic blazer and jeans or black dress.
Other great vintage buys include a velvet or sequinned bolero, pair of bright ballet flats, leather jacket and of course a gorgeous dress – just like the kind your grandmother twirled to the wireless in.
So where do you find said vintage jewels? Markets are always a great place to hit up on the weekend but a bunch of online stores have popped up over the last few years, too. Here are three of our favourites.
The idea behind Bowerbird was to bring fabulous, unique and affordable vintage fashions to like minded women who adore dressing up and also love the idea of owning a beautiful, wearable piece of history. We’re hooked.
Designer, Rebecca Post has raised an online catalogue of uncovered, restored and chronicled vintage garments. Being vintage simply isn't enough; each piece must be unique, exquisite and beautiful. Items are handpicked from all the corners of the world, from Portobello Road to the markets in Paris.
Probably the most famous vintage store in our fair nation, Grandma Takes a Trip is the Dior of vintage clothing. The online shop is coming soon so bookmark this one and keep coming back.