When it comes to vintage clothes shopping, where do you start? If you’re interested in vintage fashion, are new to the scene, or simply would like some tips then hopefully this guide will be of some use to you.
The first thing you should be aware of when shopping for vintage clothes is that size doesn’t matter! In fact modern clothes sizes are not the same as vintage ones. Over the last 25 years dress sizes have decreased. So, if you’re a modern size 14, chances are you’ll be a vintage size 16 and so on.
Therefore, don’t be disheartened if at one of our events you try a dress on in your modern size and it doesn’t fit – it’s probably just the wrong size. Keep in mind that in all likelihood they’ll be another item for sale in the right size that will fit and make you look fabulous.
Also, the shape of women has changed over the last 60 years. A recent report revealed that in the 1950s the average woman’s measurements (in inches) were 37-27-39, where as today they’re 40-34-40. This means that the average 1950s woman was around a modern size 12-14, or a vintage size 14-16.
Bare in mind that the 50s measurements are only an average, not an ideal, and women in the past were probably this shape due to less home conveniences when it came to the housework, less car ownership, and having lived through WWII food rationing (which didn’t fully end until 1954). What this does mean though if you’re shopping for vintage clothes is you’ll need to be aware in the past more people will have bought the clothes in average sizes, giving these sizes more of a chance of surviving the decades. However, even if you are an average size, sometime things won’t fit due to the cut of them.
All this is why it’s so important you try on vintage clothes before you buy them! If you can’t try things on then know your measurements and take a tape measure. If you’re not sure about measuring yourself, a good tip is to measure your own clothes that you know fit you around the bust, waist and hips and use those as a guide when measuring vintage clothes.
Above all though, when buying vintage clothing – have fun. Try on a few things, get an idea of what styles suit you and what fits your shape best. That way you’ll be bound to find vintage clothes that are perfect for you.