A beginners guide to Vintage shopping – what’s your era?

Beginners guide to vintage shopping

If you ever wondered what is and isn’t vintage – there doesn’t seem to be a ‘definitive’ answer.  Some people say vintage ends in the 1990s and some might tell you that it ends in the 1970s, with the 1980s and 1990s classed as retro.

Vintage dresses at York Does Vintage Floral vintage dress at York Does Vintage

When you first start getting into the vintage scene, it’s often a good to get an idea what eras you like and start building up your wardrobe from there.  If you like a certain style for what ever reason – such as your favourite film or TV programme is set during those times, you love the music, or just feel you belong in that decade, then that’s a good start.
Of course you don’t have to go full on into that era dress up everyday (although it’s fun to do that!) if that’s not you.  You can always wear touches of it, like vintage jackets and accessories with modern items.  Plus, why stick to one era?  I have pieces in my wardrobe spanning from the 1920s to the 1990s.  It’s simply about what you feel comfortable in and enjoy wearing.
Lots of vintage goodies at York Does Vintage
You might find it difficult to source clothes from some decades – simply because a lot of clothes haven’t survived. I find 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s are the easiest decades to find clothes from, but if you like the look of earlier eras but can’t find the clothes you can always go for replica clothing. A few vintage stalls at our events sell beautiful replica dresses, and they’re not always brand new. Fashion is cyclical and many styles keep coming back into fashion. For example this lovely 1940s style tea dress in the photo on the right, probably dates from the 1980s, so you can get a 1940s look and still be buying retro second hand clothing.
Also, if you’ve been in the high street stores lately, vintage style clothing is very fashionable at the moment.  There are loads of items in 50s style prints, 60s Mod styles, and 70s Bohemian styles on offer.  These can be teamed them up with a beautiful vintage silk scarf or some retro jewellery to give them a more authentic vintage feel. How about buying a vintage handbag from one of our stalls to go with your outfit?  One of the great things about vintage handbags is they have a pocket in them for a cigarette case – which is the exact size of a modern day smart phone!
Don’t forget we’re still on the look out for the ‘Face of Yorkshire Does Vintage’ for our next issue of our magazine in the Spring.  So the next time you come to one of our events, why not dress up a bit and show off your collection of vintage finery?
We’ll be back soon with more pre-loved inspiration and humbling stories! Alex and Sam x


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