Friday, January 16, 2015

Vintage Clothing? My Vintage Collection


 I think you may have noticed by now, but I love rocking a rather vintage look. While I love the clothing styles spanning from the 1920's through the early 1960's, you also may have noticed I don't own or wear actual vintage clothes. So what't the deal with that right? Well, let me explain.

Finding vintage clothes is difficult.

I mean trying to find a 1950's sundress, in a) good wearable condition, b) my size, and c) to my taste is near impossible for under a hundred dollars. I think perhaps other vintage girls out there must either live in a town with an ample verity of vintage shops and thrift stores or they put in the serious work it takes to find things online. The thrift stores where I live are full of recent to 70's era clothing. Finding anything pre-1985 is a miracle and even then it is usually way too large/small, torn/expensive! I seriously don't know how people find things! Perhaps I'm just not going to the right shops? Anyone know of a vintage jackpot spot near Denver?


 Finding good vintage online can be troublesome too. Etsy, my favorite "store", has dozens upon dozens of vintage sellers. The main problem I have with shopping for vintage online is that there is no way to sort by size. Inevitably I will fall in love with something only to scroll down and read the measurements are all kinds of nope-not-gonna work. Then there is the fact that sellers have priced things fairly, which means things are usually out of my reach. I don't blame sellers for charging good prices for vintage, like I just said above, vintage is super hard to find out there!

So I don't not wear vintage on purpose. I don't find old or pre-owned, as it were, clothing weird or anything. I think if I lived in London and could roam Portobello road, or in LA where vintage shops are everywhere, things would be different. As it stands I only own a handful of vintage items, two coats which you guys have already seen in outfit posts, and one fabulous dress. "What fabulous dress?" you may be saying, "show us!" Well sadly, it no longer fits, it is around a size 6 and I am no longer a size 6! Therefore my only vintage dress hangs unworn in my closet! For those still interested it is a black cocktail dress from the late 50's/early 60's, a wiggle sort of shape but with a second sheer black chiffon skirt in permanent pleats that flows around as you walk. It is a thing of beauty and I bought it back in high school for $20 bucks at a vintage store that was having their store closing sale.

So if any of you have been wondering, this is my long winded reason for why I don't wear vintage clothes even though I love vintage style! I sew instead, I just find it infinitely easier! How do you other vintage gals build your wardrobes? Do you wear mostly vintage? Reproduction? Modern clothes that fit in with vintage style? I would say at this point my wardrobe is 50% clothes I have bought from modern stores and 50% things I have sewn myself.

I wasn't kidding up there either, if you know of any shops in the Denver area I need to check out please share! Until then I'll just keep collecting vintage jewelry instead and sew my way back to the 50's :)


8 comments:

  1. I was nodding until my neck hurt through this post. Though I do own and wear a fair bit of genuine vintage, almost all of it was bought at retail prices and after much careful a.) budgeting and b.) waiting patiently for good deals (or far less commonly, fluking out and winning an eBay auction for quite a song). Not since my early teen years (late nineties) have I seen an abundance of vintage, let alone well priced vintage in person (at thrift stores, yard sales, etc) and even then the amount I saw pales compared to what some folks are still finding (especially, it seems, in certain pockets of the UK and US) to this day. I've long felt that those who are blessed with such good fortune forget about the massive number of us who are not in the same boat and for whom each and every (or very nearly so) piece of vintage is a planned, saved for purchase that might have still taken weeks, months or even years to find so that fit and other specifications were what we were really after.

    I've never subscribed to the theory that one has to wear true vintage to love it in the slightest. To each their own wonderful path in the vast cosmos that is all things vintage/vintage influenced.

    ♥ Jessica

    ♥ Jessica

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    1. I would love to own more genuine vintage but it is a struggle! I don't have the courage to try ebay anymore, I always get my hopes up and then end up losing auctions and get really bummed!

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  2. I don't own much vintage clothing either, except hats that I mostly just look at and use for study. The few dresses I have don't fit me currently either.

    Around my area, you can find back as far as the 1960s cheaply, but after that the prices go up. There are a decent number of vintage shops around though if you are happy to spurns the money, so I guess that's good! What I'm finding is that I feel guilty about owning vintage when I don't look after it well enough. I think in a lot of ways I'd rather sew my own or buy reproductions.

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    1. I wish I could find more hats here, I can make my own but I don't have many blocks! I would love some flat little 50's shapes so I could make some proper 50's hats, I have even been considering commissioning a custom block!

      I am pretty rough on my clothes so I would worry about ruining nice vintage things too! It seems easier to sew my own clothes, despite the extra effort.

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  3. I feel your pain!! I come across the same problems of fit, budget and taste. Last year I only bought 1 original vintage dress I think, and that was about 6 sizes too big, and it's been an absolute time-consuming pain to alter and it's still not finished. My sewing skills aren't great, so I tend just to buy things that are a bit vintage inspired. x

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    1. I stopped buying things thinking "oh but I can fix it/take it in/let it out..." years ago because, though I can sew from scratch, I am not a natural tailor! Thank goodness retailers still make a lot of good vintage inspired styles that are ready to wear!

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  4. Great post! And something I'm sure a lot of gals can relate to! Except for me. :/ I used to live in Portland, and before that Eugene (both of which are in Oregon) which had a good number of vintage shops, as well as "buy-sell-trade" shops, I say that phrase as opposed to "second-hand" or "thrift" because sometimes I feel like "second-hand" and "thrift", for sure, means there is no real filter for the items coming in the door. I often shopped at Buffalo Exchange, which mostly carried newer items, but would have vintage come through the door quite often. Portland had a few similar stores as well in addition to a plethora of vintage shops.

    I do agree though about having difficulties with buying on-line. I am a HORRIBLE on-line shopper. Either it doesn't fit right, or the color was different and even the smallest things, like scarves, I think "I thought it would be bigger..."

    I have a ton of problems with buying new... from knowing where my money goes, who I want to support, to fabric to quality... It's hard for me to find new clothing that is made of material I like (I hate stretch and poly stuff) and that is good quality, meaning it won't fray or pill up.

    Regarding sewing, I greatly admire you for your dedication to sewing! I find it very difficult, and often as soon as I'm done with something I don't want to SEE let alone TOUCH my sewing machine for months! So I follow a lot of sewing blogs to get inspired and read how they keep going.

    xoxo
    -Janey

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    1. I'm sure you miss having all those familiar shops nearby, but California has good places too. I know vintage can be really pricey near LA though. I recommended visiting the vintage markets up in LA as I remember they were pretty awesome.

      I wish I was a terrible online shopper, buy sadly (not sadly) I am very good at finding vintage jewelry online ;) I just can't seem to transfer my skill over to shopping for clothes!

      Your difficulties shopping for modern clothing are super valid, it can be really hard to shop responsibly. As terrible as it sounds I never have thought to put much research into the companies I buy clothes from, which is just too trusting an attitude to have! I admire you for having that much perspective as I too believe the dollar has power. Also, I too hate poly...

      I am lucky in that I have a bachelors degree in fashion design, so sewing is second nature to me now. I have been sewing since I was about twelve, so it is practically an extension of myself at this point. I can certainly still understand how it can be (is) frustrating at times, I still hate putting in zippers and I doubt I will ever enjoy that particular step!

      Thanks for stopping by, I am a big fan of your blog and I am super jealous of your proximity to Disneyland!

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