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Monthly Archives: August 2017

  • Mixing the old with the new: top tips for wearing vintage

    It may sound a daunting task, but mixing vintage fashion with modern togs is definitely possible, should you fancy doing so. In fact, get it right and the look can be devastating.  Different items of clothing, irrespective of what decade their look dates from or even when they were originally manufactured, can definitely go together, should you have a keen eye and put a bit of consider into how you mix and match. Not convinced? Read on and discover some of our tips for getting the most out of your vintage clobber by incorporating it into the maximum number of outfits you genuinely can…

    How should you mix vintage with modern?

    So, mixing old and new in fashion terms is actually easier in practice than you may imagine. And that’s because, if you’re dealing with clothing items – or accessories – that are simple and therefore versatile, there’s a good chance they’ll go with other such items. Indeed, you might want to consider such pieces as your ‘wardrobe essentials’ – it doesn’t matter whether if an item’s new or old; if it works as a building block of several different outfits, it can be considered a mainstay (there’s no need then, if it’s vintage, to keep it in a special ‘vintage draw’).

    Indeed, you may want to think along the lines of:

    • Vintage ‘essentials’ that go with modern accessories – how many of your retro items can you embellish with contemporary additions like stylish clutch purses or trendy sandals?
    • Modern ‘essentials’ that go with vintage accessories – up-to-date garments (a fairly basic single-tone shirt, blouse or dress) can be enhanced with vintage touches like a floral handbag or round tortoise sunglasses.

    Vintage as the focus

    Should you be rummaging through your wardrobe and pull out a favourite old-fashioned blazer – or come across a fantastic, nay beautiful example of vintage style dresses UK via a specialist online retailer that you just have to buy – you may suddenly have the urge to make it the centrepiece of an outfit. Fair enough. But how do you complement it with modern additions – accessories and other contemporary garments like a t-shirt, shoes, a bag or jewellery?

    vintage style dresses UK

    The trick is keeping it simple; looks-wise, that is. Following the credo outlined above, if the vintage piece is bold and attention grabbing, supplement it with basic modern touches that won’t jar with it, thus won’t try to make fashion statements on their own. Conversely, if the vintage item’s on the basic, less-is-more side, feel free to do the opposite.

    How to style vintage with modern

    The above tips are all very well, of course, but what about genuinely looking stylish? What about not just mixing and matching the modern and vintage aspects of your collection because you fancy doing so, but looking properly chic as you do so? How can you really pull that off?

    Wearing vintage right is all about being honest with yourself. How does it really look? If the appearance is verging on costume, then it’s probably not the outfit combo for a work-day (whatever the work environment) or a night out; let alone a stylish outfit at that. You need to mix well and not just throw together several of your favourite pieces – you might be surprised by what best goes together from among your contemporary and vintage items, so don’t be afraid to experiment; in fact, experimentation is key.

    To keep it cool and not too outlandish, you might want to try and employ a 50/50 ratio – half of the outfit vintage; the other half contemporary. For instance, balance out a vintage blouse with sleek up-to-date pants or a simple skirt; with a vintage dress, add high-heeled modern sandals. There’s no golden rule or silver bullet – and there shouldn’t be, as you it’s also about feeling happy and comfortable in what you’re wearing and expressing yourself – but balance is a good aim to achieve, for sure.

  • Go retro to accessorise: vintage fashion provides the best accessories

    Let’s face it; in the fashion world, what goes around comes around. And that means inevitably many of today’s trends – whatever the season or specific year – have more than distant echoes of the past. Many of today’s clothes have a retro, vintagey feel to them.

    In which case, nowadays, more than ever before, is the time to go retro; it’s the time to pop into that vintage shop near you or to hop online and visit a retro retailer’s site and buy those items and fill your wardrobe with them to boost your outfit options. A great advantage of buying vintage is – used or new – it can often be cheaper and sustainable, but far from skimps on quality either.

    Moreover, if you want to be as creative and imaginative as possible when it comes to putting outfits together then investing in vintage accessories is undoubtedly the way to go. Why? Think about it; you’re able to draw on decades and decades’ worth of trendy bits and pieces rather than just a few seasons’ worth with which to embellish your outfit’s focal point and give it a whole new – or many different – looks. Plus, owing to the cost-effective nature of retro clothing items, you can get hold of a whole host of quality vintage accessories for the price of a single modern dress.

    Accessories as the focal point

    Alternatively, you could use basic building blocks from your modern pieces (such as a white t-shirt or blouse, a basic boyfriend blazer or a pair of jeans) and make the vintage accessories the outfit’s focal point; actually turn to several vintage pieces to bring it to life and give it an identity.

    If you like the sound of this, do bear in mind, though, that it’s important not to go over the top; it’s about mixing and matching and that means resisting the urge to let loose too many cooks on the broth – you don’t want to go too outlandish. What goes with what? Adding what is going too far? By experimenting and being honest with yourself as you look at the outfit building in the mirror, you’ll be able to tell.

    Typical vintage accessories

    If you’re familiar with this website, you might well be aware of the different vintage garments that tend to be readily available (and, in the case of newly manufactured items, the brands too – such as Collectif Dresses), but what sort of vintage accessories are we talking about? What sort of bits and bobs can you find to enhance an overall outfit? Here are some pointers…

    Collectif Dresses
    • Hats – by adding a fedora to a modern boho dress you’ll create a cool complement, while newsboy caps and ivy hats are irresistible and more than a little chic in the autumn and winter months when the temperatures drop (or even plummet!); for summer months, though, it’s hard to beat the lightweight, sunny vibe a Panama hat lends your look
    • Scarves – when it comes to scarves, it’s a real chance to spice up an outfit with a dab of colour or eye-popping style (think ethnic embroidery, floral or paisley prints or ’50s-like polka dots)
    • Lockets and trinkets – so easy and, yes, cheap to pick up, these little pieces can be attached to necklaces, bracelets, beads and chains to add timeless and inimitable character to any casual outfit.

    Vintage style checklist

    So, to sum up, what sort of looks are advisable to go for when it comes to vintage accessories? What styles are likely to add some punch (but not too much!) to an outfit whose basis is a modern, up-to-date fashionable main piece? Well, as noted above, there are inevitably crossovers with contemporary fashion – which, in part, is why vintage pieces go so well with modern ones – but be sure to be on the look-out for hats, scarves, gloves, bags, purses and trinkets boasting the following styles and looks:

    • Bows and ribbons
    • Checks
    • Distressed leather
    • Flapper fringes
    • Flared skirts, pants, sleeves, collars and cuffs
    • Floral
    • Headbands (which you can wear in a sunny, hippie way)
    • Lace
    • Paisley
    • Pleats
    • Polkadots
    • Ruffles

     

  • Going retro – and other wedding dress trends for 2018

    The major fashion weeks, wherever they might take place, aren’t just a pointer for the following year’s general fashion, but what might be the trends and favourite looks for bridal fashion of the following year. And, to that end, this year’s catwalk-athons in London, Paris, New York and Milan have thrown us some fascinating insights of the near future’s bridal wear. Here are some thoughts on what’ll be popular in 2018…

    Black and white

    Why not go monochrome? White may be the classic, nay pure look for a wedding, but it’s not like it’s a rule you can only wear one colour on your big day, so how about mixing it up and blending white with black? Whether you want to go simple with separate coloured halves or sections of the dress or go for a showier confection where, say, a white dress is trimmed with black ribbons and a belt, it’s entirely up to you. Either way, it makes for a bold but elegant look.

    And what about other colours? On its own, a snow white shade can be a little unforgiving with some skin tones, so you might opt instead for subtle shades; pale gold or svelte silver could look fantastic with the right dress design.

    Floral prints

    The idea of going the floral route for your wedding dress may seem a little odd – too colourful? Too summery? But why not? There’s no reason why all those wedding bouquets shouldn’t extend to what you wear. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t match them with your dress. Indeed, fashionistas are swearing by the floral look right now; they’re all over the catwalks. Why not don a floral gown down the aisle next year?

    Big bows make a big splash

    They definitely did in the 1940s and decades later in the ‘big’ decade of the ’80s and they made something of a comeback last year – and this year’s trend is for even bigger bows. Some designers are going all out for enormous knots on the backs of their dresses; maybe you’d prefer to opt for elegant little ties down the sleeves of a gown?

    vintage wedding dresses London

    Go retro

    On New York’s bridal catwalks this year 1950s-style dresses were all the rage. Don’t believe us? Well, at the Oscar de la Renta show, there was even a denim jacket added to the ensemble to give it the true teenybopper-cum-rockabilly treatment. Denim may not be your idea of a dream appearance for your wedding day, but if the mood takes you, wherever you fancy looking for vintage wedding dresses London or otherwise (or why not online?), you’re bound to come up trumps.

    Slim satin lines

    Sticking with the retro theme, there’s no question that figure-hugging 1940s-style dresses are en vogue right now. That is, a streamlined dress with a hint of shoulder pads. Are they really ideal for bridal wear? Well, think of Pippa Midddleton’s bridesmaid dress for her sister’s wedding to Prince William – imagine being decked out in something like that for your big day!

    Enchanting tulle

    The magical fabric that’s tulle – commonly associated with veils and ballet dancers’ tutus – has been a catwalk favourite this year, so expect it be a favourite in bridal fashion next year too. Is it likely to stretch beyond veils? Quite possibly; it’s not hard to imagine it being embraced by designers for both shoulder and hemline features. And maybe more.

    Beautiful bodices

    Weddings are as much about the memories as they are an experience in the present. And, despite the fact we live in the Instagram age when every day’s an opportunity to get snap-happy, your wedding day remains a truly major photo-day. That means you’ll want to look as radiant as possible up-close – what better way to ensure that than via a bodice-dominated dress, where the torso is brilliantly embellished, while complemented (by way of contrast) with a relatively simple dress below?

    Make the leap to a jumpsuit?

    Finally… jumpsuits. Really? Maybe not utterly ideal for a traditional church service, but should you be considering a registry wedding or an urban-set celebration a jumpsuit could be just the sleek, sophisticated outfit to top off your big day to a tee.

  • From boutiques to websites: the dos and don’ts of vintage shopping

    It’s a familiar tale for lovers of vintage fashion everywhere – whether they’re shopping in a physical store or online – waiting for that ‘eureka!’ moment. The sensation of coming across that one item you know, instinctively and for sure, is absolutely for you. But how can you encourage that moment? Is there any way you can help bring it about, beyond scouring vintage outlets and websites?

    Is it a case that mastering the old when it comes to fashion requires some sort of ancient know-how or is it best just to rely on dumb luck and a magpie’s eye for what you like? Well, the truth is there’s no real formula you can deploy, but there are one or two tips and tricks out there you might want to try out to, yes, tip your vintage shopping scales in your favour…

    Where should you go for vintage shopping?

    There’s no hard-and-fast rule here, nor should there be. After all, vintage shopping should be about fun. Finding an outlet that catches your eye; rummaging through the rails and coming across something that brings a smile to your face. More specifically, though, shops and markets tend to be great sources for vintage clobber, while the online option is obviously terrific too; especially if you know the sort of thing you’re looking for to start with – like, say, 1950s style dresses.

    1950s style dresses

    When is it worth spending money on an item?

    The essential, fundamental question. Approach it by asking yourself four further questions: what’s the quality like? How’s it going to fit? Can you really afford it? And did you feel a surge of excitement when you came across it? If all these questions get an up-tick, then the answer’s probably yes.

    How best is it browse in a vintage store?

    Again, there’s no rule-of-thumb here; your best bet is to go about it in the way that feels most natural – maybe just stepping inside and heading for the nearest section or to start with what catches your eye. Having said that, if it’s a store with a particularly large number of offerings, then a good habit may be to push everything back on each rail so you can flick through each item quickly and individually.

    Plus, as noted, if you’re searching for vintage clothing online, then your best bet may be to seek out what you’re specifically after in first; as much because it’s likely the website will be set up to facilitate you doing this. After that, though, why not check out what other treasures and bargains they contain!

    What should make you buy an item?

    That should be entirely up to you! And, frankly, will be dependent on what you’re looking for – whether you’re searching for something in particular and find it or whether you’re browsing at ease and come across something that takes your fancy. It also may depend on what sort of fabrics you like – are you a stickler for silk? Or a lover of linen? Or a died-in-the-wool fan of wool? Remember that good fabrics always suggest good quality and should last.

    What shouldn’t make you buy an item?

    Conversely, be on the look-out for any items that are damaged or obviously stained. There are bargains to be had out there, but that doesn’t mean you have to scrimp on quality.

    Finally, what about fit? Should you buy something that will need tailoring afterwards?

    Some vintage shoppers don’t mind buying something that isn’t exactly their size – and, of course, depending on style; some items can be worn looser than others – yet others swear by going by size every time. You’d be well advised to do the latter when shopping online for vintage because, in that scenario, you can’t try on an item until you’ve received it at home, of course. Yet, if it’s an item you really want, there’s no real reason why shouldn’t be open to the idea of tailoring either.

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