There is something really cool about vintage clothing. Who hasn't admired a really nice or interesting item on a friend or a stranger at a party, and on asking where it was from heard a somewhat smug 'oh, this is vintage'? Of course, like most hip and trendy things, vintage clothing can also be pretty intimidating. Many people worry about finding something old that fits properly and looks good with the rest of their wardrobe, and also worry about how to pull off vintage people without looking like some kind of throwback!
The best way to start getting into vintage shopping and to gain the confidence to pull together some really nice outfits is to find some inspiration and then jump in and start looking for your first piece. Here are some tips on how to go about it.
Choose an Era and a Look You Want to Draw From
While as a vintage shopper you don't have to restrict yourself to one period or once subculture's style of dress, and you can build some really eclectic styles as you build your collection, for that first special vintage purchase you should seek inspiration from a period you can identify with. Do you love fifties Hollywood glamour, or think those pictures of Twiggy in the sixties in her mini dresses were really cool? Or are you inspired by a certain music movement from the past, and interested in getting something authentically mod, punk or goth? Remember that you are looking to buy just one piece, so you don't need to be prepared to adopt the entire look, just some of its flavour. You can wear a punk jacket without having to get a mohawk and put a safety pin through your nose, or try a seventies floral maxi dress without having to transform into the blonde one from Abba overnight.
Decide On Something You Can Mix With Other Things You Have
Your first piece should be something you can use often, and which you can combine with other 'normal' clothes you already have. Coats can be a good option, because you can wear them a lot and they tend to be designed to work with lots of different outfits. Also, because coats are harder wearing than most clothes, you can often find vintage coats that are in a serviceable condition more easily than fragile things like dresses and blouses. Dresses can also be good first buys because you are likely to have some simple or neutral shoes, like black strappy sandals, which will work with them and you don't need much else to make up a complete outfit.
Another option is not to go straight in to looking for clothing, and to start with an accessory you can use a lot like a bag, hat, scarf or pair of sunglasses. This can be a good idea if you aren't sure what your measurements are and are planning to buy your first piece online where you won't be able to try it on. As long as you pick something you'll get lots of use from and can mix in with your current wardrobe, you’ll be sure to love your vintage piece and keep finding new ways to wear it!