I love how the phrase ‘vintage’ has replaced ‘second hand’ in regards to clothing and decor, and is now ever so trendy. Fact is, I was wearing vintage (along with many of my friends and fellow fashion design students) thirty years ago, well before it was acceptable and trendy as it is now. My friends and I would trawl the second hand clothes shops (and there were fewer then) like Oxfam for genuine 50’s clothes. Frocks, winklepickers etc.
Trips to London would be spent either in Kensington Market or down the Kings Road in Flip, the Great Gear Market, and American Classics looking for fabulous dresses and shoes. Also, Brick Lane and Camden Market.
I had an wonderful collection of 50’s dresses and skirts, jackets, coats and gorgeous stiletto healed 50’s shoes. Sadly, all gone. I think I have only a couple of pieces left. When I moved out of my Grandmother’s, I left most of it there, and when she went a bit batty, she threw most of it out. Shame. I had a beautiful flocked taffeta full skirted 50’s evening dress in deep burgundy.
Gladys never understood why I bought ‘second hand’ clothes. To her, a survivor of the austere war years, wearing second hand clothes was something you didn’t do, as it indicated poverty. However, as she got older…she cottoned on to the idea, and would proudly show me a ‘bargain’ she had picked up in the local charity shops.
I don’t wear vintage myself anymore. Not really, and I don’t buy clothes as collectibles, I buy clothes that are durable and practical. But, one day maybe I might. In fact, some of my own clothes (that sadly don’t fit me any more) are straying into the vintage category as it is.
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