Vintage often used to describe a fine wine complimentary of its age and taste; is known under the same guise in the fashion stakes. Over the past decade, our fascination with second hand clothing and its appeal has grown significantly, with many designers now delving back into their fashion archives for key inspiration.
Particularly over the past five years, this surge has seen independent businesses successfully capitalise on the fashion boom; giving more interesting style choices at affordable prices. The penchant to find something a little unique these days is thankfully an easier shopping task now. And with trends constantly evolving it has never been more accepted to wear something from a by-gone era.
So where do you start? Here at MFM we’ve devised a helpful shopping guide with a few tips and a vintage hotspot address book along the way; to make things a little easier for you.
Knowing what you’re on the hunt for is always a useful starting point. Vintage shopping can sometimes get a bit exhausting if you don’t know where to look, planning and a little research can help. Larger vintage outlets do have more choice but this can compromise the quality. Some smaller vintage boutiques offer a more bespoke and handpicked selection of stock.
How to find the best of what you want…
According to matchinggear.com when looking for quality vintage items, always keep in mind that garments and accessories come with wear and tear and may not always be immaculate condition. But that’s their nostalgic charm!
Good quality and durable items that stand the test of time always have a branding and care label stitched inside. Some shops change their business name over time, be aware of this if you come across a St Michael jumper, it will be an M&S original.
Check for signs of wear, when trying on and read product descriptions thoroughly if your shopping online. Is the garment in good condition; are there any major signs of wear such as holes and tears? Pilling on jumpers especially on Angora and Cashmere can be cared for with a comb as can a small hole in a seam. Most good vintage retailers dry-clean their clothing before sale, strange odours and visible stains however don’t always vanish. Remember this before you buy.
The same tips apply to shopping for a bag, tie or hat. If everything looks great and you’ve checked the inside and out, chances are you’ve found yourself a treat.
Whether it’s a pair of vintage style brogues that take your fancy or original retro branded trainers, there are some amazing selections out there just waiting to be tried on. Check size labels, wear and tear on the sole and heel of the shoe. If it’s a smart shoe with a hard exterior, you may consider a trip to your local cobblers for a spruce up!
If you’re lucky enough to get your hands on a unique pair maintain with polish and a little TLC. A thrifted pair of Wingtips, can be worth just as much as a new pair of shoes but you pay half the price.
On A Budget?
Ebay and ASOS Marketplace also feature some great picks of second hand clothing. With so many independent businesses and endless listings online, it’s more than likely you’ll find yourself an absolute bargain!
Charity shops are an affordable option too, and your money will be helping a fantastic cause; you can be pleasantly surprised at what you’d find down at your local shop. Oxfam.org online has an excellent vintage section just waiting for your click.
Vintage Shops in the UK…
Bionic Seven, 60 Port Street Manchester
A premium vintage men’s boutique, generously stocked with brands such as Barbour, Pendleton, Levis and Woolrich to name a few. Compact over two floors, this shop compromises the best selection of outerwear, knits and international labels. It’s the perfect place to go if you’re looking for an original Fred Perry Polo or Gloverall Duffel with a subtle mod vibe.
Dog & Bone Vintage, 36 Gillygate York
After opening their new store residence in late November, Dog & Bone has left quite a big impression on the vintage shoppers of York. Stocking an eclectic array of men’s clothing and accessories, Dog & Bone take pride in their high quality hand selected stock. A trend-led collection of originals, you can easily find yourself a decent pair of leather brogues and a Harris Tweed Wool Blazer. Women’s clothing and unique vintage home-ware is also available to buy in store.
Rokit, Brick Lane, Covent Garden & Camden, London
With four stores dotted around the capital and an excellent host to online retail, Rokit has a flawless collection of every accessory or garment you could ever wish to look for. Check out their fantastic current range of fine tartan scarves for the winter gentleman.
Look out for these classic buys…
Acid wash, black, stone wash, classic blue, oversized… the list is endless your trusty denim will always look good layered under a coat in winter or with a tee in summer.
The statement bag, classic, practical and perfect throughout the day. Choose from different sized messengers, pockets, leather finishes, buckles and straps.
Whether it’s an aviator or the typical biker style, these are completely timeless pieces.
So there you have it a concise and compact guide to vintage shopping with a few added extras. Here at MFM we hope you have fun on your next shopping spree when you are looking to invest your money in something a little more out of the ordinary!