What is Vintage Clothing?
Vintage clothing can be somewhat of a misleading term, vintage clothing is often used in it’s
generic sense which essentially means second hand clothing.
Vintage clothing is in fact fashion pieces that date before 1970’s which would make real vintage
clothing to be at least 30 years old. This would then rule out clothing made in the 1980’s as
vintage. However, some boutique's do stock archives of garments which date to specific eras.
The clothing that you can find is all unique. Buying vintage clothing is a great alternative to buying
mass production garments on the high street, because what you can find in vintage shops are
generally exclusive one-offs pieces.
Vintage clothes can help you define a period to your look, which will give your style
demeanour true vintage character.
Introducing vintage clothes into your wardrobe and wearing them with your contemporary
clothes can help enhance your overall style aesthetic, giving you a look that is much more
texturized and in depth.
Mass production did not come in until after the 1920’s. Vintage clothing that sill exists will be
well made with precision and care.
Re-using and recycling anything is great for the environment and this has the same connation's
when buying into vintage clothes. It’s better to wear something that is pre-existing rather than
clothing that has been mass produced. Clothes always end up being chucked out and once
disposed of they cannot all bio-degraded.
How to Shop for Vintage
• Rule number one, always buy what you feel comfortable in.
• Keep your eyes peeled for good picks, remember pre 1970’s garments were far more
tailored with precision in the care and finish. Mass production came in shortly after this
so the quality in the clothes will not be as good.
• Each era has a focal emphasis on a different body parts, researching movie stars of that
decade for top fashion inspiration will also help you buy right.
• Try and pick classic shapes so that they are versatile enough for you to team with what’s in
• Read the labels, the last thing you want is a piece that you constantly have to spend money
on dry cleaning.
• Wherever possible try it on and if your buying online ask for the size.
• Often vintage shops have dim light, so hold it up to the light to help you to spot any not so
• This is gross, but smell the armpits. In the time period that vintage clothing was produced,
antiperspirant was not what it is today.
• Factor in your budget, vintage shopping can cost more or less than what you would
normally buy, and except to pay more for designer vintage.
Where to Shop for Vintage
Quality of stock can vary quite considerably depending on where you shop, because the onus
is on the devotion of the buyer of that particular store. It’s best to check with the store
owner or sales assistant about their vintage clothes, on speaking with them you will be able
to gage whether the pieces are genuine artefacts or not.
The best places…
• London has lot’s of great vintage spots, check out these top 10 vintage boutiques
• Vintage fairs are also a great way to find super cool pieces. The fairs are also great value
for money as you can pay twenty pounds for a bag and then you can stuff it full with
• Another way to shop vintage is to go to a clothes swap function. This is when you can take
bit’s you no longer wear and swap with pieces that people no longer want.
NB: Be aware that alterations may be necessary for vintage clothes so that you can achieve the perfect fit and look.
Once you have your killer vintage pieces, show them off by tagging them to this new
Vintage Mapon farfetch via instagram. It’s really cool, you can see all the amazing vintage
items people have brought from all around the world!