What a wonderful thing vintage shopping is! It can take you to any place and time. Just click a button and you could be a punk, a New Romantic, or a flower child. Fancy being a disco diva or a soul singer? No problem. Flappers, spivs, factory girls and New York Dolls also welcome.
Imagination doesn’t stop you
Flipping through vintage shops on the internet is like playing virtual dress up. You can select styles form any period you wish. You can even combine them if you have a taste for it. You could be a flapper with a penchant for punk. A Mod who likes fisherman’s jumpers. Or a flying ace in flares. Don’t restrict yourself.
The only rules are the ones you break. Take inspirations from films, books magazines, old photographs. Take inspiration from your own imagination.
Play with textures: silk, satin, velvet and slippery sensuous suede. Add denim, canvas, leather and sturdy tweed. Play with colours – all black with a hit of neon, all pink through the shades. Baby pink to old tea rose to fuchsia to shocking pink. Team it with khaki, air force blue or dirty brown. Go for a sludgy palette, blend into the countryside. Choose bruised plum, violet grey, mustard yellow and dusty green. Or look for the finest cloud comforting colours you can find- dove grey, chiffon white, the cream colour of a rabbit’s scut.
Look at the sunset and deconstruct it into layers of violent purple edged wit salmon pink, blue clouds and yellow. Look at the ground below the sunset, and dress in green striated with strips of brown and chequers of yellow.
Forget your preconceptions.
Because vintage shopping is not what you think. It’s not tired second hand clothes but the most vibrant of classic garments. It’s a treasure trove of ideas and unexpected delights. You’ll see fabrics you don’t know, and prints you’ve never seen before. You’ll know what a Sixties dress really looked like, and how it feels to slip into a flappers slippers. Dance all night in a 1920s evening dress – by the morning you may have shimmied off every bead and the dress will be just a memory, but a glorious one. Dance in it and pop champagne corks till the fabric gives way and the silk shreds. Divine decadence was what the Twenties was all about.
Rethink your ideas of a vintage shop. Don’t restrict yourself to the High Street. Re-use, re-wear, re-try things on. Rediscover playing. Play with clothes, play with your outfits. You’re only young, or old, or somewhere in between once. Put your 1980s sports wear on with high heels, mix your silky vintage knickers with tennis shoes.
Wear your tennis shoes pristine or full of holes. Wear your denim likewise. Try jeans that are bleached, jeans that are holy. Try jeans that have been made into skirts. Wear jeans that are so well worn they are white. Wear jeans that are pristine blue with creases down the middle.