As a cash strapped 16 year-old student I started sprinkling my wardrobe with vintage clothes. In my teenage years we called them second hand and they were the only affordable alternative to dressing in leggings from Chelsea Girl.
I would flick through Vogue and The Face in WH Smith, and then rummage through Birmingham’s thrift stores to find similar styles. Fashion is the ultimate recycler and many designers take inspiration from the past so there’s always some item making a comeback! The maxi dress in particular always seems to makes an appearence down someone’s runway.
Had I realised as we trawled the rails of our local charity shops just how much the dresses we paid a couple of quid for would be sought after, then I would have hoarded them.
Over the years I’ve given away, ruined with careless washing or lost the most gorgeous items of clothing. Whoever invents an app for hindsight will truly revolutionise society.
Now with its increased popularity, the price of vintage has been hiked up, but it’s still possible to find bargain pieces. The same can be said of vintage children’s clothes too.
Since my daughter Gracie was born I’ve been on the hunt for lovely retro items for her. Although there are far more clothing retailers with a wider choice than when I was growing up, it feels as though baby clothes are all very samey. Also, I’m not a fan of endless pink.
If you want something a little different, it’s often the designer brands that offer it. With a baby that’s growing daily and sometimes will only wear an item once before it’s too small, I cannot justify spending upwards of £30 for an outfit. Once again vintage lends a style hand.
During a visit to Margate I found my first vintage dresses in the children’s boutique Punkaboo, which is now an online only operation. The brand sells kooky kids clothes, but the rail of little vintage dresses were only a one off after the owner’s friend uncovered a suitcase of clothes her mother had kept from her childhood.
Had I not been heavily pregnant, and completely fixated on getting to GB Pizza for lunch, I would have possibly bought more.
I’ve also been dipping into Ebay, and as I type I’m awaiting the outcome of an auction for a pair of 1970s denim dungarees. With Jools Oliver producing a retro-inspired collection for Mothercare, I would urge you to start picking up pieces now before it’s a new nursery trend.