Tuesday, 13 December 2011

I'm Dreaming of Vintage Christmas

I haven't been able to get on ebay for the past couple of weeks; neither my home computer running on Firefox or my netbook on Chrome have been able to find the .co.uk or .com versions, so when I started looking for vintage clothing ideas for a Christmas outfit, I've really had to expand my horizons beyond the default setting. Is anyone else having this problem or is it just me? It's a shame it also means that I can't link to Belfast staple Rusty Zip who sell online goods via ebay.

I'm by no means a fashionista. I like clothes and love fashion as an art, but I don't have the money or the inclination to shop regularly, and more often than not when I do I go for something second hand or nicked from my sister.

50's Red and Blue Check Dress  rockit.co.uk
But here's a few outfits I've spotted that I thought I'd share. These are authentic vintage rather than inspired by classic designs, meaning that for the most part they'll be unique and looking for a second life.

I've also a few tips for making the most of second hand and older items of clothing that might come in useful.

Smells and Odours: First up if the clothing you've bought comes with a stale moth ball odour, do not immediately reach for the spray-on fabric freshener. Older and more delicate fabrics are unlikely to take kindly to this, with staining and even damage in some cases. Obviously wash according to instruction if you wish, but in terms of adding a little extra scent, rely on good old fashioned dried flowers and pot pouire. A bag of tied scented foliage is good for drawers, but can also be left in a bowl at the bottom of the wardrobe. Failing that a magic tree car air freshener isn't a bad idea either and can be hung.
Casual Jumper   beyondretro.co.uk

Repairing Minor Damage: If shopping in store and you notice damage on an item of clothing, bring it to the attention of the sales person and you are more than likely to get a few quid of the item if you are prepared to repair. Basic skills like patching and darning are essential and if you don't know how to, you can check out videos on YouTube or ask a friend of relative who can to teach you. My personal tip for invisible, neat and lasting stitching would be to make sure you are using the right kind of needle and thread. Have a collection of various shades and colors, but also make sure that they suit the fabric you are repairing. If you are not sure what goes with what, ask someone at your local craft shop or haberdashery; I've always found them to be invaluable when it comes to inside knowledge. Also, invest in tube of fabric glue for any last minute solutions to loose beas, sequins etc, they can always be repaired properly later and it never hurts to have an old button stash somewhere in your home.

Reworked Men's Italian Jacket devoted2vintage.co.uk
Cleaning atnd Storage: This is a prime means of making sure all clothes, but especially older items, last longer and in good condition. Excess washing can make fabric breakdown, so only wash if you need to (this saves energy too). If something has a mark or stain on it, but is otherwise good for a few more wears, then attend to the stain only. What you use of course pertains to the fabric in question and you can get plenty of recommended stain pens by checking online, but a sponge and some water is often all you need for every day marks. You can also buy in a lint roller for dust and hairs, but remember a few strips of sticky tape can be just as effective. Clean your shoes regularly by hand though -  letting all kinds a shite build up just makes then harder to do later, and it can cover up small scuffs and holes so they aren't immediately noticeable, thus giving them time to develop into something more serious. If shiny finish shoes develop stubborn black scrape marks, these can normally be fixed with a little nail varnish remover on a cotton bud.
When it comes to storage, hang up clothes that are meant to hang and fold clothes tht are meant to fold. It's simple enough but it means that many clothes retain their natural shape. For more tips on making clothes last longer, I'd recommend checking out this article on the Wise Bread site.

Revamp: Finally, if you're looking for something special for a Christmas party, but can't see anything exactly right, then consider putting revamp skills to use. Adding a few bits and pieces to an existing item can turn it into something completely new. Gok Wan's Roadshow has been doing great things in showing people how to do simply upgrades on clothes and accessories. Even if you're not a fan of make-over shows, I suggest checking them out on 4OD for some handy tips. And if you are local to NI, keep an eye out on the Rethink, Revamp and Restyle Workshops for classes

Pear Tree Christmas Apron


  1. Oh and of course, I should have mentioned it in the post, but continue to keep checking out local charity shops for cheaper alternatives. East Belfast Mission recently opened a Vintage store that you can find out more about here: http://www.ebm.org.uk/vintage.php

  2. nice post. Now you can use this companies directory India to promote mens clothing import & export business.

  3. When it comes to guys clothing i like the vintage styles more than the new ones

  4. lovely dreaming vintage Christmas, thanks for sharing

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