Why Buy Vintage?

Views 8 Likes Comments Comment
Like if this guide is helpful
Some people argue there's a certain type of person that shops for vintage. In the world of  Catwalk Creative Vintage, that couldn't be further from the truth. People that want to look individual, and who can visualise an outfit sourced from all sorts of decades and designers, love the allure of vintage. They long to be different - their style knows no bounds and they're the envy of fashionistas everywhere . . .
1950s day dress by Blanes Late 1940s dress by Benhams 'Janida' Vintage Brocade Dress c.1950s


Why Buy Vintage?

If you are new to the term 'vintage' and would like to know what's so good about it - please read on!

Just to clarify that Catwalk Creative Vintage uses the term 'vintage' to describe clothing, accessories and jewellery that are 20 years old or more.
Without question, most enthusiasts would say they would rather invest in authentic vintage than buy copies or reproduction pieces. The reasons are many, but in the main, it's all about the quality of fabric, styling, craftsmanship, colours and textures that makes collecting vintage so addictive.
You can rely on Catwalk Creative to offer you the best wearable vintage pieces that work everywhere. I just love great clothes!

Visit my website today!

Sari inspired evening dress by Blanes c.1960s Tanner of North Carolina Silk Dress c.1960s Red Lace Evening Dress (no maker's name) c.1960s

GOOD INVESTMENT - It's important to remember that not everything that is 'old' is worth something. Certainly there is plenty of up-cycled, or re-purposed, vintage that is widely available online. However, a vintage fashion connoisseur understands the importance of staying true to the original design, and would always look for authentic vintage that hasn't been altered or shortened. There are plenty of genuine mini-length dresses from the 1960s and 1970s to go around for everyone, so why shorten (badly) an authentic 1950s dress, unless it's been badly damaged?

Look for pieces that stand the test of time; a classic skirt suit or pencil dress for example, will make great staple pieces for your collection and remain wearable, no matter what the current fashion trend. In addition, statement pieces with a 'wow' factor, tend to hold their value.
When it comes to buying vintage, there are those who buy to wear, and those who buy to invest. Collecting fashion is now very big business. A good rule of thumb is to consider the price. If something was expensive then, it'll be expensive now, and providing the condition of the garment is good, it should also be expensive in the future.

Labelled garments from well-known designers are much sought after. However, you'd be missing out on some fabulous quality vintage if you go by the label alone. There are many wonderful pieces that don't include a label, so always buy things that you love; and always pay the most you can afford, making sure the condition of the garment is good before you buy.

THE ENVIRONMENT - It's clear that wearing vintage is good for the planet. There are no manufacturing processes that cause pollution and no slave labour involved. In an article published by The Observer in 2010, they said that 'fast fashion' is driven by consumer appetites; that the public loves fashion but they also dump two million tons of textile waste (mostly clothing) in landfill each year, which suggests that consumers don't value it. We therefore end up with the type of fashion retail we deserve . . . rubbish, poorly made clothing. So in order to react against this growing trend, buying vintage offers an eco-friendly alternative.

FASHION FORWARD - Wearing vintage is a great way to approach fashion and there are no age barriers. Whether you are nineteen or ninety, you can find a wide variety of designs from past eras, offering endless style opportunities. Whether it's clothing, jewellery or a fabulous handbag, using vintage allows you to be creative with your wardrobe and to develop your own style. You don't have to look like a 1950s fashion 'throw-back'; simply mix and match your vintage pieces with the new and become the most fashion-forward of your friends.

And finally, just because the 1950s dress, that you wore with great aplomb during the 1980s, doesn't look great on you now, it certainly doesn't mean that you're too old to wear vintage! We all change over the years, including our colouring, so experiment with different shapes, lengths and colours to see what works best for you now. . . . . and most importantly, have fun with it!

How to Buy Vintage Online

Shopping online is a relatively new resource for vintage shoppers and the main benefit is that you can access pieces from all over the world without leaving your home.  Perfect for those who love vintage clothing but would rather rummage in the comfort of their armchair rather than though piles of clothes all bunched together with racks and racks of clothing rails.

However, individual sites are not always easy to navigate and some eBay stores offer poor quality photographs. If you want to be sure what you're buying, contact the seller beforehand. They should state if their clothing has been altered, but unfortunately this isn't always the case. Mini dresses weren't around in the 1950s so if you find a dress like this, alarm bells should start to ring! There seems to be a penchant for hacking off hemlines which is unfortunate to say the least. There's enough genuine mini dresses from the 1960s to go around for everyone, so why ruin the lines and structure of perfectly wearable vintage?  And don't forget that not everyone wants to wear mini length clothes! In addition, there are many vintage clothes that have been very poorly hemmed. The only way you can make an informed choice about a purchase is to know exactly what you're buying. Sellers please take note!

SIZING can also be a problem if you can't try the garments on.  However, good sellers will always provide full measurements along with clear and detailed photographs. I recommend measuring yourself and do it regularly. If you need help with sizing, please refer to my   Vintage Clothing Size Guide.

Also make sure you are clear on the returns policy and if in doubt, contact the seller to ask for more information.  You can be sure that a genuine seller with a sound knowledge of vintage, will only be too happy to help.

Be wary of inexperienced sellers who have a limited knowledge of the garments they are dealing with. They may purposely or inadvertently price their garments incorrectly because they haven't dated them properly.  To a more experienced connoisseur of vintage, the fabric, cut and style of a garment are the easiest ways to identify what era it derives from.

There are certain characteristics from particular decades such as:

  • Drop-waist dresses from the Twenties.
  • Tea dresses from the Forties.
  • High-waist, full skirts from the Fifties.
  • Rounded collars on shirts (Peter Pan collars) are typically Sixties, as are empire-line dresses.
  • Psychedelic prints on polyester and other manmade fabrics are also from the Sixties.

Just like vintage boutiques, prices vary greatly from one site to another.  A vintage garment purchased for £50 can be just as desirable and impressive as one purchased for £450. Pricing depends on lots of factors including whether the garment is labelled, the fabrics used, the condition of the garment, the age of the garment, and also how much the dealer has paid for it. Some dealers buy their stock from private collections so one shouldn't assume that all vintage is found in the local charity shop.  Also, reputable vintage sellers will often spend time repairing, cleaning and generally getting the vintage piece ready for sale.  All these factors should be considered.

When seeking out your vintage treasure, here are some things you might consider before making your purchase:

1) Will it suit your personal style?
2) Will the cut of the garment suit your shape?
3) Will it be easy to care for (dry-clean/hand-wash)?
4) Has it been shortened or altered from the original design?
5) How much are you willing to pay?
6) Does the manufacturing quality warrant the price tag?
7) Is it a labelled item or a collectors piece?
8) Will you wear it?
9) Do you love it?

Multi-Stripe Ruffle Neck Dress c.1970s/80s                                                             LLOYD WILLIAMS Evening Dress c.1980s

Vintage (used) Condition

Wearing vintage clothing is a way of wearing history, so it goes without saying that most genuine vintage clothing has been worn before. Some wearing to the fabric is therefore inevitable. You are not purchasing a new garment and therefore need to be aware that fabric may have slight imperfections.  You should be fully aware of any flaws or alterations before making your decision to buy.  Always read the seller's description in full before purchasing or placing your bid.  If you are in any doubt or would like to see more photographs, just ask.  What have you got to loose?  We all have individual standards and our expectations vary greatly.

At one extreme are perfectionists who only buy contemporary pieces that are, or look brand new and buy vintage garments that are in mint or museum-quality condition.  More easy-going folk accept minor imperfections like a missing button, knowing that a quick once-over with a needle and thread will turn the piece into an absolute treasure.  And finally there are people who don't mind a challenge, perhaps an experienced seamstress, willing to bring a garment back to its former glory.  Most important is knowing exactly which flaws you yourself will tolerate, so that you don't make a purchase that you will later regret.

With all that information to hand, the aim at Catwalk Creative Vintage is to bring you the best quality, lightly-used clothing around.  I hand-pick all merchandise and have very high standards.  If a garment has a minor fault or imperfection, it will be noted clearly in the description.  All merchandise is in lovely, wearable condition so there won't be any nasty surprises when you open your parcel. You may even come across a vintage garment that's NOS (new old stock) and therefore never worn before, some with tags still attached.  These items don't come up often but you should still check for storage issues. Even brand new vintage can include flaws.

Catwalk Creative Vintage  clothing is laundered, dry-cleaned and/or aired before dispatching, so your garments will reach you in beautiful condition and ready to wear. All you need do is unwrap the tissue paper and wear!

Vintage clothing is unique and special - that's why finding a real vintage 'gem' is so exciting.

Spread the love for vintage!

Catwalk Creative Vintage  is a proud member of the Vintage Fashion Guild (VFG)

Vintage Fashion Guild member

Have something to share, create your own guide... Write a guide
Explore more guides