How to buy vintage + win a vintage voucher
Fashion and Dress History graduate Gemma Cockshott turned her passion for vintage into a business last year when she set up Just Vintage Clothing Co, selling 1930s to 1980s womenswear online and at vintage fairs. Here she shares her top five tips on how to buy vintage and gives you the chance to win a £35 voucher so you can put your skills to the test.
- Date from the detail
“It’s not uncommon for styles to repeat themselves over time, for example did you know in the 1960s there was a resurgence of ‘20s style? There have been a few items over the years that have made me think twice about the dates and it’s always been the smallest details that have given the age away – a hemline or fastening.”
- Look for labels
“When sourcing I look for labels as they tell me an awful lot about an item of clothing or even more if they don’t have one. But I am always keeping an eye out for quality, as a label-less dress if made by a gifted dressmaker is often better quality than I can find on the high street.”
- Study the social
“The social impact of dress can help give you and any buyer respect for an item – it offers context. When dating an item it’s also really helpful to have an understanding of what a garment would have represent socially at the time. A prime example of this is fashion from the 1940s; if you remember that fabric was on ration, when you start to see where the designer has made clever savings.”
- Take good care
“Brighton Museum proved a very valuable resource when it came to learning about storing, cleaning and repairing vintage clothing during my studies.
I’ve learned to be cautious when washing – take a good look at the fabric, some will wash and others won’t. There is a lot of advice online and if in doubt take it to the dry cleaners, who will be able to offer advice. Bringing vintage clothing in always has a risk of moths so freeze everything for 2-3 days to reduce this as there’s nothing worse than seeing a beautiful dress nibbled. Delicate dresses should be stored flat as a hanger can damage the straps of a heavy or fine dress. And finally if folding, use layers of acid free tissue through the garment.”
- Find sport in sourcing
“Think outside the box when sourcing vintage. Doing a short internship at Kerry Taylor Auctions made me really appreciate that the source of vintage fashion can be from all manner of unusual places. My best buys have been in charity shops, general auctions and even a church hall sale. Recently I found a Dorset Rex handbag for pittance at a general auction! The problem is, when I find something like that I want to keep it for myself!”
Of course you can’t go far wrong with a local vintage fair, which brings together dozens of sourcing experts, and Gemma is a girl in the know when it comes to events all across the South. To find out where she’ll be popping up next visit www.justvintageclothingco.co.uk. Here are just a few dates for your diary:
9-11 September 2016: Goodwood Revival
18 September 2016: Hammersmith Vintage Fair, PA Antiques
29 September 2016: UCLC Freshers Vintage Fair, Judy’s Vintage Fairs
16 October 2016: Clerkenwell Vintage Fashion Fair
30 October 2016: St. Stephens Vintage Fair, Pop Up Vintage Fairs
6 November 2016: Brighton Racecourse Antiques and Vintage Fair, Love Fairs
27 November 2016: Clerkenwell Vintage Fashion Fair
Win a £35 vintage voucher
Feeling inspired? For you chance to bag yourself a £35 voucher to spend on vintage clothing at www.justvintageclothingco.co.uk simply leave a comment on this blog post telling us what you look for in vintage clothes.
The competition will close at midnight 23 September 2016 and a winner picked at random and contacted via the email address they use to leave the comment during the week commencing 26 September 2016. Contact details will then be passed on to Just Vintage Clothing Co. to fulfil the prize. One entry per person.