Vintage does not necessarily mean cheap??!!

Just a short post as I am in the middle of Norwich Fashion Week and with all the plans for vintage shows, exhibitions and collection planning I am run off my feet – if you want to find out more about all the events take a look here.

But I felt that I needed a little rant as you do sometimes when something makes you a bit mad!!

As I am putting together pieces for the collection of The Stylist and The Collector – you can read more about it on our facebook page I have come across a few comments from people I have been talking to about buying vintage – the comments I have heard are an all to common mis-conception about vintage clothing – ” I didn’t realise that vintage was so expensive” and “how can you justify charging that much for second-hand clothes?”

Lets just get a few things straight – vintage does not necessarily mean cheap – yes you can pick up fabulous “designer look alike” for a lot less than the real thing and that is what The Stylist and The Collector is all about but vintage shops and dealers are not charity shops, people do not GIVE them items for them to sell – pieces have to be sourced, labels researched, dry cleaned, or washed, mended and paid for so when people ask what is your best price on this in a vintage shop – it is marked with the “best price” – you don’t go into Top Shop or Zara and ask the same thing so why do you think it is right to do it with vintage??!!

When you think about the quality of the fabric of vintage items and the work that goes into making the pieces – details such as pleats, seams, pin tucks and other details found on such items that would cost a small fortune to reproduced today if they could actually do it?? Buttons, trims and decoration are all different now – cheap plastic buttons and trims as opposed to metal, lace or even Bakelite.  The same quality of wool in vintage garments doesn’t exist now unless you pay top dollar so when I see women forking out a couple of hundred pounds for a wool jacket from a high-end high street brand but can’t see how paying for a one-off vintage one makes so much more sense!?

Think about all the work that goes into couture now – we all see the clips popping up on social media – 70 years ago that is how the majority of clothes were made – by hand with very little mass production. Clothes were not made in sweat shop  in China/India or wherever but in workshops and factories that employed skilled seamstresses. This  is WHY you pay a price for incredible vintage pieces so think again when you question the cost of a hand beaded 50’s cocktail dress or the intricate stitch detail and the quality of the wool in an original 1940’s suit??

Thirty plus years ago when I first started to buy vintage there was a lot more of it around, it didn’t cost so much and I know because it is now “fashionable” prices have increased but it is still a great way to shop and still costs less than badly made high street and the designer pieces. You are in fact paying for a little bit of history – just think even a 70’s shirt dress (so very now) is 40 years old!!!

Rant over and I will leave you with some pretty pictures of the inspiration for up coming collection from The Stylist and The Collector!!


We are having a bit of a Gucci Cruise moment this season – totally loving the 70’s geek chic!!

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