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Vintage Apparel Style Guide

What is vintage clothing?

Vintage style clothing allows people who love a good bargain to shop around and switch up their style. Vintage style refers to wearing clothing from previous eras, usually in the form of second hand and gently used clothing. Shopping vintage not only allows people to bolster their fashion by implementing the charm of a previous era, it also provides an excellent way to recycle and re-use items that would otherwise be discarded. In the term's of today's fashion landscape, vintage reigns supreme and many people are finding shirts, jackets, dresses, tops and shoes that they love, from eras ranging all the way back to the 1920's. Even major fashion designers are creating brand new clothing with modern vintage style, allowing people to wear clothing from various eras.

Society is currently captivated by different eras, as the hit shows and movies harken back to previous eras. For instance, HBO's Boardwalk Empire puts 1920's and 30's fashion on full display, while AMC's Mad Men brings 1950's culture and fashion to the forefront. The hit film, The Great Gatsby also features 1920's fashion. Hipster culture also has given a legion of people an outlet to express their style in a way that is now mainstream. If these societal trends are any indication, vintage apparel is here to stay.

What are Some Popular Vintage Trends?

The 1920s were notable years for fashion. The decade, known as The Roaring Twenties, birthed The Harlem Renaissance, jazz music and gave rise to noted fashion designers and labels like Gucci, Coco Chanel and Hermes. Women wore flapper outfits and bobbed their hair. Men wore sleek suits and were never seen without hats. Today, people are bringing this vintage style back to life, with darker colors, heavier fabrics and sleek cuts.

European style and sensibilities dominated the 1950's fashion scene, adding a touch of flair and bold colors. Plaids, lace collars, large buttonless jackets and rolled up jacket sleeves dominated this era and led into the hip 1960s era. In the 60s, people mixed retro wear with androgynous and bold outfits, creating a clean, yet slightly disheveled look.

In terms of vintage culture, these three decades are dominant.

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How to Put Together a Vintage Style Clothing Outfit

When putting together a vintage outfit, people need to consider the era. The best fashion comes from the inside out, so people should assess how they feel about themselves and what cultural themes they are drawn to. People should assess what types of feeling they hope to convey, because that is the statement they are making. It all begins by putting together matching tops and bottoms, and matching them from head to toe with shoes, accessories and jewelry pieces. When a person wants to put together a solid outfit, it pays to glance at magazines or online searches for ideas from previous decades.

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How to Shop Vintage

People who want to shop vintage apparel have more options than any other type of fashion. When new trends come out, people typically have a handful of stores they can shop at, remaining tied to catalogues and trends. However, with vintage clothing, the sky is the limit. People can shop online, in thrift stores, at garage sales, flea markets and with fashion labels that produce modern vintage style clothing. Since the style spans decades, people can choose between a number of outfit types in order to mix and match.

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Caring for Vintage Clothes

When people buy vintage clothes second hand, it pays to have an understanding of how to care for the clothes. Shopping at thrift stores can fetch some gems, but second hand clothes might also have stains or holes. For this reason, it pays to become handy with a sewing machine. People should make sure that they never put vintage clothing in plastic bags, because they should receive air. They should never be stored on wire hangers and should avoid light whenever possible to reduce fading. Those who wear these clothes should also invest in a good detergent in order to get rid of any stains.

After doing some research, people will be more informed the next time they ask, What is vintage?

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