Tuesday, 29 November 2011

{Beginners Guide} Buying Vintage versus Reproduction and modern

Original 1940s Hat!!

Right so now you have your invitations I'm presuming you'll be buying something to wear. Which way do you decide vintage or reproduction?

When I was 19, back in the 90's I bought myself a little 1967 mini cooper. A real classic I loved every inch of that mini!
Where am I going with this you ask? Bear with me.....

Well although I loved the cooper to pieces it wasn't exactly practical for everyday use, however beautiful or authentic it was. So after a year I sold it for a modern car.

Ten years later I found myself yearning for another mini, being a bit cash-strapped I bought an old beatup 850 "Bluey" I loved every minute of it, but it soon gave up on me *grr*
 No problem, my dad told me of a customer (80 years old lady driver!!) who was selling hers! A mini sky, ten years newer that Bluey and in perfect condition I bought it without a second thought! I regretted it ever since!!

It still looked like a mini but it had changed over the years, it felt sterile all of the fun gone out of it.

Compare these minis to the clothes available for you to choose when dressing vintage....

Original Vintage Clothing -The Cooper 

Original clothes dating from 1920s - 1980s can be sourced from various places, ebay, vintage clothes shops or vintage fairs. They are often very well made and have been loved and cared for and have visited many a grand occasion in their several decades of use!

Definitely the dream buy!
Its authentic you are wearing a piece of history
You're likely to turn heads of both those in the know and others alike
A lot are unique
Well made, better quality

Rare not always easy to find
Limited options (sizing / colours etc)
Precious (may easily tear, get moth-holes etc)

Reproduction Clothing - Bluey

There are several companies that offer clothing designs based on earlier patterns, the owners are often passionate about their eras and i have found the clothing to be very well made! These clothes are available in sizes to fit modern bodies and suit modern lifestyles.
There are lots of these companies out there, some of my favourites include

Rocket Originals
Puttting on the Ritz

Original styles or designs
Modern Sizings
Easier to care for (Often machine washable)

Often only availble on short runs
More likely someone will be wearing same dress

Modern Vintage Inspired Clothing - The mini Sky

{High street}

We are very lucky here in the UK at the moment that the 40s is 'in' so lots of 40s inspired clothes are in the shop. If you are able to spot them then these are great for bulking out your wardrobe, cashmere cardis anyone? They also are a great way to ease your way into wearing vintage, so you don't feel you are putting on a costume or standing out like a sore thumb.


Easier to find
Can be Cheaper
All Sizes


Watered down Versions

{Speciality companies}

 Trashy Diva

There are several  speciality shops in this area too  including

Pin Up Couture
Trashy Diva
Bernie Dexter and
Bettie Page Clothing

These offer a certain look I find, often PinUp inspired always glamourous! If you need a knock out dress then these should be your first port of call!
If you are lucky enough you'll have a  fabulous boutique locally  that will have a range all in the one place (don't worry - they do online too!)

Others  online include stoptrafficclothingPin Up Girl Clothing

I really do think there is a place for all of the above in your life , a good modern vintage wardrobe can take the best of all of these and blend them together.
I am ever so useless at looking after clothes and have alot of couldn't wear vintage activities, so alot of my dresses are reproduction or vintage inspired. Also I'd never fit in those teeny tiny waists of the 40s! I do buy alot of authentic vintage accessories though, bags,hats gloves.....

Which type of clothing do you buy most often?


  1. Lily! I love, love, loved this post! Its just what I needed esp since I am a beginner!!! I also posted it on my fb page (just look me up as Bunny Moreno) bc I just had to share what a fantastic post you wrote up! Very helpful and informative! Keep them coming bc I am all ears hehehee!!
    xox Bunny


  2. Why thank you Bunny, you can be my inspiration to write more!!!
    I'm already a follower of yours over on fb , so I had my post shared back to me - tee hee! xx

  3. As my size is next to impossible to find when it comes to vintage clothes, I wear reproductions or sew myself. I by vintage asseccoires, though.

  4. Isis you are so lucky being able to sew, I'm ok with sewing homewares but just starting out on clothing! If I can learn to sew then there's hope for us all! x

  5. I blend all of these things together - in style as well as source. I'm lucky in a way, favouriting 'later' vintage (60s-70s) with indie clothing makes the process very easy as even the original clothes are affordable and machine washable.

    My dream retro car would be an early 80s Golf. Mainly because as well as being a classic VWs are easy to maintain and repair to this day- sadly people hang on to them.

  6. Perdita I can definitely see the appeal of a later vintage era! I see so much 70s stuff in shops now that we had when I grew up, I really have to stop myself from buying it just for that reason!
    You won't believe this without thinking I have a massive drive to park everything on (I don't!) , but I had a mark 1 golf too until a few years ago, Silver. Someone got a good bargain when I sold it :(


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