Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Vintage Inspired High Street

How do you feel when vintage becomes popular and creeps into the high street?

Actually, scratch that... I'm not sure exactly why I'm asking it as a theoretical question when vintage as a look has been 'in' consistently for the last few years. Admittedly, the main high street brands are full to bursting of a very different kind of 'vintage inspired' clothing - carbon copies of the kind of things I wore in the mind-90s. It's made me realise why people get het up about 70s and 80s being considered vintage, when they lived through it the first time. I'm not that old, I swear.

Awwh... I'm old. :(

That aside, anyone who's ever read this blog knows that I am not averse to picking up a bit of high street fashion to supplement my real vintage and authentic repro. Providing it isn't a complete rip-off as these things can so often be, that is. So I was quite pleased to find these basic, long-sleeved pencil dresses from Topshop - only £24 and available in some good dark colours and a few jazzier bright ones. Add a belt, seamed stockings and a cardigan, and they are super comfortable, practical and flattering! I must actually confess at this point that I am unable to wear around 99% of my considerable wardrobe due to putting on weight... something that I am addressing and hope to resolve before it gets really cold. I do not intend to buy anything bigger - it's something that no-one should ever do!

The good thing about these cheap and cheerful but comfy dresses is how easy they are to throw on at a moment's notice and still look put together, smart and (hopefully glamorous). I had to do just that yesterday as I had to rush out to a forgotten-about engagement at the Winter Fine Art and Antiques fair at Olympia.



I'm wearing a jersey midi dress, which doesn't seem to be on the Topshop site any more but this jersey tank dress is similar (I have it in charcoal); with a Freddies of Pinewood dolman sleeve cardigan and really old shoes from Naturalizer (plus What Katie did stockings, of course). Vintage-esque, even with my hair basically unstyled, and ready in milliseconds!

Forgive the rushed pictures - we didn't take any shots of the stands as it was not really done... but they were full of the most fascinating things. Not within my budget, but if these things are in yours then do go (or just go and marvel as we did).

Do you buy vintage inspired stuff for everyday wear, or are you still a die-hard vintage and repro devotee (as I used to be, and may be still again... when I've lost ten pounds...)?

Fleur xx
DiaryofaVintageGirl.com

34 comments:

  1. You look gorgeous-curves in all the right places-no need to lose ten pounds. That being said I think the vintage look may cross over into mainstream and every day wear. I hope not but alas-you know how the fashion industry is LOL You look great-truly! xox

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is so great. I love your outfit, and you are beautiful :)

    Kisses darling

    ReplyDelete
  3. As someone who is a bit of a late comer when it comes to appreciating vintage, I'm thankful for a bit of a cross over whilst trying to find my own style.

    That Topshop dress is fab - love the pattern, and looks lovely and glamorous on you :) x

    ReplyDelete
  4. That's a fab dress!

    I have always mixed original, pre-loved-designer and high street (repro, not so much, I am not sure why) so I'm not too bothered by changes to fashion and other people wearing stuff. Oh, except when I saw a mini-kilt and velvet blazer combination in the Next Directory (which in itself is pretty 90s) and did a double take. That WAS my 6th form wardrobe. I can't bring myself to buy/wear it, much as I love it, it would be like meeting a childhood hero as an adult or something. My mini kilt days are over (yeah, I just wear skater skirts instead now haha).

    ReplyDelete
  5. Love the outfit! Your figure is stunning, and you look gorgeous in everything you wear!

    I myself am unemployed at the moment, so it's difficult to afford repros, so I'm grateful that I can find vintage-inspired clothing here in California at a few of my local stores.


    ~The Lady of Virtue (your Cali girl fan) <3

    ReplyDelete
  6. I combine old with new. In fact, most of my clothing is new. Why? It's generally cheaper, but mostly, it's wearable! I love vintage dresses, but they are often very flimsy and I can't really wear them day to day. I find lately, I would rather buy a quality new dress (with vintage styling), knowing it will see me through several seasons and that I don't have to worry about ruining it. I add vintage accessories (which are cheaper and often more durable) and save complete vintage outfits for nights out. x

    ReplyDelete
  7. What I've noticed about High Street doing vintage is that they usually make things really short! I've seen a lot of shops selling 40s & 50s style dresses, but the hem only comes up to above the knees...eek, not a good look for anyone over the age of 15!

    I personally only wear repro (because I have given up on ever finding good quality vintage because I live in Australia and there isn't much of it around!) so I do love brands like Freddies of Pinewood, Trashy Diva, Pinup Girl Clothing and Bernie Dexter for making good quality repro.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This, and this! Mainstream adoptions are almost always too short for those of us who prefer to cover our knees...and vintage in Australia is sparse. Especially if you're plus-size. I only own vintage accessories because of these factors.

      I have a small amount of repro, a number sewn by me, and the rest tend to be mainstream pieces that aren't intended to be vintage styled but work for the purpose.

      Delete
    2. You have both noticed the length of the dress I'm wearing, right? ;) I'm really only talking about high street that could actually pass for vintage if you squint a bit, rather than 'tea dresses' with mini skirts :)

      Delete
    3. Fleur, I'm impressed by the length because if it's that long on you... then it's pretty unusual in length for High Street! ;)

      Delete
    4. Yes, in the UK there are examples of this most seasons! In the vintage blog world seem to be alone (or I'm just very short) in finding that if you shop around and don't always go to teenager shops, there are plenty of knee length things around. It's a vintage cliche to say 'everything's too short' but those of us with no-mini-skirt-no-cleavage dresscodes (no not sexist! Some of us work in places where a lot of flesh from either gender would be inappropriate) manage fine vintage or not. The secret is to look in the less 'trendy' shops for classic shapes and cuts, even total granny shops at a pinch!

      Delete
    5. Oh, they do exist (and this one looks great on you!), but I'd say it's the exception, not the rule, in my experience...but it might be a bit different in Oz. I certainly see more of the UK brands getting on board with vintage revisitations than here!

      Delete
  8. I have mostly vintage-inspired clothes with actual vintage accessories. Authentic vintage clothing is really hard to find around here; it's either irrepairably damaged or the wrong size. I wear and mend my clothes until they fall apart, so it's probably best that I don't have many really good vintage pieces because I would feel guilty about destroying them! I really can't afford the repro stuff on my student budget.

    Vintage accessories seem to have survived better and one size fits most! However, real vintage shoes are far too small and often lack proper arch support. I've found that Clarks is a good modern brand.

    As for your weight, I think that you look better than ever. Your curves are perfectly suited for a vintage look.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Modern repro tends to fit me better, and on the high street I can buy things in nicer fabrics sometimes than the 50s polyester that seems to have survived.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I prefer authentic vintage if I can find it. Mostly because the cuts (especially of 40's and 50's clothes) tend to fit me perfectly while modern designers don't really seem aware of the body shape which consist of a rather slim waist but generous hips and bum ;) Also, I adore the old fabrics. Modern fabrics are too stiff and paper-y to me. Finally, the pure quality of vintage sewing is unmatched by modern clothes unless you can afford the very best bespoke tailors (which I unfortunately cannot).

    I don't feel bad about wearing out old clothing. Clothes are meant to be worn and natural fabrics will just be eaten up by moths and the like if we leave them hanging somewhere. Museums (here in Sweden at least) seem to already have enough items in proper storage for them not to be looking for more and then what good would come out of not using the lovely items that are left while it's still possible?

    All this being said, I do of course still fill out my wardrobe with newer stuff though, but out of necessity rather than want.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I mix old and new....can't really afford the repro....but having bigger boobs it's always been hard for me to get the old things to fit. I have a few Edwardian blouses which I wear from time to time, obviously made for bigger ladies and the pigeon breast look of the time gives more room. I hate the way so much is far too short now, even if I had perfect legs and youth on board....which I don't!....I'd get fed up with that all the time. Also, it doesn't always work, the dress in question would frequently look much, much better with more length. And the bad placing of the waist. What weird shape do they think women are?
    Shoes have always been a problem, I have a wide hoof, made worse by a health problem which causes fluid retention sometimes. Hotter do some vintagey/20's influenced small heels in a wide and standard fit. The standard fit is fairly generous too. Called Valetta if anyone's interested. And BHS have a Mary Jane brougue styled pair in wide...always happy to help wider footed ladies!
    Basically I just look for what is quirky and different or what can be made up to look like something from my chosen era.
    You look lovely, as always.

    ReplyDelete
  12. "I do not intend to buy anything bigger - it's something that no-one should ever do!"

    Why? I've put weight on due to medication in the past year, and while I'm going to lose it again, I don't want to squeeze into clothes that don't fit me properly in the meantime. I've made that mistake in the past, when I've bought 'sale bargains' or things that just weren't right for my shape, only to later realise that squashed boobage is not a good look...

    ReplyDelete
  13. Um, not that your clothes here don't look great. I just read that line and thought it came across as a mite fat-phobic. It makes me sad when people think that size X is acceptable and size Y is not, so they squish into size X just so they don't feel fat in their heads, even if Y or even Z would look much better. Nobody knows what it says on the label once it's on...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's more that I neither have the money for lots of new clothes in bigger sizes, nor do I want to give myself any incentive to stay at this higher weight. Buying new clothes in bigger sizes is the best way to remove your motivation to lose it - I have plenty of things I can wear, just none of my prized summer dresses, nor any of my many Heyday trousers - the latter is much more of an issue now it's chilly!

      Delete
  14. I wear true vintage approx 90% of the time. I am a small curvy woman and the cut of vintage is what got me involved in the first place- I also sew from my Mum's old vintage patterns. Of course I do have to shop in the High St for tiny non-vintage cardigans (H&M mainly), vintage-inspired shoes (Miss L Fire), Freddies jeans and Tara Starlet swing trousers. Vintage trousers can be strangely unflattering!
    I completely understand your weight comment- I put on half a stone last year and had to lose it just so I could continue to wear my wardrobe! One cannot afford to just go up a size- esp now that vintage is so expensive.
    Love that Freddies cardi and I must admit the warmth and chic of the Top Shop dress is tempting!

    ReplyDelete
  15. I'm only a poor student - I can't afford true vintage much of the time, especially with the high cost of international shipping! Many items from high street stores can work in a vintage sense if they are styled well, and I think you got that down pat! I especially like when vintage style shoes come back in. It makes it so much easier to restock, and then I have a pair I can do lots of walking in without getting too precious about the wear and tear.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Years ago I wore mostly real vintage but it is much more difficult to find items still in good condition today. I beagn to copy the originals and now wear my own reproductions mixed with some old and some new. Real vintage is often so fragile for everyday use. And tiny!

    ReplyDelete
  17. So pretty!

    Hattie, @peppermintplace

    xo

    ReplyDelete
  18. If you go to somewhere like M&S or Hobbes, you can find classically-styled items which are perfectly fine for a vintage look (I find that as long as my hair and make-up is vintage, everything else falls into place!), but they're much more expensive than £24, so well done on a good find!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I buy Per Una skirts via ebay if I'm looking for something a bit different just for everyday ordinary clothing. And CC have good sales, got some stuff there that looks classically vintage/old fshioned in a good way.....delete as appropriate! Also a couple of short sleeved jumpers from them that while not perfectly 40's/50's looking have something of that feel to them that look right when dressed up in that way. Rambling now, but you get the drift.

      Delete
  19. Such a lovely dress, the colour suits you so well. Sometimes it is nice to wear a non vintage item because you dont have to worry about it was much. Congratulations on your find,
    Love Lil x
    www.littleliloflondon.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  20. I'm in the same boat as you - I put on about 10 pounds that I'm in the process of getting rid of right now (one down, nine to go!). I have to say, though, if you've gained 10lbs I don't know where you put it!

    As someone who loves the look of vintage but is a bit intimidated by wearing it sometimes, I have to say I love the idea that it's on the high street - because that means it's easier to blend in by wearing it! And, it's nice to get different takes on the look from different designers, as well. I hope it stays in fashion, really - the '90s grunge look wasn't that great in retrospect, and retro looks are full of things that flatter the female body!

    ReplyDelete
  21. i <3 u'r dress its soo pretty n it suddenly took me back to d olden days. lovely post n fun blog :D
    http://fashionlovers01.blogspot.in/

    ReplyDelete
  22. Gorgeous look. And I'm lovin' your blog.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Is that a 'Ladybird Likes' flying bird brooch I spy on your cardi? Suits the outfit perfectly!

    ReplyDelete
  24. I think it's good that the mainstreem stores is picking up vintage, actually I can't see the problem with them doing it. I know that it isn't true vintage but still, it was the same thing in the 70's and 80's! Many of my dresses are from that eras (still they have the looks of 30's and 40's) as they are both cheper and in better condition.
    It is all about how you style it! (like you do! You made that outfit look sooo good but with out that lipstick and cardigan and hairstyle it would look modern and in my opinion quite boring...)
    My favourite combo at the moment is a pair of super skinny dark blue jeans, snake skin high heels (true 30's) a mens suit,red belt and a big brown 30's har with ostrich feathers on :)

    ReplyDelete
  25. I really enjoy your vintage inspired buys posts. Just looking up the dresses from Topshop now - more please!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Great article! I'm a lover of mens vintage clothing, just wish those articles were as good as this one! Keep it up Fleur!

    ReplyDelete

I welcome all comments, praise and constructive criticism alike! Please note, though, that I don't respond to anonymous comments. If you want to offer a criticism then have the conviction to do so publicly. I thank you!

Take a look!

Blog Widget by LinkWithin