Vintage Know-How

Tips from an expert vintage seller

Thursday, 12 Apr 2012

We love a good blast from the past, but buying vintage always seems so tricky. The sizes are different, the jewellery extremely delicate, and we once ripped an entire sleeve off a dress in our excitement (true story).

Which is why we decided to get it straight once and for all. If you’ve always wanted to buy vintage but have been stumped on how to get started, read on for top tips by vintage shop owner, Hsiao Ying, of Granny’s Day Out.

Ace Ventura

Whether it’s your first-time vintage hunting or not, remember to be adventurous. The fun thing about vintage is that you have decades of clothing to choose from, so try something totally new! Pick out prints you would ordinarily shy away from, try a new length, or even a new neckline.

Try, Try, Try

OK, that dress might look a little frumpy hanging on the rack, but take it to the fitting room and try in on. You’d be amazed at how differently clothes hang on a real person – we definitely were!

Ban the Brandwhore

Rookie mistake: being blinded by brands. Unless you’re a collector making an investment, there’s really no need to be snooty about labels. Look instead for an item that really speaks to you – that’s a smarter investment.

Make Your Tailor Your New BFF

Wanna be the girl who looks like that dress was just MADE for her? Enlist the help of a talented tailor. Take in the bust, nip in the waist, or even take up the hemline to update the look. Just remember the golden rule: never let the outfit lose its shape. Girl, if it’s an A-line skirt, don’t mess with it.

Maintenance Magic

We’ve got fab vintage clothes and accessories today because they’ve been well-cared for over many years, so love them well! Store vintage jewellery in velvet packages and don’t stack pieces on top of one another. Maintain leather bags by cleaning them regularly with a leather moisturizer.

And don’t skimp on the dry cleaning – it preserves the quality and colour of vintage apparel. Easy pieces made of cotton and polyester, however, can be encased in a laundry net and delicately washed in the washer.

Stay Modern

Unless you’re heading to a costume party, top-to-toe vintage is a definite no-no. Hsiao Ying recommends pairing a vintage top with jeans, a vintage dress with a pair of modern shoes, or even jazzing up a basic outfit with some dramatic vintage bling.

Way too easy to turn heads with this cheat sheet!

Granny’s Day Out, 3 Coleman Street, #03-25 Peninsula Shopping Centre, Singapore 519963, Mon-Sat 1-8pm, Sun and public holidays 130-630pm, p. 6336 9774

Image: Granny’s Day Out

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