Tag Archive | "Vintage Clothing"

80s beach babe bikini top.

Vintage Swimsuits Beyond the Pool

80s beach babe bikini top.

It’s the rare occasion that I’m surrounded by vintage clothing and don’t feel the need to dig for treasures. Anyone who shops vintage knows that a certain amount of patience, energy, and curiosity is required to find even one piece perfect for you when you’re confronted by tons of options, all distinct, all special, and all antique. Normally, I love this game. But one Sunday afternoon, summer of 2011, I was at one of the biggest vintage clothing sales in town, and I didn’t feel like shopping. I sat on a bar stool close to the dressing room and watched my friends try on piece after piece, doing that vintage shopping dance of finding something great, trying it on, realizing it doesn’t fit, or the fabric’s weird, then trying again, until…eureka!! You have found the perfect cocktail dress, high-waisted jean, or rock tee.

As I sat wondering where my shopping mojo had gone, my eye kept wandering to a headless mannequin just across the room, sporting the loudest neon 80′s bikini top I had ever seen. The shop owner advised me that it was the only top she had left, and that it wasn’t being sold with a bottom. An idea sparked. All I had to do was find a few cheap, plain bikini bottoms and that one top, with its rainbow of candy colors, could outfit a week of sunbathing, at least. The mannequin was left topless, and an obsession with vintage swimsuits was born.

Aside from the versatility of a single bikini top, vintage suits, particularly from the 50s and 60s, tend to be a bit more modest than contemporary ones, which leaves so much room to wear them as full outfits. For those uncomfortable with the idea of wearing what amounts to a second hand swimsuit, we’ve got some ideas on how to indulge in the delicious quirks of the vintage suit without the…discomfort. Learn How to Take Vintage Swimsuits Beyond the Pool!

Source: About.com

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Vintage Shirt Dresses: All Business

Menswear-inspired looks added some much needed testosterone to the runways recently, from butterfly collar suits at Louis Vuitton to Marc by Marc Jacobs’ tweedy “professor” trenches and masculine booties. But beyond being trendy, masculine-inspired looks are always helpful for the 9-5 set. The boardroom set. The “how can I look appropriate and feminine at the same time” set…

Alas vintage clothing is not normally considered work wear. It’s more for unique night looks and quirky brunch fashion. Enter the shirt dress. Essentially a mens’ shirt long enough to cover your goods, and feminine enough to call a dress, the shirt dress is a guaranteed “kill too birds with one stone” look. Just take a look at Botticelli babe, Christina Hendricks as Joanie from popular AMC show, Mad Men, in this wicked, electric blue shirt dress. Check out the quintessential list of office-friendly options in Work, Work, Work! 9 Vintage Shirt Dresses.

Source: About.com

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Florence Welch in sheer vintage at Glastonbury.

Florence Welch: Current Queen of Vintage?

Florence Welch in sheer vintage at Glastonbury.



There is something anachronistic about referring to Florence Welch, lead singer of Florence and the Machine, as a newcomer on the music and fashion scene. It’s that she seems like such an old soul. Her voice was made for stadiums, and trembles like it carries within it the wisdom of ages. Her songs have a knowledge of love that takes the listener into its deepest, messiest reaches. And she’s only 22.


Above all, there’s her style, long skirts, boho chic, almost always in vintage. As her flaming red hair suggests, Welch is not afraid of being bold, though it seems she keeps to a pretty simple color palette off stage: lots of black and neutrals. However, in the hands of stylists, her hair plays lead to brighter color palettes, and that old soul quality is transformed into a futuristic cool. like on the cover of this month’s Vogue Japan in Karl Lagerfeld. Not surprisingly, it’s been reported that Welch and Lagerfeld share vintage clothing!


Welch is not only the current queen on vintage, she’s the queen of sheer vintage.  A chiffon, lace or mesh, overlay with complicated, pretty undergarments, or an equally embellished minidress underneath. What we absolutely love about sheer is the flintiness; “the now you see it now you don’t” effect. Of course, onstage, when the light shimmers of the sheer, the illusion of nudity is captivating. In a more conservative cut, sheer pieces can be demure and suggestive at the same time. Just a little note on how to take Welch’s love of sheer to the streets….


In honor of Florence and the Machine’s new album, Ceremonials, out just 3 weeks from now, head on over to out image gallery to see 5 great vintage looks from Florence Welch. The end of October cannot come soon enough!



5 Great Vintage Looks-Florence Welch

Source: About.com

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Vintage dress and boots at Glastonbury-- this summer

Music Festivals & Vintage Style

Vintage dress and boots at Glastonbury-- this summer's music festival uniform.
Music festival fashion is about balancing cuteness and comfort. So with one ear on the music and one eye on the style, I have attended music festivals (and an assortment of concerts) into the double digits so far this summer. I’ve noticed that the fashion absolutely depends on the type of music presented at each festival. For example, festival-goers at Sonar, an electronic music festival held in Barcelona, are more likely to sport asymmetrical hair cuts and designer jeans. England’s massive Glastonbury Festival boasts a firmly cross-genre bill, but it’s held outside in the mud, and just like California’s grassy Coachella, vintage clothing was everywhere! This vintage dress and boots ensemble was snapped by Style.com at Glastonbury, but was the standard festival look this summer. Vogue has put together pages and pages of slideshows and shopping guides celebrating the history of music festivals and fashion–a match made in heaven.

From the intro–

The Sixties and Seventies saw the birth of festival fashion, so we’re taking a look back at the style of some of the original festival-goers- and some other style icons of the era – for wardrobe inspiration.

Experience the music and vintage clothing carnival here. Notice how many festival-goers in the street style slideshows report that they are, indeed, wearing vintage.

Source: About.com

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Vintage Shop

Is Vintage the Future of Fashion?

Vintage Shop
At the spring/summer edition of international fashion trade show, The Brandery, in Barcelona, global fashion marketing group, WGSN, presented a conference on the styles that will trend in 2012. I was delighted to see vintage all over the map! According to trend forecasters (trendcasters), styles will be inspired by our increasing concern for the environment and sustainability, and we’ll turn to vintage clothing. Wearing vintage is a type of recycling; we “reuse” clothing and lessen waste. Also, the cinema and a return to old Hollywood glamour will flood closets around the globe in vintage. In 2012′s “new retro”, WGSN predicts, “people will be inspired to dress as characters”. So, the Mad Men fashion obsession isn’t going anywhere, anytime soon? Short version: vintage is the future!
Source: About.com

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Susan Choi

Retro Talk with Susan Choi of Persephone Vintage

Susan Choi

Native New Yorker Susan Choi studied creative writing and poetry in university, but it was in the school of life that she developed a love for prints, mix and match style, and of course, vintage. Choi put all of that NYC style-fire into opening Persephone Vintage, her sleek online vintage clothing shop in 2007. She eventually added a section offering contemporary, but complimentary, “vintage-inspired” pieces. Below, Choi talks about her style inspirations and shares a few tips for buying and caring for vintage clothes.

What’s so special about vintage?

Vintage is special because the pieces are generally not available for mass purchase currently. Some vintage pieces are also important because they influenced later designers and in some cases, continue to inspire current designers.

What is it that drew you to vintage?

I was first drawn to vintage at a young age because I wanted to wear bellbottoms at a time when they weren’t being sold in retail shops. And then I moved onto vintage tees, velvet blazers, coats, and other items that I couldn’t find for sale elsewhere.


How do you find the “vintage-inspired” clothing sold on your site?

When I began styling entire outfits for display online, I received requests about pieces that were complementary to what was being sold. So I decided to incorporate such pieces into the website. I don’t design the pieces but source from the U.S and internationally and try to keep the prices manageable.

What’s the philosophy behind your store? Your approach to vintage?

I [...] alter and update pieces for contemporary wear. I know some sellers are against this but in the end, I want to see pieces being worn by actual people and want them to have modern relevance. So I guess that is the philosophy behind the store – to provide pieces (altered and not) that have modern relevance and also, to revive pieces and prevent waste.

Where do you normally find pieces?

Everywhere – flea markets, estate sales, thrift shops. And also, I always check merchandise in cities I visit.

What type of pieces are people most drawn to? What do you find people buy most?

I find that most people buy pieces that can be worn everyday – easy day dresses, mini day dresses, simply cut shirts, blouses.

Persephone 7

What’s your favorite period/decade for clothing?

My favorite period would have to be the 20′s-30′s and these are the pieces I tend to hoard and keep for myself, even though I hardly ever have the chance to wear them! The fabrics, cuts, prints, construction is pretty incredible. You can tell that they were made with love by someone for a specific person. That makes those pieces incredibly rare and special.

Where does your inspiration come from? Old films? Celebrity style icons, past or present?

I looooove old films. It’s one of my other passions. I’m inspired by women in films by Bunuel, Godard, Woody Allen, Kieslowski, etc. Also modern directors like Wong Kar Wai and Pedro Almodovar. Sometimes, it’s not even the actual outfits but the mood, cinematography, colors, etc. Celebrity style icons would probably be Lou Doillon and Kate Lanphear.

What contemporary designers are you into? Who’re your all-time favorite designers?

[Which] designers I am into changes pretty often. Right now, I am very into Rachel Comey 2008 – present. I love her use of prints, quirkiness, and feminity. I love Karla Spetic’s graphic prints. And also, Arabella Ramsay’s easy to wear pieces.

Persephone 8

What was your best ever find?

Wow, hard question to answer. I’d have to say a 1960s Jane Lend scallop hemmed woven jacket, just because of the sheer rareness of the item. To this day, I am having trouble finding more information about the designer other than pictures in some old Vogue Paris magazines. But I love the fact that scallop hems probably weren’t around before her (I think) but they’re pretty prevalent now.

When buying for your shop, do you pay attention to current fashion trends?

Yes, I do pay attention to trends but I don’t limit myself to trends. Trends in fashion are important to pay attention to, just to understand what is coming next, and to understand what the new classics are. Nowadays, however, with the advent of the internet, fashion blogs, street style blogs, etc. it’s hard to pinpoint any particular trend as being the most prominent and if there is a prominent trend, it’s likely to die out due to overexposure. So, in a way, it’s simultaneously important to pay attention and almost irrelevant. But again, in the end I would like to have pieces I sell actually worn by people, so I do pay attention to trends.

Persephone 10

Does the vintage clothing industry go by it’s own trends?

I think there are certain staple vintage pieces that are always coveted, such as Indian print gauze dresses, 1920′s-30s dresses, etc.

What’s popular now?

A big current trend is gypsy/hippie style velvet jackets, shawls, crochet maxis, 1970s bellbottoms, etc. I think it’s a very west coast to Texas style that may not necessarily be overly relevant elsewhere but it seems like a trend that won’t go away.

I think many vintage newbies struggle with the difference between “vintage” and “secondhand”. What is the difference for you?

The technical difference is age – pieces should be 20+ years old. But if you talk to an older vintage seller, they usually are still getting over the fact that the 70s/80s are considered vintage now.

Do you have any advice on finding the best pieces at the best prices? Any tips for effective vintage shopping?

The best advice I can give is to always be shopping, always be on the hunt. The most effective vintage shopper combs through everything they come across. It’s easy to miss the best pieces by merely skimming.

Persephone 11

Do you have any tips for taking care of vintage?

Always do tests with cleaning agents on the parts of fabric that aren’t visible. Don’t be afraid of experimenting with nonconventional household items like lemons, vinegar, etc. Oxyclean is your best friend. Cover items and store them in cool, dark spaces.

What’s next for you in your business?

I would like to start selling pieces by independent designers sometime soon. And maybe/hopefully soon, when I finally settle down somewhere, open an appointment-only showroom and/or small brick-and-mortar shop.

All Photos Courtesy of Susan Choi

Source: About.com

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