I’ve been getting a bit fed up recently, of how expensive it is to keep up with and progress a vintage wardrobe. It’s all well and good saying that the idea of vintage is ‘make-do-and-mend’, and to find beautiful bargains in charity shops – and I am truly in awe of those amazing people who live by the vintage lifestyle so religiously. But I am in favour of mixing the old with the new, and as such frequent reproduction vintage sites such as 20th Century Foxy and Tara Starlet. The problem is, repro is getting to be as expensive, if not more so than some genuine, well preserved articles from the fifties or forties – sometimes more than the spectacular flapper dresses from the thirties.
I adore the flattering shapes and use of new material and techniques in the repro dresses, as well as the fantastic prints that you would never see on an original piece. I get that there is a premium for this style, but I do feel it is going slightly too far the wrong way. The glamorous party dresses are fair enough, largely deserving every potential penny spent, but to spend nearly £100 on a tea dress or shirtwaister? I want to be able to wear these things every day, not tuck them away in a dark corner of my wardrobe because I’m too afraid to let them see the light of day.
So, as an advocate of mixing the old with the new, I decided to traipse through the more conventional high street websites, in a bid to see if a vintage style wardrobe can be created from a more modest budget, and the repro beauties can be saved for those more special occasions and indulgent treats.
I love this Dorothy Perkins skirt – the deep mulberry colour of the pattern certainly harks back to a heritage era, though it is probably a bit fancy for the forties. But, I’m not up for staying true history, I’m not a re-enactor! The length and swish is perfect, and this skirt would look amazing with a sheer black pussybow blouse, and dark seamed stockings or tights. Match the shoes and lippy and you’re good to go! http://www.dorothyperkins.com/en/dpuk/product/whats-new-203534/view-all-new-in-203544/mulberry-flower-jersey-skirt-2487494?bi=1&ps=200
Skipping forward a few years, how amazingly eighties is this Topshop jumper!!! I am utterly in love with it, the pastel colours, the patchwork pattern, and the black trim finishes it off perfectly. Go for the look completely by wearing with thick leggings, or just nab this beauty and make it your own with simple skinny jeans. Leg warmers anyone? http://www.topshop.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?searchTerm=floral+jumper&storeId=12556&productId=12364184&urlRequestType=Base&categoryId=&langId=-1&productIdentifier=product&catalogId=33057
For a glamorous casual style, look no further than the elegant twenties and thirties with this black embroidered mesh top from New Look. Wear with wide legged trousers and pearls for a more authentic look, or go for a more modern twist and swap to skinny jeans. Keep make up dark and mysterious to really finish the look off – perfect for the upcoming winter! http://www.newlook.com/shop/womens/tops/black-embroidered-mesh-top_297328201
Whilst I am not going to stop lusting and dreaming after my favourite repro brands, and searching for the perfect vintage pieces to add to my growing collection, it is another element of fun to search the high street and put your own twist on modern finds. Everyone wears everything different, and it’s exciting to create wearable outfits from easy to find items on the highs street!
The Vintage Housewife x