Insiders Tips: Vintage

October 27, 2010

Daily Digest

Insiders Tips: Vintage

Images from the Vintage Fashion and Decor Fair, Galway.

By Siobhan Lam

Vintage shopping is like Marmite, you either love it or you hate it. Or rather in my case, you want to love it but you just don’t know how.  Any attempt I have ever made to vintage shop has ended in failure. I just can’t seem to stay in the shop long enough to find what I want and that’s another thing – vintage shop’s always have so much stock to choose from – so where does an amateur vintage shopper start?

Luckily, a confidant of mine, Jen Alice Cleary, is something of a vintage expert. She is such a connoisseur in fact; that she runs a vintage market – Airfield’s Vintage and Craft Market .The market takes place monthly, in Airfield which is located beside the Dundrum Town Centre. The market has over 40 stalls including vintage clothes and accessories, costume jewellery, retro furniture, records and craft pieces.

I asked Jen for some tips on vintage shopping and here’s what she had to say:

Do you think that vintage shopping trumps the high street?

“I feel Vintage is the future of fashion – rather than going out on a Friday night and bumping into someone wearing the exact same outfit as you, by wearing Vintage this will never happen! There’s also the sustainability factor, vintage is good for the environment! It’s recycling! So you can feel good and look great, not to mention unique!

As well as this, fashion cycles are constantly harping back to eras past (thank you Madmen!).  Next Spring Summer 2011, see’s the return of seventies glam.  So why not pick up an original rather than buying a mass produced piece of clothing that everyone else will have?!”

What are the most important things to watch out for when Vintage shopping?

“When buying vintage, make sure to look out for busted seams, zippers, clasps etc. and eek… sweat marks! It is important to bear in mind that sometimes these things can be fixed, so they should not always put you off.  Also sizes may not match, what we would consider a size ten now may not correlate to a 10 on a dress tag so do try everything on.

Also don’t be afraid to get something a size larger and then get it taken in later, this alteration will make it one of a kind! My favourite find was a gorgeous Mexican embroidered dress that was about 2 feet too long for me! So I got it altered into a tres- cute mini and wore it most of the summer! Just because it’s vintage don’t be afraid to get it altered.”

Any tips on how to spot a fantastic Vintage piece?

“Vintage pieces that stand the test of time are LBD’s (Little Black Dresses).  Also, keep your eyes peeled for a well cut dress because a classic piece like that will never go out of style. As Coco Chanel believed ‘Fashion fades, only style remains the same’. Trends will come and go, so a fantastic vintage piece is simply one that you will love and treasure!”

Airfield’s Vintage and Craft Market takes place the last Saturday of every month, and the next one takes place on the 30th of October (11-5pm).

But for those of you who can’t make that, never fear. Dublin city centre has some fantastic alternatives; WildChild Originals on Drury St, Dublin 2. has a great retro collection, with lovely staff and a calm and neat interior.

For a more varied but more complex collection of vintage, look to the Queens of Quirk on Castle Market St, The Harlequin. Happy Exploring!  Alternatively, keep an eye on Vintage Ireland who has Vintage Fashion and Decor Fairs regularly.

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  5. Shop Watch: Gap to open in Dundrum
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