As a fan of plus size vintage fashion, it has to be said that part of my love is the thrill of the chase. There is something so satisfying about finding a dress which looks about the right size, squeezes over my hips and won’t be seen on anyone else this side of the 70s. If you’re new to vintage, it can be a little daunting with where to begin and what to look for. This is exactly why we’ve put together a guide on how to shop for the best in plus size vintage fashion.
The main thing to take on board is the size differences. Vintage and modern day labels have very little in common, with clothes cut and tailored for the dominant body shape of their respective decade. For instance 50s clothes tend to be cut for more of an hourglass shape, whilst dresses from the 60s are more pear shaped. If you’re buying online, I cannot stress how important it is to check out the garment’s measurements rather than the tag’s size.
The key points to remember are simple:
1. Know your measurements and check the garment’s measurements accordingly.
2. Don’t be scared to buy something you love and take it to a tailor if it needs to be nipped in or taken out.
3. Be wary about what you’re buying? If the seller has multiple versions in different sizes, then chances are it’s “vintage inspired” rather than proper vintage. There is nothing wrong with buying faux-vintage, but just make sure that the garment is priced accordingly.
4. If purchasing something from sites such as eBay, read the details of the listing carefully. Check to see if they’ve mentioned any damage to the item, and don’t be afraid to ask for further photos.
5. Have fun with your look. It’s all too easy to become a slave to vintage, but there is nothing wrong with mixing vintage and high-street. Look out for vintage accessories too – bags, shoes, accessories – they can add a vintage feel to even the most basic, modern piece.
6. Charity and thrift shops are a great source of original vintage for bargain prices, although if you’re lucky enough to live in London, the East End’s Brick Lane is a shopping treasure trove of every type of vintage item.
Plus size vintage fashion can sometimes be a bit of a drag to sort through when all you want do do is to find a specific item. Red Bows Boutique (www.etsy.com/shop/RedBowsBoutique) has taken the difficult part out of the search, providing everything from shirts to shoes from a size 14 and upwards. Having just gone through a re-brand, the etsy shop will be up and running shortly with a full selection of plus size vintage fashion.
For those of you with a strong vintage flare, there are plenty of repro-vintage stores offering a wonderful array of shapes and details based on original 40s and 50s patterns. Both Collectif (www.collectif.co.uk) and Vivien Of Holloway (www.vivienofholloway.com) have a huge selection of hip hugging wiggle dresses and curve skimming circle skirts.
Remember it’s all in the details. Even if you’re rocking some faux-vintage, a slick of red lipstick and some black eye-liner flicks will have you looking like a vintage vixen or retro darling in no time.* = Lien partenaire