I think vintage clothing is quite exciting. Finding beautiful old garments for sale that have been well looked after, and are a perfect fit, is one of life’s little pleasures. However, when you look further than the garments themselves, vintage fashion can be rather daunting. How do you pick an era with a style that suits you? How do you know what to look for when you’re shopping? How on earth do you work out if the dress a shop is claiming to be from the 1950s is actually that old and therefore worth the money? Whether or not you want to dress in a head-to-toe vintage look, a basic knowledge of 20th century fashions and clothing can really help when choosing items for your wardrobe. It’ll help you not get ripped off and it can also be very inspiring. Even if you decide that vintage isn’t for you at all, knowing how to put together a decent flapper look can often be helpful for the odd fancy dress party!
Not many people have such detailed knowledge of vintage clothing though. There are loads of us who love rummaging in the many boutiques that are springing up all over the place, but we don’t always know very much about what we’re buying. However, there is one woman who we can turn to. Naomi Thompson is well known to anyone with an internet connection and even a passing interest in vintage clothes and styling. She started Vintage Secret as an online shop in 2008, and has since moved on to offer a personal shopping and styling service, using her vast knowledge to help you find that perfect frock. She is sought after by magazines and TV shows as a vintage clothing expert, and is part of the notorious Vintage Mafia. Clearly she is a woman who could answer any question you have on vintage clothes and styling, and she probably has a fair few useful shopping tips too. Thankfully, we can all share in this now because… Naomi has written a book! She summarises it perfectly on her own site:
“Style Me Vintage Clothes is one half 60 years of WEARABLE looks which you can emulate or mix and match, one half all my tricks and tips. I am a firm believer in choosing your own style, so please, have read through and be inspired to come up with you own version of a look. It’s not a history book but it is peppered with relevant historical influences on fashion.”
Style Me Vintage: Clothes is a very splendid book indeed. Rather than simply providing you with a list of shops – which would probably not be in your area and would also go out of date rather quickly – Naomi has decided to do something far more useful. She shares handy tips that will be useful no matter where in the world you live, and has also selected some gorgeous looks to inspire you. From the 1920s to 1980s, each decade is covered with just the right amount of detail. You get a short summary of the social history of the era that had an effect on the fashions of the time, a summary of the key styles of the decade, shopping lists of garments and accessories which typify those years, and a couple of extremely wearable looks broken down for you to copy or be inspired by. There are also useful hints on swimwear and lingerie, plus suggestions of good reproduction companies which can also provide you with period appropriate accessories or clothing. Much as I love vintage clothing, finding items in larger sizes can sometimes be a pain so this is very handy indeed!
If you’re bored of mainstream fashion, this book is a great way to start trying to develop your own individual look with the help of vintage clothing. It has plenty of information that will be useful to all but the most experienced of vintage experts, and many gorgeous photos to drool over. This is definitely a book that any vintage loving gal should make sure she has on her bookshelf.
DISCLOSURE: I was sent a copy of Style Me Vintage: Clothes free to review by Naomi Thompson.