As a seasoned charity shop and vintage store shopper, I know how frustrating and tedious it can be when you're searching for the perfect item. Vintage and charity shops can be great for stumbling upon surprise items but when looking for something specific, it can be disheartening when you spend days rummaging to no avail.
This is when the high street can help. I've been really pleasantly surprised over recent weeks about some items I've found on the high street which could (and have) passed as being vintage. The trick is with accessorising and how you wear your clothes. After all, it's not what you wear, it's how you wear it!
As we all know, Primark is a goldmine for bargains and during a recent visit with a friend, we managed to pick up some great bits. Their dresses have some lovely details on them and a lot of their basics are perfect blank canvases if you fancy getting a little creative. How about buying a long sleeved stripe top (£2.50) and from the centre of the neckline, sewing a few vintage buttons for a faux blouse look? Gold buttons look lovely and fit with the nautical theme but use pastels if you fancy a softer look. Team it with a high waisted black skirt to make a sweet vintagey outfit.
The thing I would always encourage with Primark is to try on before you buy- I know it's cheap but there's no point buying something a size bigger than you would normally simply because it's a steal!
A store I was really surprised with recently was Warehouse. I had previously enjoyed a sense of pride about the fact I have never bought anything from Warehouse, Miss Selfridge or Topshop (shock horror!) but it seems - with Warehouse at least - I have to admit defeat. I went in through utter desperation in search for a black dress and to my disbelief, there reduced from £65 to £15 was the most beautiful black silk dress. Had I seen it in a vintage shop, I would have thought it was from the 40's or 50's due to it's pretty details. The dress has a full length sleeve with buttons along the cuffline, nipping the sleeve in at the wrists. The shoulders puff slightly and from the middle of the rounded neckline, there are three pleats, adding a nice detail to an otherwise plain dress. It was so pretty I bought it in black and in a claret red.. well it was only £15! Their sale has stopped online, but pop in to your local branch for a few last minute bargains.
As I mentioned before, it's not where you buy your clothes from, if you want to achieve the vintage look convincingly, invest more in accessories than clothing. Making your own accessories or hunting around for accessories which are unusual is the best way to achieve that sought after "non- mainstream" look. Invest in vintage style shoes, leather gloves, a pretty hat and some red lippy as your staples and build from there. E-bay is the best place to look for cheap vintage jewels- try searching for a "job lot" and you'll get lots of choice. x