Though it's always of favorite for fans of well-made pieces from different eras, vintage clothing is particularly trendy today. You'll find the best selections at vintage clothing shops, you can find plenty of vintage clothing at thrift stores, flea markets, and estate sales -- especially if you're willing to dig and hunt. You may even find a few forgotten designer pieces.
At most secondhand sources for vintage clothing, you can't return or exchange, so make sure the pieces fit before you pay. Wear layered clothing with the thinnest layer next to your skin. Proper fitting rooms are rare, so you'll have to try the pieces on for size in front of other shoppers.
From the fitted styles from the thirties through sixties to the yuppie career wear of eighties, vintage blouses are hot items these days. I've even seen some twenty-something aged ladies sporting vintage blouse styles I last saw on the church ladies delivering fried chicken to a friend's funeral in a small, southern town.
The most popular styles feature ladylike dressmaker details. Look for lace insets, pin tucks, peter pan collars, pussy cat bows, ruffles, string ties, covered buttons, gathered yokes and keyhole cutouts -- though not all on the same blouse.
Well-tailored dresses that look good and fit well are always good investments, and you don't have to buy them new in retail stores. If you adore the bobbed hair and dropped waists of the flapper era, look for dresses made in the 1920s. If you're the ladylike type, look for the feminine fitted dress styles of the 1930s through 1960s. If you favor the bohemian look, hold out for the looser fitting, free-spirited styles of the 1970s.
If you find a fantastic dress that almost fits, buy it if the price is low. Then, if you're not a seamstress, find a good tailor who can make alter it to a perfect fit. Even with the cost of alternations, you'll still probably pay less than you'd pay for a new dress.
Longer, fuller skirts appear to be back in style -- and the young folks who can most easily wear the pencil skirts and minis are the ones bringing them back. Circle skirts, A-lines and pleated skirts are all trendy options. Solid fabrics are always appropriate, but florals, plaids, paisleys, stripes, and mini-prints are popular too.
Don't pass on a well-tailored skirt because the length isn't just right. You can always hem them to the proper length for your height.
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