Monday, October 28, 2013

Are You Tired of Vintage Clothing?

I've been thinking a lot about this question lately.  As I watch what goes on in the world of vintage clothing and listen to my friends and colleagues, it has become very clear over the past several months that the popularity and desirability of vintage clothing has waned.  A lot.  

I am hard pressed to understand this sudden change in the world of vintage.  Can you help?  I would love to hear your opinions and comments either here, via email, or on my Facebook page.

Are you tired of vintage clothing?
Do you already own enough and have stopped buying?
Is the vintage market too saturated?
Is it too difficult to find what you want online?
Is it the economy?

Let's have a discussion.  I am going to open this post to anonymous comments, so if you would rather remain nameless that is fine.  And thank you for your help!



38 comments:

akmall said...

Hi,
I have been reading your blogs since I started following your blog and to be honest, I admire vintage. To me, vintage is all about women where they can really make the best of vintage clothing to the fullest. I, myself, hardly find items for me and that is the only reason why I am not a good collector.
But, when its on women, no matter what type of body, with great and amazing fit, they hug women body perfectly. I love seeing it.
To me, the only reason why women chose to buy vintage is they love the look and they want to be unique and nowadays, vintage is actually competing with new clothes and maybe, some women think that instead of buying vintage, why not they buy brand new clothes, which its so called in trend, up-to-date.
But to me, honestly, the mainstream created the trend and of course, they have their followers who follow the trend and if these people really think about trend, why dont they set the trend, bring vintage the to point where, other people, women, teenagers want to follow it. That would be a great boost up for vintage clothes right?
Before that, I am from Malaysia and I hardly find vintage clothes and so, instead of try buying things, I tend to create things by sewing them *i am sewer too.

So, that is all. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Could the economy, rather than lack of interest, have anything to do with it? We've been living in a recession for several years, and recovery has been slow. Still high levels of unemployment and even for those who have jobs, there's a great deal of financial insecurity. I adore vintage fashion -- I even have a Facebook page dedicated to it (https://www.facebook.com/midcenturyfashion?ref=hl) and frequently share your magnificent clothes there. Beth

Anonymous said...

I love vintage. Vintage dresses usually fit me better than newer garments and the quality always seems much better. Unfortunately, being unemployed for the past 8 months means I cannot buy vintage unless it is an $8 steal at Goodwill. Until I find a job, it's thrift store or nothing for me.

K.Line said...

I am in NO way tired of vintage clothing. I love it as ever I have. But I do have a glut of clothing at the best of times - and since I started sewing 4 years ago, I am making more and more of my own things - from socks and sweaters (and other knitting) to pants and tops and suits (sewing). I can pretty well make anything I want to wear now and that allows me to indulge my creative sensibilities in a way I can't when buying - even if it's beautiful vintage that I'm buying. I don't think the vintage market is saturated but I do think it's harder to find good vintage at the price point I would have been able to find it at 15 years ago. I don't think that's a bad thing - I find much better choice, more easily, given that I am able to spend more. But as a person who loves the thrill of the hunt and a real deal, I don't find that kind of experience when vintage shopping - either online or in stores.

If anything, I find vintage easier to source - now I have 2 avenues (online and in store)... (Note, I don't feel there's a glut - the stuff I like is of a vintage that is increasingly rare so it's good to have a variety of potential sources.)

To some extent, the economy (my own economy) dictates how I'm spending my money. Right now, my priorities are not aligned with the purchase of vintage. Really, all I buy (clothing-wise) is the precursors to clothing - fabric and yarn - and lingerie (new). No doubt, that will change over time. I go through phases.

Having said all of this, some of my most beloved (and frequently worn) items are vintage. They do stand the test of time.

Anonymous said...

In the past couple years, I have started to purchase more vintage clothing - all my "new" clothes for the office are vintage, and I buy almost all of it online. However, theses are not styles that look vintage as much as classic (pleated wool skirts, for example). One would be hard-pressed to know which clothing items I wear are vintage and which are new. Much vintage clothing is like a costume, rather than daily wear clothing, and that sort of clothing really requires a certain personality as well as the right build. Last, but not least, I think many people do not buy vintage because the large sizes most people need are rare. I try to buy used whenever I can, but I also refuse to have more clothing than will fit in my closet, so no more clothes for a while.

Anonymous said...

I work in a vintage clothing store and see and hear first hand customer's comments. So many of the vintage garments are very small, and Americans are no longer small. Customers admire the clothes, but can't wear them or can't see themselves wearing them outside of a themed party. We also have begun to carry several lines of reproductions which sell very well. One of the biggest sellers is beaded dresses from the 20s -- which as an original you probably wouldn't want to wear.
Personally, my style changes with age and I find what I liked 5 years ago no longer works for me. But I can always find a new decade to fall in love with!
I don't think the recession had much impact on the shop -- people continued to buy.

Beth Paton said...

Fashions change, but the real enthusiasts for vintage that I've met at fairs don't seem to be losing interest, even if their budgets have shrunk a little. I do think the market has become quite saturated, and there are sadly some unscrupulous sellers who employ sharp practice to get a higher price (e.g fixing designer labels on non-designer garments). I think this combination of factors has put some people off the idea of buying vintage.

FairyFiligree said...

It depends what sort of vintage you're talking about. Vintage fashionwear as in complete outfits, dresses, clothing is only for a select few and those select few know what they want and research well as to where they can find it. As regards vintage accessories, that is another matter, because pretty much anyone can wear an old accessory to dress up a contemporary outfit. I don't think vintage clothing stopped selling at all. Rather, people have found it a viable solution to the recession - they can shop around for vintage clothing which, if not high-price branded and rare designer wear, can quickly fill up a closet with lots of special items.

Louise said...

My love affair with vintage is still just as strong but as mentioned previously the economy has had an effect on how much I can buy. I was made redundant 3 years ago after I had my third child and I decided to stay home with my children until the youngest starts school in a few years. All was ok until recently when my husband had his pay reduced. So the luxuries like vintage go (with the exception of really special pieces!). To me though, vintage is a much better 'investment' than modern clothing, which I find to be poorly made and fit only for the bin at the end of the season.

Fashionista said...

I am absolutely not tired of vintage, my goodness, that would be like cutting off an arm! Having said that, I have not purchased any vintage this year, either IRL or online, only because I haven't had the opportunity. I've had other unmovable commitments on the weekends of the big vintage fairs, and I don't purchase much online, I like to fondle the item. That is not to say I don't spend an inordinate amount of time of your website virtually fondling gorgeous things! And I also have a huge collection as it is which I keep threatening to rationalize, but then can't possibly bear to part with anything......

fabricgirl04 said...

I Love Vintage! I buy vintage patterns and create my own as I am 5' 10" and most vintage clothing is too small. I love your site and visit often for creative inspiration. I sew more than half of my clothing with the exception of underwear, shoes and hats. Ready to wear is disappointing on several levels. Poorly made, uninspiring, man-made fabrics and frankly..... boring! On top of all of this, expensive. Please keep up with all of your lovely pictures of the past. Great inspiration!

The Queen of Fifty Cents said...

I often swoon over the fabulous eye candy you show, and doubt that I will ever tire of vintage. But other than fashions from the 80s (which I often like) there is little in Vintageland that will fit me, being one of those bigger Americans we keep hearing about. I'm retired from my day job and am a writer, and I rarely need anything fancier than jeans to wear. One of these days, though, I'm going to find something vintage that fits me that I can wear my wonderful felt hat from the 50s with the single curled feather!

Loribeth Clark said...

I think that if people are tiring of vintage clothing, it's probably because it isn't as unique as it used to be. It used to be when woman wore vintage, she was making a personal statement that stood out. Now, so many people are buying vintage, that it is becoming more mainstream, which is not what the lover of vintage fashion wants.

Jackie said...

I think that the vintage clothing industry may have inadvertently caused its own demise. I find that the rise in popularity meant that the selection thinned out--there aren't as many good choices to find in any one shop because there are so many people in the business now. Then, the really good stuff has become much more expensive, both because of the increased scarcity and because buyers and sellers are more knowledgeable. The days of buying great quality casual blouses or dresses for prices comparable to current mid-range ready-to-wear are long, long gone--and I just can't afford to make vintage a regular habit. Now, it's special occasion only. If I have to spend $300 on a dinner dress I'd rather go vintage, but I can't justify $125 for a plain old cotton "house" dress. Seems like prices at the bottom end have risen substantially, while the higher end has held steadier, so the pricier items are actually a better value.

Anonymous said...

I am a long, avid collector of vintage and am a huge fan of yours, but one thing that has put me off buying as much vintage as I used to are the unscrupulous or ignorant sellers who tag 80s clothes as 'genuine 40s' etc to get more money. This is a bit of a problem on etsy, ebay and other online stores. It just means I have to be a lot more careful and it is disappointing when you get a repro dress in the post, when you thought you were buying the real thing. I have actually gone off online shopping quite a bit, and now save up to go to America and buy special items. I probably spend as much overall, but I buy less volume. I now want to see a vintage label in the item too, or I rarely buy it. Hope that helps.

Anonymous said...

My feeling is that the fad for vintage is over, but the trend will survive. Vintage will remain as a way to dress - incorporating classic or stylish pieces from different eras into a larger wardrobe. There needs to be price adjustments by some dealers because some vintage is just too expensive -- high prices are fine for important labels in perfect condition, but there is too much recent stuff being passed off for older styles with higher prices, and damaged, unwearable pieces at 'ready to wear' prices when they need a LOT of work. Above all, there are too many people selling it. Where do you go to spend your vintage dollars when the internet is saturated with online stores and sites that sell vintage. There used to be fewer sources out there and the vintage buying dollar was funnelled into fewer wallets, but when you do a search for certain things on some of the sites like eBay and Etsy, the result is thousands of items and hundreds of pages to go through to search.

Chic Style Organics said...

I am interested to know what you mean by the interest is waning. What things brought you to this conclusion? Then I can share more specific thoughts that are relevant. The changes in ebay and Google have cause a lot of issues this year. They LOVE the huge corporations.

Tangerine Boutique said...

Hi Jody, this is a great thread. I've been buying and wearing vintage since the mid 70s and a dealer for the past 15 years. I've seen the market for vintage ebb and flow but as one responder put it, fad came and went but the trend remained. A few years ago, when they started to show vintage in the major fashion magazines, I knew vintage was hitting "fad" level and that after it was over there was going to be an adjustment. That's where we are now. The fad for vintage brought in a flood of new dealers who jumped on board but had no idea what they were doing. Some are unscrupulous but I think most are just clueless. In time most of them will tire of the hard work and modest return required of the business and move on, the more dedicated will stay and learn like we did.

The economy has made it difficult for so many businesses and ours is no exception but in all honesty, I think it could have been worse for us. True, most of my customers are buying less but they do still appreciate the value that vintage offers and they don't seem to have abandoned it for the shoddy mass produced clothing being made today. Thank Goodness!

As for the idea that vintage is less unique than before, I'm not sure I agree. With 100 years of fashion to choose from, the possibilities are endless. I do however believe that during difficult economic times people are less inclined to be as creative with their style and tend to opt for the comfort of fitting in. We have been doing the Manhattan Vintage Show for nearly ten years and in the past few years I have noticed the crowd tending to dress much more conservatively... stylish, but not terribly creative.

I'm also not convinced that price is to blame. Pricing for vintage has always fluctuated wildly. In the 90s a 1930s bias silk velvet gown might fetch a few hundred dollars, not today, you can easily find beautiful examples for less than $200. On the other hand prices for vintage mens work wear is astronomical. Price depends on trend and supply and demand. It adjusts accordingly but is nor responsible for the downturn in the vintage market.

Which brings me to trends within vintage...right now 1980s and 90s designer vintage is hot hot hot. If we consider vintage to be fashion that is 20 years old or more then every few years we would expect the merchandise to shift ahead in era. Also the demographics are going to change as younger people begin to explore their own particular style with vintage. As an "old school" dealer I really need to embrace this and learn what the younger market wants. My heart will always be with Mid Century fashion but I need to accommodate the ever changing market if I want to remain successful.

I guess my conclusion is that this adjustment in the vintage market is not a new thing and there are many factors that come into play but I'm very hopeful. I have every faith that vintage will shed this quiet time cocoon and emerge fresh and exciting in it's new form.
Melody Fortier

K.Line said...

Just want to say I've read all of these comments with fascination - and learned quite a bit. Really interesting post, J.

Janine said...

Hi Jody.
Have commented on this topic in personal email to you over a year ago, but will share my thoughts and experience with your bloggers.
I love vintage and nothing compares to its quality and style. I have a bountiful horn of vintage clothing.
So, I do not purchase vintage clothing anymore because I now have a realistic amount.
Another factor is relevant. Given life is more casual, unfortunately, I find it more a challenge to wear all of my wonderful vintage clothing without making a scene. I was definitely born into the wrong era.
Finally, I feel that now that I have indulged myself in all these vintage wonders, I need to think of others, and direct monies there.
One last point....in the back of my mind, as I am now downsizing my estate, which also includes clothes, I am wondering how best to deal with many clothes I now have that I can't possibly use!?

Janine

deang said...

Tangerine Boutique's comments explain a lot. While we're focusing on why there is a current downturn in interest in vintage, I'm also curious as to what people think brought on the most recent surge in interest in vintage fashion. I remember that back when I was a teenager in the late seventies, punk and New Wave bands spurred a trend for seeking out clothes from the late 1950s through the mid-sixties, but I doubt anything like that is a factor these days. I always think Dita von Teese and her mid-20th century "burlesque" focus brought on the current surge ten or so years ago, but I honestly haven't looked into it.

Emileigh Mimi said...

I love vintage still! I think, for me, what keeps me from buying is the higher prices. I would love to shop like crazy and keep building my wardrobe and filling in the gaps, but the higher prices of vintage require me to save more and be a bit pickier on what I spend my funds on.

Kitchen Witch of the West said...

My lack of purchases is a combination of multiple full closets and armoires from +25yrs of acquiring pieces with money being tight (do I really need that lovely vintage piece? do I already have something very similar?). Will never tire of vintage, it would mean I'm tired of 'playing dress up' aka dead.

thevintagecat.com said...

Hello!

I am actually a vintage newbie, though I've always admired the quality and beauty of clothes from the past, I do agree that the market is becoming a bit saturated, and people charge what they want for items ( I recently found a lovely pair of shoes in a vintage shop, asked how much they were since they did not have a price tag, the manager said 40, then the owner came in and bumped up the price to 55.) The sales girl came up to me and said because they're from a really "special" brand and material they're 55. So I asked what year they were from, the sales girl went to the owner, who said, "70s.... late 70s.... maybe mid 80s...." Ok no thank you, considering I would need to bring them to have the heels repaired, I forced myself to put them down.
I'm a recent college grad, recently married, and planning on moving to a different country soon, I'm leaving the US to go to the UK. I look forward to seeing how it is there compared to NY. But right now, I look for great deals and finds, I hope to be able to afford the lovely dresses I find myself eying online and in vintage shops.

Anonymous said...

There are several reasons I very seldom purchase vintage anymore. The budget not allowing much is one. I got most of my things in the mid-nineties before vintage got quite so popular (and more expensive) Not much room left to store it is another.

Recently, a big reason is an injury and subsequent health problem which means I can't wear "normal" shoes for more than a brief period, let alone vintage ones. A wonderful vintage outfit usually doesn't go too well with the footwear I have to use now. I do still manage to work some of my vintage things into my wardrobe.

I only bought vintage online once, that I can recall. I don't like not being able to touch, check the hand of the fabric, see the actual colors, try on, and check the condition. And check the smell, actually. Musty and smoky smells are very off-putting.

All that said, I do still love vintage. The fun of finding it (in person, I mean), the out of the ordinary looks, and better fit, fabric, and construction than in current items. The fun of wondering where it's been, what the person who owned it did... There are a lot of reasons to love it.

Wanda said...

I hope it's not waning as I own a vintage fashion resource website that vintage fashion lovers enjoy perusing dresses from 1900 to 1999. But, I have to agree with one of the folks above that mentioned the size of vintage dresses being so much smaller than the average woman today. I do think that has some bearing on buying vintage to wear for some women.

I buy vintage dresses to collect them. I choose based on designer, style, fabric and condition. My criteria doesn't include fitting me, although I needed a vintage dress for an event that I was going to recently, so I did purchase several dresses from the 30s and 40s that I thought would fit. I needed a dress and so did 2 of my friends who are close to the same size. Only one of the dresses I purchased fit one of my friends. It was frustrating. It was almost bizarre the way they are cut. For instance one dress fit but the arm holes were too small to be comfortable. Another seemed like it would work but just had an awkward fit, the bust was in the wrong place. Of course, we aren't young women with perky breasts anymore either. LOL

Anyway, I think collecting vintage fashion will always be popular with some folks. I think we will always see current fashions being inspired by true vintage classics. So in a way vintage fashion will never go away.

Rebecca Grace said...

I think the biggest obstacle to the vintage fashion industry is the discrepancy between the sizes and shapes of American women's bodies today versus when the vintage fashions were created. As you point out in your "will it fit me" FAQ, not only were Americans smaller overall in decades past, but women who had worn corsets or girdles every day from adolescence onward actually developed abnormally narrow waists (similar to Chinese foot-binding, although less severe) and garments from those days were made to fit that abnormal but typical body shape. So not only are women today taller and perhaps heavier, but our waistlines have not been narrowed by girdles. Women who exercise regularly may have enough muscle in their upper arms, shoulders, or backs to wear vintage garments, and of course women with breast implants are going to have a hard time finding something from, say, the 1920s that fits their shape. I agree with another poster who commented about the importance of reproduction garments. If you go to shop at a vintage store and they have nothing that you can wear except accessories and a few loosely fitting items, there's not much you can buy and it wasn't a very successful trip -- you may not be back. However, if that shop also sold some reproduction garments in a range of modern sizes, suddenly you can put several outfits together mixing vintage and reproduction, leave with a full shopping bag, and come back again and again knowing that the shop can be counted on to help you with a complete ensemble.

k said...

i kind of agree with jackie. i love vintage things, and always wear it for special occasions. but for daily wear, i can't afford it. true vintage has become more pricey where i live, and i want to take good care of it, and can't see scrubbing floors in a dress for which i paid a good amount. i always wear used clothes,and shop consignment shops almost exclusively, but for true vintage glory, it's a splurge.

Anonymous said...

I've been wondering about this too because I have trouble selling it.
As far as myself, I feel I am getting to old to wear it because the styles I like best are little girl-like, (pink gingham dresses, or very bare). I'm 57, and don't look that old but I still think it is inappropriate to be wearing pink gingham at my age. I have a ton of vintage, whole closets full and I really have no wear to wear them. They are dressy clothes and nobody wants to get dressed up anymore. If I had somewhere to wear them I probably would. I feel like I have enough and no longer can afford new ones since my husband and I lost our jobs. I've been selling off things little by little, but I paid more for these things 15 years ago than I can get today. I still love to look at vintage and browse everyday, but I got out of the habit of buying, which for me is a good thing. I still love it though and always will! Sue John

Erin said...

I think the recent boom in vintage clothing is due to the "Mad Men Effect"-- gorgeously styled images of glamorous days gone by, universally flattering shapes... Now that the show is less influential and the setting has moved into the late 60s/early 70s, when clothes became less flattering, more youth-oriented, people are not as keen to wear vintage.
I have always worn vintage and always will-- it used to make me eccentric, then I was right on trend, and now it will probably make me eccentric again, but the fact is that clothes today are not made with the same care and attention to detail. They don't fit and flatter as well as vintage clothes do. Worn right, vintage is timeless and not costume-y, but not everyone is willing to dress outside of what current trends dictate. So, it's probable that vintage will once again become the province of we few eccentric folk who love it, who think it's better to be overdressed than underdressed and who appreciate the history of the clothes.

Anonymous said...

i had written a long message, but decided this is easier.. just look at what passes for vintage some other sites. then you'll know.

you have to separate yourself from that.

Dame du Diable said...

I actually have read a few articles on the topic of women's fashion coorelation to economic conditions. As difficult as it might be to believe, the fall of the vintage fad may be a sign that the economy is getting better,
One I remember in particular was an article I read a few years ago about high heels being an indicator of economic downturn. It made the assertion that we frequently wear high heels as a means of escape and fantasy. The fifties in particular was an idealistic and financially stable time, so it makes sense that women would turn to that time period as something to emulate and aspire to when money is tight. Of course there's also the hemline theory which states that as the economy grows, hemlines get shorter. This too would not be a good thing at least for vintage of the 50s.
In my own situation, I've recently gotten a new job and I'm saving to buy a house. I'll always buy vintage clothes because they're the only clothes that fit me properly, but I must say I'm turning more to making my own clothes from vintage patterns. The inflated prices from vintage being popular are still around, and while I'm in a better financial situation I'm even more saving conscious than I was before. I also feel bad about slowly destroying authentic vintage garments by wearing them. I'd be interested to see if sewing and knitting patterns have gotten more popular (they also somewhat diminish the size issue). I really can't imagine that people's sizes have changed that much in the past year to cause them to buy plenty of vintage and then all of a sudden stop. That makes me think it must be the interest of the general public, but I know there will always be those of us who will always have an interest in viewing and wearing vintage. I don't know that we'll ever have the buying power that people following a fad will, but I hope we can keep the vintage business alive and strong. Perhaps we haven't climbed out of the economic hole, but if all those studies on clothing and economic trends are true, maybe the ugly 80s dresses marketed as 50s will go away and all of us who have always been interested in vintage will be able to start buying like we used to or always wanted to.

Anonymous said...

I'm still buying -- as I have for over 30 years. The main difficulty I'm encountering is that everyone is a vintage dealer now. A serious online buyer has to wade through so much junk in order to find things they want. Some of these sellers are simply uneducated and don't bother to do their research, but others are downright dishonest. Then there are the condition issues, lack of measurements etc. It's incredibly frustrating.

Louise said...

I wanted to add as well, that my life has changed a lot since I started wearing vintage. I now have 3 small children, and my husband and I don't go out much at night or to formal events. I always think of vintage (especially the 1950's era clothing which are my favourite) as being wonderful for party/cocktail dresses. I just don't have anywhere to wear these more formal looks anymore.

Kathleen C. said...

Reading the comments has been very interesting. I find myself agreeing with a lot of ideas, and I don't think there is one cause.
My own purchasing has change from 30 years ago when I started buying and wearing vintage. Back then I was smaller in body and closer to the eras I liked best (40's and 50's). But I no longer buy for myself anymore because the items I like are hard to find to start with, almost impossible to find in my size, and more expensive than I can afford if I do find something. I'm not excited by the newest vintage (60's to 80's)... I hated the look of the 60's when I was living through it and I'm too close to the 80's to look right wearing it now (I just look like I haven't bought anything new since I was 30).
I do buy sometimes as a costume designer. But... it's easier to build than to find the right item in the right color for the actor's size at a price we can afford in our budget.
And similar to your experience recently, and as another commenter mentioned, I find myself needing, wanting, to pare down my life. So I face my collection with the knowledge that I can't wear them and I'm tired of storing, so I definitely can't buy more. And what do I do with what I have?

sandra christie said...

I haven't had time to read through all the posts, but I would think that Mad Men had something to do with the uptick in sales and then with the slow-down. The show and "Betty Draper" helped create the 50's fad, but I think that interest at a slower pace will endure.

Blue Velvet Vintage said...

Wow, lots of enlightening commentary here. I do think there are multiple factors as to why it seems vintage sales may be off. One of the obvious things I notice as both a buyer and seller is how difficult it is to find authentic vintage things online anymore. Basically if you're not selling on Etsy, Ebay or are a big name brand your own products do not show up in the search engines results in the first few pages, which is when most potential customers give up looking. And many search terms are skewed to return results for the largest companies. Just search "50s vintage dresses" and see what comes up. I can tell you it won't be for any authentic 50s vintage dresses for small boutique websites. Many will be for large sites that are not selling any authentic 50s dresses. Heck I searched 50s dress a while back and a page from Nordstrom came up for a new dress that didn't even look remotely like a 50s dress! And I'm not saying I don't sell repros, but I do not use search terms in my descriptions to drive traffic to products using misleading terms. Heck, it's getting to the point where my customers no longer know the difference between authentic vintage and inspired styles due to the confusion of the search terms online. And when I'm online trying to buy something for myself it's nearly impossible, since I have to wade through pages and pages of sites that are selling "vintage style" clothing and not "genuine vintage clothing". So what I do now is incorporate the terms "Genuine, authentic or original vintage" along with the era as part of my search phrase to give me a fighting chance at finding the true vintage item I'm looking for. I also do think the sizing is an issue as well. There is just less and less wearable vintage now. Not so sure on the pricing though. At the big vintage shows the clothing is selling for much higher than what I see online and they are usually crowded with customers. If it's quality vintage, there will always be a market of buyers who can afford it and pay for it, just like any collectible. It is true, though, that the stock of wearable size, excellent condition vintage clothing is getting scarcer and scarcer, which of course drives up the price. As a seller, I certainly cannot procure stock for the prices I did 10 years ago and I'm sure that's the same for most vintage sellers online today.

Anita Fendrock said...

My love for vintage is as deep as it ever was. I buy virtually all of it on line, and have learned over time who the reputable dealers are. The best of them sell items that are clean and ready to wear. I have learned a few expensive lessons by buying from some of the sellers on Etsy that are inexperienced, not reputable, or both. They are selling garments that have not been inspected and repaired, and the flaws are not being properly disclosed. I was even burned recently by a popular high volume seller on the site, I paid a premium for a suit that had seam splitting, yellowing under the arms, and it was not disclosed that the dress had been taken in several inches by hand, badly. Because I am a serious wearer of vintage, these experiences serve to turn me off of a seller, not the industry. But I think that someone new to the market having a similar experience may be turned off all together.
I do find that a vast majority of the listed vintage is in the smaller sizes. I wear a modern size 4 or 6, but find that in vintage I have to buy in the medium size range and alter it, because I am 5'10" tall. Most small size vintage tends to be petite as well.
Finally, I have heard other people say that they feel guilty wearing vintage clothing rather than preserving it. I say wear it! Museum curators and collectors have archives full of pieces that represent the best of each decade, the rest of it should be worn and appreciated while it can be. As time passes, they eventually become too fragile to wear, and can only serve as study or display pieces.
Thank you, Jody, for being an advocate and reputable seller in this beloved market. Those of us not riding the fad will be around long after the market evens out a bit, so I hope that you plan to stay around as well!
xo

Post a Comment