What suits you? How to REVAMP & What CAN'T be saved!!

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Part 3 in the Princess_Vintage - HOW TO BUY VINTAGE guides!!



  1. Who is your vintage style icon? If you don't have one pick one! I personaly love Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly. Audrey is very popular and girls of any size can easily copy her look. Try a sheath dress, which is simple and always elegant.
  2. Disco dresses are always lots of fun. Halter-neck, spaghetti straps, layered shapes and lots of bright colors.
  3. Keep in mind that a lot of 50's 60's dresses have/had metal zippers and could be rusted, so they may need to be replaced with a modern style. Ask the seller about the condition of the zip.


Dresses in the 1920's with beading, were often sewn with cotton, and thus it could be rotten now. Check the inside of the garment for a 'locked' style of stitching, even if the thread is cotton, the beading should be holding well. Otherwise you may need a professional to re-sew the beads

It is better to buy something that's in very good to excellent condition, rather than buying a damged peice that you think you can revamp.


Head to to vintage can look a bit cluttered. Choose one or two key peices at a time and build your outfit from those.

KNOW YOUR ERAS - THE BASICS (refer to my other guides for more info on this)

70'S- Jersey dresses,

60's- is a mod mini dress,

50's -try a classic wiggle dress.

40's - think classic Pearl Harbou style,

30's - gorgeous bias cut gowns,

20's - flapper dresses,


There are certain silhouettes that look better on certain shaped bodies. For example if your curvy, you will look great in a 50's peice. On the other hand if your more of a straight up and down type girl, and you choose to wear a corset under your 50's peice, you will look more voluptous.

A women can wear and feel great in just about anything, if she's wearing the right thing underneath!


With vintage, it's take it or leave it. If you put on the dress and feel magic in it, and you have the money to buy it, THEN BUY IT STRAIGHT AWAY. You might never find something that good again.


  1. Fit and Fabric are important, always try something on if you have the opportunity.
  2. Make a list, if you aren't familiar with vintage shopping it can be quite daunting, set out with certain items in mind.
  3. Shop with an open mind, don't automatically disregard something, Vintage allows you to experiment. Be patient, it won't always jump out at you.
  4. Decide whether your buying for fun or investment. Something might be fashionable for one season and don't cost much, but a fantastic investment peice could last you for years. For example a Coat.
  5. If you plan to wear it many times, check that the item is in good condition. Check for stains, the longer they have been in a fabric, the harder they are to remove. NEVER BUY SOMETHING THAT STATES IT HAS A STAIN THAT MAY COME OUT IN THE WASH. If the seller hasn't tried to take it out, then why should you pay them for the privelge of trying?
  6. Take note of current season trends and make your Vintage choices fromt here.

This guide is written in reference to Shop til you drop Magazine, October 2004 pp120-125.


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