I’ve put a lot of thought to this post before I even started writing it but I thought it would be good to talk about dressing vintage/pin-up with a smaller budget because let’s face it vintage reproduction clothes or true vintage items are rarely cheap or easy to find.
I remember the moment when I first started to get into vintage fashion with the wonderful polkadot swing dress from Hearts & Roses when I was about 18 or 19 years old and started looking for other items to purchase, I was instantly set back. I was used to buying clothes from mass production stores such as H&M, ZARA, Primark and so on and those clothes are usually pretty cheap but still good enough to last for a while if you treated them right. Having to pay over 50 euro for a dress or skirt was something entirely new to me and since I was only working during the weekends at the time it was really hard for me.
Over the years I finished college and started working so now I have a monthly budget to spend on vintage or reproduction clothing, accessories and so forth. This was probably the best thing that I ever decided to do since it was very hard for me to maintain a balance in what I wanted and needed. It made me think about the items that I bought and the different ways in which you can combine them because just with a few staples you can create more outfits than you probably think.
Before I bought anything I always went to my closet and wrote down all the combinations I could see with the items that where already there. If there where 3 or more than it was a good choice since with 3 outfits the week is already midway and you could switch up some of those pieces with another piece and so forth. But do invest in some great reproduction clothing items that are high quality and will give you many years of pleasure, one of my biggest tips is probably that you can do great bargains during sale periods on TopVintage Retro Boutique (my go-to online vintage store), Collectif Clothing and so forth and look for items that never go out of style.
Remember that you also don’t have to buy reproduction or true vintage items to look vintage. I have learned over the years to shop items in other stores that, with the right other pieces, can create a gorgeous look with an authentic feel to it. A simple sweater in a good cut that fits you well with a full circle skirt or pencil skirt can look just as authentic as the real deal. It’s an easy way to look the way you want but probably for less money. Retro/vintage bloggers and instramgrammers also do this so they are a great source of inspirations as well.
Accessories such as belts, bangles, earrings, hairflowers, shoes and handbags can finish a look even if it doesn’t feel that vintage without them. Hairflowers are pretty easy to make yourself, I will post a tutorial in the future on how to make your own, and bangles can be bought in bulk often on ebay. Search and search well and you will find them.
My last tip is to browse facebook and other social media for second hand/ buy-sell-swap groups. These groups often provide people that have bought an item in the wrong size or just don’t wear certain pieces anymore. They often sell them at lower prices than the original and in ninety percent of the cases everything is still in great condition. It’s not only a good way to get some items cheaper but also to perhaps, in the future, get rid of some of your own items. Some people even swap clothes so it’s definitely worth looking into.