How to Pick the Perfect Vintage Dress
Monday, 02 July 2012

How to Pick the Perfect Vintage Dress

Angel Adoree - author of The Vintage Tea Party Book - reveals how to find the perfect vintage dress

Written by Katy Pearson

New figures released today show there has been a huge rise in the number of people searching for vintage fashion items.

There has been increase of 273 per cent in global online searches for vintage dresses, 136 per cent rise in elbow-length gloves and 190 per cent uptick in sequin headbands in the last year, says Alibaba.com.

Are you one of them? Refine your hunt with these top tips from Angel Adoree.

"Vintage clothes have already lived. They have attended glamorous balls, fabulous lunches and secret sensual cocktails with an admirer. Upon buying them, it is your responsibility to wear them to their full potential; don’t over- or underdress them. Take them out to places where they will be appreciated, and you will become the woman that turns heads as she glides into a room. Picking the perfect vintage dress is an art - it takes dedication, style and a degree of elegance.

First, you have to be in the right mood. My favourite kind of day is a slightly gloomy one, with maybe a patter of rain, where you need a little pick-me-up and don’t mind spending the day inside little shops having a rummage. Already have a simple stylish outfit on, easy to take off and put on, and wear shoes that will go with anything.

The first two things to look for upon entering your chosen vintage/thrift store are texture and colour. When considering texture, aim for something a bit different, such as lace, sequins, velvet, chiffon or silk. With colour, be tasteful. Blacks and reds are timeless, and block colours are always effective. vint cover

When you’ve had a good old rummage (remember: never neglect the men’s section as there is always potential for some darling shirt dresses), make your way to the dressing room. You love the dress – now it’s time to see if the dress loves you. While it’s fine to ask your friends’ opinions, you should always trust your own instinct. This is when your creativity really needs to step in.

Your final decision should always be entirely based upon two questions: how did you feel when you had the dress on, and if you don’t buy it, will you go home and regret leaving it for someone else to find? By then it will be too late.

Vintage pieces are the ones you will keep for ever; they are the ones that you will pull out of a trunk in your old age as you reminisce about the times you had wearing them. So choose your dress wisely, wear it with taste, take good care of it and cherish it, because as long as you love your dress it will love you.

You’ll know that you look glamorous when men ask for your name and women ask for the name of your dressmaker."

The Vintage Tea Party Book by Angel Adoree, published by Mitchell Beazley, £20, www.octopusbooks.co.uk



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