Tips for vintage shopping in Cambridge... and beyond!
1. Try on! Try on! Try on!
I always recommend trying things on. Sizing has changed radically over the years so you can't rely on the size on a vintage label.  (We measure and write the modern day size on our item labels).
If you're buying online, check the measurments- and make sure you know your measurements- and ask as many specific questions as you need re sizing/ shape/ how much give there is in the fabric etc.
2. Use imagination!
Look at things with imagination- how could you wear it? what would it look like with a skinny belt? could you dress it down with leggings or skinny jeans?
A bright floral blouse may not look like much on the hanger, but put it on, tuck it into your highwaisted shorts, team it with the right accessories and it could be perfect!
3. Learn to sew!
You can adapt or tweak a piece with the simplest of sewing jobs.
For example, a lot of vintage dresses come at that midi length between knee and ankle length- and whilst some 50s full skirted dresses work in that length, a lot of 80s styles can look dowdy. All you need to do is snip them short, do a simple hem and it instantly modernises them to a wearable length.  We rework a lot of our dresses so you don't have to!
4. Have an open mind!
If you go into a vintage shop with a fixed idea of what you want- eg specific era, shape, size, colour AND fabric, the chances of finding that item are slim!
It's good to have a vague idea of what you're shopping for eg everyday casual wear for uni/ a daydress for work/ an evening jacket for a party etc, just keep an open mind to what's there rather than searching for the impossible!
5. Shop out of season!
Vintage clothes and accessories just don't date like modern high street equivalents. They will be in style for years rather than just one season.  So if you buy a vintage faux fur coat towards the end of winter at a cut price it's a great investment. You can wear it for years to come and you are paying half the price! Similarly buy summery sale items in winter and when summer comes along you already have your capsule wardrobe stashed away and you don't have to panic buy a load of highstreet stuff that everyone else will be wearing.

Photography by Amy Lee Pledger.

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