February 17, 2022
In the early 1970s, fashion icon Yves Saint Laurent set the fashion world on fire when he flooded the catwalk with models wearing what one critic would call “redesigns of the evening dresses of the 1940s of his mother”. Padded shoulders, plunging necklines and short electric green furs weren’t what audiences expected, but they got it! In his defense, the designer will release a statement saying: “It was a reaction against the turn that fashion has taken, the gypsies, the long skirts and the bracelets… I made my collection as a kind of humorous protest , just everyone took her seriously.”
Fast forward to 2022 and once again vintage clothing is at the forefront of fashion and is taken very seriously. Creating a look of their own while recycling the contents of past closets seems to be appealing to today’s savvy shoppers who are seeing record sales at the more than 25,000 resale and thrift stores currently operating across the United States.
So what are they buying? When I want to know what’s trending in the world of vintage clothing, my favorite girl is the amazing Tammy Rossman Dyson, aka “The Vintage Gypsy”. Customers from across the country visit her boutique on the second floor of the Southport Antiques Mall to upgrade their wardrobes with her unique finds. Tammy not only caters to local buyers, but also helps buyers on both coasts purchase theater productions and films in need of vintage pieces for their projects. Here are his best sellers.
Lingerie tops the list with 1950s to 1970s silk and nylon slips and half-skirts, garter belts, camisoles and nightgowns selling out as fast as they hit shelves .
Chunky oversized 1980s sweaters in bright colors and geometric patterns are back in style for winter 2022. Long-sleeved cardigans and ballet wrap sweaters are top sellers for women, while men who frequent the shop take sweaters home and roll up crewneck sweaters that bring both style and warmth for this chilly Indiana winter. The BIG shoulder look of this era is back with sweaters featuring shoulder pads or shoulders that slope away from the natural shoulder line to create a wider look. Have you ever wondered where the “ugly sweater” came from? It was the 1980s!
The cowboy look is going urban this year with western boots and shirts and lots of fringe! Combine them with denim jeans, prairie dresses or skirts and you are ready to go for a casual night out or a club night. Also be on the lookout for gabardine shirts with chain stitch and floral embroidery. It’s a kind of style where you don’t want everything to match. To avoid looking too put together, make sure your denim pieces have a subtle variation in their washes.
The majority of vintage clothing has been worn, but occasionally pieces surface from old warehouse stock. These unworn pieces may have a considerably higher value than their previously owned counterparts, especially if the tags are present. But beware! Garments that have never been released may be warehouse “unsold” that have been held up due to defects, so inspect each piece carefully.
Choosing the right size can be tricky when buying vintage. In general, people were shorter before 1980 than they are today. For this reason, most vintage clothing was not available in XL or XXL and what constituted a size medium in 1972 would, by today’s standards, be an extra small. Take your time and try this piece that you absolutely must have. Till next time . . . Linda
Linda Kennett is a professional liquidation consultant specializing in downsizing for seniors and can be reached at 317-258-7835 or [email protected]