Vintage shopping – rummaging through gently used clothing, shoes and accessories – can give you the chance to explore not only your own personal fantasies, but also to create a unique day-to-day style. Knowing what looks good and pursuing items that suit you is a life-enhancing and positive process. One of the joys of shopping for vintage is the elusive element of surprise. Discovering a vintage evening dress that fits well always feels far more rewarding than walking into a conventional store and pulling something straight off the rail that is identical to the one next to it. The vintage shopping experience is even more rewarding when you have a vague idea of what you are looking for. Cementing a look in your head, with a rough idea of all the shapes, colours, fabrics, heel heights and accessories you might need, will improve buying decisions and enhance the fun of the hunt.
Some of fashion’s most iconic looks can also be surprisingly versatile. Most twentieth-century fashions were designed with the real female physique in mind (as opposed to the model’s figure). Style icons in the 1950s concentrated on enhancing an hourglass. Curvaceous figures suit the shaping of the Goddess, Ingénue, Ice Princess and American Classic looks. For a more contemporary take, curvy girls also look gorgeous in the flowing but fitted dresses and striking colours of Kate Bush’s Free Spirit or the Boho Contessa.
Lovers of more classical styling can feel inspired by the British Classic look of Jean Shrimpton or Grace Kelly’s Ice Princess. Classic should never mean boring; instead it should signify an easy, quality way of dressing. Knowing the names and labels that are relevant in the history of fashion can greatly enhance your chances of creating an authentically glamorous look.