Vintage Fashion For Thrifty Students

[box] Claire Diamond [/box]

As students face the possibility of the price of a university education increasing further, you’ve never needed a better excuse to get thrifty – and vintage fashion is the perfect place to start.

As we settle back into university life, consider a new way to re-stock your wardrobe for the autumn with a blast from the past. Vintage fashion is a fun and affordable way to add a sophisticated edge to your style and although some vintage purists will tell you that vintage fashion is not about trends, we can’t ignore its rise in popularity. Even Kate Moss, a woman who will forever be synonymous with Topshop, donned a 20s-style wedding gown this summer.

The west end offers an abundance of opportunities to pick up retro and vintage pieces so there’s no excuse for your Autumn/Winter wardrobe to be anything short of fabulous. Now is the perfect time to start your vintage collection, as Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair has been visiting the university campus. The fair, which has acted as a host to a number of famously fashionable faces such as Florence Welch, Lily Allen and supermodel Lily Cole, offered an opportunity to explore the best vintage fashion the UK has to offer, with hand-picked vintage traders showing the most vibrant selection available.

Aside from offering a chance to pick up something a bit different, vintage fashion is also pocket-friendly. The startling thing about vintage is that a piece of original vintage clothing can be picked up for a much more affordable price than an identikit high street knock-off – the average price of a piece of vintage at Judy’s Fashion Fair is approximately 60% cheaper than its high-street counterpart.

“Vintage fashion is half about trends and half about timeless fashion classics,” says Kieran from Judy’s Vintage Fair. As the pieces are hand-picked, they also have a sense of character that you don’t get with a high-street dress. “Our dealers love a good chin wag, and as all the pieces are individually selected they’ll be able to give you the back ground behind it. Each piece is unique, and many of our dealers have pieces from Eastern Europe and the States.”

Vintage fashion is all about eclecticism and involves everything from 60s retro to pre-1920s theatre costumes. There’s also something for every budget, with traders offering vintage jewellery from £5 to high-end vintage clothing from designers like YSL. Although many of the two thousand traders at Judy’s Fashion Fair are very much trend-led, there is plenty of variety. With the glamorous styles of the 1940s set to make a comeback this winter, there will be plenty of authentic 40s pieces such as furs, pearls, gloves and shrugs available. In terms of retro clothing, on-trend 60s fashion is also set to make a comeback next season. Stay trendy by picking up an A-line skirt or styles with sloping shoulders and bracelet sleeves. There will also be plenty of timeless pieces for a more classic look for an equally affordable price.

But Judy’s isn’t your only opportunity to pick up a vintage gem; Hillhead is bursting at the seams – pardon the pun – with vintage opportunities. De Courcy’s Arcade, on Creswell Lane, is brimming with interesting vintage pieces – some shops, like Not Now Cato! even offer a student discount. Vintage Guru on Byres Road and the Sunday afternoon Ashton Lane Market are also full of forgotten treasures.

The list of vintage clothing dealers in the west end is extensive, but true diehards can find company at the Granny Would be Proud Vintage Fair, held in the Hillhead Book every other Sunday. With so many local opportunities to buy vintage, you’ve got no excuse not to look fabulous this term.


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