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St Cyr Vintage

Camden Market Vintage Shopping Guide

Thu 16 Feb

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GET THE LOWDOWN ON HOW TO HUNT OUT THAT KILLER VINTAGE OUTFIT YOU'VE BEEN AFTER...

Vintage fashion: Camden Market is famous for it, but if you’re a retro novice, sifting through the 70s denim, 60s shifts and 50s prom dresses can be a little daunting. So we’ve asked Jess from St Cyr Vintage for the A-Z . Button up your Levi’s jacket: we’re going in.

Ask for advice: ‘If you aren't sure, don’t be afraid to ask for advice. Good vintage shop assistants have a lot of knowledge about their stock and can help you find the right style for a particular era, or choose between outfits. They might even have something extra special hiding away, waiting for you. We honestly don’t mind – in fact, it’s one of the most rewarding parts of our job!’

Buy well, buy once: ‘It’s worth spending a little more on the best can afford. Older, more sought after pieces come at a premium but when treated well, will last you many years to come and will always have a special place in your heart.’

Casual is king: ‘A classic, casual item from an iconic brand, such as a Levi's denim jacket or a pair of vintage DMs, will never go out of fashion. Mixing them with different accessories and play with colour until you find the look you are after. Today, Mod… tomorrow, Rocker!’

Don’t worry about sizes: ‘It really doesn't matter what size you ‘usually’ are, it is better to have a good fit than worry about going up or down a size or two (and vintage sizes usually come up small too). Even if you know your measurements beforehand, don’t forget to pack a tape measure in your bag. At St Cyr, we size all our items and offer a simple measuring service to our customers.’

Delicate items need special attention: ‘Watch out for make-up smudges and smears when you’re trying on. If you have to put something on over your head and are wearing a full face of makeup, use a light scarf to cover your face and stop
foundation and lipstick from getting on the item. Premium items may require special cleaning and can be irreplaceable or irreparable when marked. If you require a scarf just ask — trust us, the staff will thank you for it! Also be aware of the fabric and
fastenings. It is good to note that before the late fifties, all clothing was made to measure, and the fabrics had little to no stretch, with fiddly size zips, buttons or hooks and eyes... This is a time when ladies were still wearing corseted undergarments!’

Eye up the entire piece: ‘Have a look closely at the item before you purchase. The underarms are a good place to start - hold the item up to the light or lay it on a counter to check for any damage or discolouration. You can also look at the seams, hem and zip. Bear in mind that for older vintage items, it is quite usual to see some kind of wear or use and this is usually reflected in the price.’

Find a good tailor: ‘Consider altering an item if you really love it but that doesn’t quite fit. As a general rule, it’s easier to take
something in than expand it. Buying a size or two bigger is fine, providing you have the time to take the item to a specialist (unless you are adept at alterations yourself - in which case #winning).’

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