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Vintage, retro, replica, handmade...are we sure that we know enough about all these tags and how to deal with them?
The idea of this post came to my mind last week, when a friend of mine asked my advice on a vintage dress that she wanted to buy online. When I saw it I said: "Oh, this is a vintage replica dress!" I saw her face and I realized that she had no idea of what I was talking about and she couldn't understand if this was a good thing or a bad one!
Vintage purists would say that it was a bad one but let's be honest, a vintage replica didn't kill anyone so every now and then we can add one of these pieces into our closet, as long as we are aware of the fact that it is a replica, retro inspired but not vintage!
If you surf the internet you will find loads of shops selling vintage replica clothing, which means that they must have a good number of customers asking for them, but I guess that there are a few reasons for this: many people prefer to buy new clothes, with more modern fabrics and not used before; others have problems with finding their size: as these clothes have series with many sizes you can easily find yours instead of waiting for ages before you find the perfect dress in your exact size. Also I guess that many people love the "pin-up" style of the retro pieces. If you look online most of them are basically the same: marine dresses, flowery circle skirts, pencil skirts, rockabilly dresses; as it is quite hard to find these original pieces on the vintage market, replicas just make them more accessible.
I am not a fan of vintage replica dresses, not because I am a vintage purist but because they miss many of the advantages of a vintage piece: the story behind it, the idea that it traveled through eras, the joy of finding your perfect match (for vintage lovers it is harder as the sizes are not regular and you cannot choose among different sizes), the feeling of authenticity and uniqueness, the real style of a different era.
I still have a few in my closet but when I wear them I don't feel like I do when I wear a vintage one!
An alternative to vintage replica clothes is definitely handmade: basically you can have what you want in your exact size! Handmade vintage creators are more and more popular lately and they can really do anything! Create something new with a real vintage fabric or create a retro inspired piece starting from original vintage sewing patterns of the era (this is why I often buy vintage paper patterns of pieces that I like during the vintage fairs!). This may be the most expensive alternative but believe me, sometimes it is worth the money! And if you don't want to spend so much, pay yourself a sewing class and you will be able (with time and practice) to create fabulous vintage inspired things for yourself (and maybe for some lucky ones!).
Taking sewing classes is in my list of classes that I would love to take or take again! This list includes so many things that I wonder if I would be able to do them all in my life, but hey, sewing is in my top 3 so maybe...
See you next month with a new story of The Vintage Series!