Vintage Clothes Holmfirth


High Society Vintage Clothes for the discerning Holmfirth woman.

Vintage clothing is a generic term for new or second hand garments originating from a previous era. The phrase is also used in connection with a retail outlet, e.g. “vintage clothing store.”

Generally speaking, clothing which was produced before the 1920s is referred to as antique clothing and clothing from the 1920s to 1960s is considered vintage. Retro, short for retrospective, or “vintage style” usually refers to clothing that imitates the style of a previous era. Reproduction, or repro, clothing is a newly-made but faithful copy of an older garment. Clothing produced more recently is usually called modern or contemporary fashion. Opinions vary on these definitions.

Most vintage clothing has been previously worn, but a small percentage of pieces have not. These are often old warehouse stock, and more valuable than those that have been worn, especially if they have their original tags. Referred to as deadstock or new old stock (NOS), they nevertheless sometimes have flaws.


Although there has always been some demand for old and/or second hand clothing, the awareness, demand and acceptance of this has increased dramatically since the early 1990s.

This increase in interest is due in part to increased visibility, as vintage clothing was increasingly worn by top models and celebrities, e.g. Julia Roberts, Renée Zellweger, Chloe Sevigny, Tatiana Sorokko, Kate Moss, and Dita von Teese.

There has also been an increasing interest in environmental sustainability in terms of reusing, recycling and repairing rather than throwing things away.

A resurgence of historically based sub-cultural groups like rockabilly and swing dancing has also played a part in the increased interest in vintage clothes.

At times, the cycle of fashion design turns to history for inspiration, and garments closely resembling original vintage (retro or antique) clothing are manufactured. An example of this is the simple slip dresses that emerged in the early 1990s and were based on undergarments of the 1930s. These styles are generally referred to as “vintage style”, “vintage inspired” or “vintage reproductions” depending on the faithfulness to the historical design, and serve as a convenient alternative to those who admire an old style but prefer a modern interpretation – another advantage is that, unlike the original garments, they are usually available in a range of sizes and perhaps, colours and/or fabrics.

Popular places to buy vintage clothing include charity-run second hand clothing shops, garage sales, car boot sales, flea markets, antique markets, estate sales, auctions, vintage clothing shops and vintage fashion, textile or collectables fairs. One of the first regular fairs that was set up specically to cater for the current demand for vintage clothing is Frock Me!. This event takes place regularly throughout the year in Chelsea, London as well as in Brighton. Vintage clothing can sometimes be obtained from older friends and relatives, because some people store their old clothing for long periods of time.

The advent of the internet has been a boon to the vintage clothing fancier, as it has been for all collectors. It has increased the availability of specific and hard-to-get items and opened up prospective markets for sellers around the world. Popular places to acquire garments include online auctions (e.g. eBay), multi-vendor sites (e.g. Etsy), online vintage clothing shops and specialist forums. A vintage-lover may also turn to a custom dressmaker, who will use sewing patterns and/or fabrics from a bygone era to recreate a historically accurate look.

Vintage garments designed by the following designers are particularly sought after – especially when they are representative of the designer or the era: Coco Chanel, Paul Poiret, Mariano Fortuny, Elsa Schiaparelli, Jeanne Paquin, Madeleine Vionnet, Jeanne Lanvin, Christian Dior, Hubert de Givenchy, Claire McCardell, Cristobal Balenciaga, Emilio Pucci, Yves Saint-Laurent, Ossie Clark, Biba, Mary Quant, Pierre Cardin, Halston, Giorgio Armani, Zandra Rhodes, Vivienne Westwood, Thierry Mugler, Gianni Versace, and Jean Paul Gaultier.

An important contributing factor the value of an item of vintage clothing can also be its provenance. Vintage clothing collectors, like other collectors of history, value and record the background of an item: who wore it and to what occasion.

Due to increased demand, pre-1950s garments in good condition are becoming more difficult to find, and more expensive to procure. Clothing from more recent decades is easier to locate, identify, restore, conserve and (with the exception of popular designers) more affordable – subject to market forces and the cycle of fashion.

Some things to consider include sizing (many old garments won’t include sizing labels, or if they do, the old systems of sizing often differ from modern ones), condition (check quality of fabric, seams for stitching required, missing buttons, hems down or need altering, holes or tears), cleaning requirements (a good vintage trader will be able to advise you in this regard), stains (and, more importantly, likely success in removal) and correct storage (for example, it is inadvisable to hang a beaded 1920s evening gown as the weight of the beads will weaken or tear the delicate silk).

The style of clothing each of us wears is an important form of self expression and communication, and people who wear vintage clothing have something to tell you.
Here are some of the reasons to shop vintage:


It’s is a fact of life that history repeats itself; fashion and clothes trends are no exception. Since fashion is cyclical, there is always some style from the past that has been made new again, and there is a good chance you can find the original version of that style in a vintage item from that era. However, when you purchase a vintage piece, you are getting something that cannot be found at every chain store by the thousands. It is a limited, if not one of a kind, item just for you.

Vintage Clothing

Just as you can find vintage pieces to compliment the current fashion trends, you can also use vintage to go against them. With vintage clothing you find classics that have never gone out of style, or you can find off the wall pieces to set yourself apart from the mainstream.

Vintage Fashion

Let’s be realistic, vintage fashion clothes are usually not new. Unless they are one of those rare gems from dead stock, you are buying hand me downs. The flip side of that is that you are not paying the price of a newly manufactured garment. So buying vintage clothing is a great way to save money.


So yes, the clothes are used, but the important thing is that they don’t look worn out or old. The main reason for this is that better quality materials and techniques were used in the past than are used today. There is a lot more emphasis on clothing being well made because clothes had to last longer since people did not buy new clothing as often as we do today. There is a lot more done by hand in the manufacturing of vintage clothing, where as the same procedures like adding buttons and detailing are done by machines today.

Recycled Clothes

Vintage clothes have already been used once, and by wearing them again, you are recycling them – recycled clothes. On a larger scale, you are not using your money to pay for the natural resources used in the production of a new item (fuel for shipping, energy to produce, etc.), you are not contributing to pollution (emissions from factories, dumping of dyes and chemicals, etc.), and you are saving those items from going into a landfill.


Vintage is basically the best deal going. Where else can you find superiorly made, one of a kind, fashionable clothes and at the same time save money and help the planet all in one purchase? Knowing all of that, how is it possible to not want to go to your Yorkshire vintage retailer right away?

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