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A veritable vintage feast awaits

Della Schafer photo.

Take a trip through the past, do something good for the environment and add a classic touch to your wardrobe.

A one-day vintage sale this Saturday (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.) will get you to the promised land of hip, collecting together some of the most classic and sought after vintage and retro styles of clothing in the Kootenay.

The one-day sale of vintage clothing at 721 Front St. (near the old WIN Store, now Positive Apparel) will include clothing plus shoes, bags, jewelry, hats, jackets and a large selection of men's clothing and accessories (see sample photos below).

There are some children's and plus sized vintage finds as well, with furniture, electronics and artifacts of times past.

Most of the items in the sale were  “saved” from the garbage dump by the folks at Positive Apparel, and then researched, mended and restored (in some cases) by Della Schafer, local fabri-holic.

Getting the drop on vintage

Clothing produced before the 1920s is referred to as antique clothing, while clothing from the 1920s to 1980s is considered vintage.

Retro, short for retrospective, or "vintage style," usually refers to clothing that imitates the style of a previous era.

Most vintage clothing has been previously worn, but a small percentage of pieces have not — and there are some in the sale.

Keeping up with the times

Although there has always been some demand for old or second hand clothing, the awareness and demand of the clothing 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 (this could be you).

And then there’s the green angle, with environmental sustainability stacked in its favour by way of reusing, recycling and repairing rather than throwing things away.

Need to know more?

All photos shot by Della Schafer.


Other reasons that some people are attracted to vintage clothing include:

  • Unique or almost unique: many items were custom made, and others were manufactured in small quantities only.
  • Good quality: they were designed to be worn for years and passed on to other family members, so they were made of robust materials, well cut and well made, with generous seam allowances and hems which allow for alterations and custom fit.
  • Fine materials: many of the unusual older fabric types are no longer manufactured, or are now prohibitively expensive.
  • Value for money: garments generally sell for a cost far below similar new modern garments.
  • History: an appreciation of the past, the roles of previous generations and the skills of respected designers.
  • Detailing: hand finishing, unusual buttons, hand embroidery, handmade lace, crochet, applique, beading and other techniques.
  • Style: vintage clothing has traditionally been the favourite of creative personalities because it offers an enormously wide range of imaginative styles.
  • Investment: some people buy to collect rather than to wear, and increasingly, good quality vintage garments especially items by well-known designers are sought after by collectors.
  • Union made: many vintage clothes carry a union label, thus avoiding labor practices in third world countries that are regarded as abusive.

Source: Wikipedia