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Thursday, October 1, 2009

Vintage Knowledge

The Little Guide to Vintage Shopping

This week I was lucky enough to receive an advance copy of Melody Fortier's The Little Guide to Vintage Shopping. As someone who recently began to enjoy shopping at flea markets and secondhand shops, I found the book to be extremely helpful. Unlike many other books in the Fashion/Style genre that I've read, I think this one is intelligently written, and the author clearly has expert knowledge of vintage clothing and accessories. (Melody Fortier, founder of Tangerine Boutique, has been collecting and selling vintage clothing since the mid-1990s.) After reading the book, I've gained a new appreciation for pretty details and intricate construction techniques that are seldom found in mass-produced modern clothing. (Unfortunately, I've become accustomed to the poor quality of today's cheap chic garments.)

In the book, the author provides tips on how to: distinguish time periods, determine whether vintage prices are fair, take your own measurements, ensure a good fit, clean and care for vintage clothing, and reinvent vintage pieces with alterations. Who couldn't use tips like this? Particularly helpful is the specific advice on how to treat and remove stains, store vintage clothing, and fix fabric flaws. For example, here's something new I learned...from now on, I'm going to air out my woolens once a year (on a cool day, in the shade) as recommended. You can bet I'll definitely be keeping some of Melody's tips in mind the next time I shop on ebay, or visit a thrift store, flea market, or vintage boutique.