Coinciding with Fall Equinox (September 22), the Vintage Fashion Expo returns to the Concourse Exhibition Center for two days of fabulous vendors selling vintage clothing, baubles, and one of a kind items you couldn’t even imagine. Did I just die and go to Vintage Heaven? Yes, yes I did.
Shopping for vintage and thrifted items is definitely not for the faint of heart. Most of my friends ask, “How can you stand that musty smell?” followed by “Um, I’ll just wait outside” are the usual responses I hear. Their comments fall on my deaf ears, as I’m already knee deep digging through bargain bins or flipping through racks of clothing. Fear not, for as long as you are armed with a bottle of hand sanitizer for post shopping clean up, thrift shopping can be quite fun and rewarding if you just put in a little elbow grease. Or, you can shop in a fancy vintage boutique where they have perfected the art of removing that odor.
For the newbie, here is a quickie guide of popular women’s’ styles by decade from 1920s-1980s:
1920s Flapper era: boyish/straight lined silhouettes and looser clothing; shorter skirts, drop waist dresses, and pleats were popular
1930s Great Depression: longer hemline returns as well as a more womanly silhouette (natural waistline); bias cut dresses for a figure flattering look that was fluttery with draping and ruffles
1940s the war years: broad, padded or puffed shoulders and defined/fitted waist; pleated knee/calf length skirt; dress suits popular; peplums
1950s post war: feminine, flouncy dresses; circle skirts with petticoat; twinset sweaters; cigarette pants; the Chanel Suit was introduced
1960s counterculture & social movement: the Mod look with mini skirts/dresses with very short hemlines; the Hippie look with bell bottoms and frayed jeans; knee high boots
1970s glam rock & disco: hot pants; glitter and Lurex fabrics; zippered jumpsuits; flared jeans and trousers; the famous DVF wrap dress made its first appearance
1980s I was born: the return of shoulder pads for “power dressing” to reflect women in the workplace; the dance wear look with leotards, tights, and leg warmers; leggings; “Members Only” jackets; Doc Martens; influence of Madonna and Michael Jackson…..and the list is exponentially long
Some trends overlap in decades, and there are styles that I have left out to keep this brief. This list is not meant to be exhaustive, and I am exhausted after all my research! If there is a favorite fad of yours that I didn’t include, please share.