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Vintage without the mystery

Can't seem to get passed the stains when buying vintage clothing? Bec Foulston says there are ways to enjoy vintage fashion without the suspicious history.

Have you ever wanted a vintage outfit but you’re scared of where it’s been?  For all you know that perfect dress could have been hiked up during some ‘happy couple fun’, or that cute little tee may have been a temporary mop, even the grandpa hat could have landed on a nit-ridden head.

The good news is if you want vintage fashion without the unknown icky past then vintage bespoke could be your savour.  Melissa Kramer from Thread Den says they only stock Australian-made, independent vintage-inspired designers.  They also sell vintage patterns and materials, giving you the retro look without the unknown stains.

Of course part of the reason everyone loves vintage clothes is because it’s embedded with history and character, but Kramer says don’t worry – vintage bespoke still allows for this.

‘All fashion contains a glimpse of the past and I’m not sure it’s possible to create something completely new without a hint of nostalgia,’ she says.  The bonus with new vintage-inspired designs is you know exactly where it’s been and whose hands have touched it.

What’s the best thing about vintage bespoke? ‘It is the thrill of the chase and the satisfaction of knowing that when you find the perfect piece no one else will have it,’ Kramer says, ‘and it will express exactly who you are.’

Thread Den finds it’s products from all over the place. ‘We find them everywhere and they find us. Friends of our grandmothers, daughters of ladies who love what we’re doing, and lovely locals often drop by with vintage goodies for us.’

Melbourne is full of truly individual and unique people who like to express themselves through their clothes.  It doesn’t matter whether you are looking for a one-off limited edition piece, a supporter of Australian-made clothes, avid supporter of small businesses, or just very fashion conscious, the vintage threads at Thread Den will get you giddy with excitement.

‘I often hear people are distressed at the disposable nature of clothes… [people have] a desire to reuse and recycle and appreciate where things come from,’ says Kramer.

‘[It also helps that] vintage patterns are so often cut well.  The lines are feminine and flattering, yet simple. Vintage materials also give the piece a feeling of authenticity that you wouldn’t otherwise get.’

If you’re unsure of what era to bounce into then perhaps it’s time to just relax and consider one of Kramer’s favourites.

‘I would say the 1950s inspired clothing suits the female form perfectly. I would be almost convinced this is the best era, but have become somewhat enamored with the deco-era after researching the ’20s and ’30s for our Fitzroy store fit-out. There’s something nonchalant about the flapper dresses and boyish silhouettes that I find quite appealing.’

Vintage darling, is there any other way to go? Especially when you can breathe easy knowing that your outfit has only seen you naked.

Bec Foulston is a Bachelor of Journalism student at La Trobe University. This piece was originally published on her blog Sneaky Bug.

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