It‘s a little strange here at Preloved HQ, normally we’d have piles of clothes all over the place, an 80’s radio station blasting out Duran Duran and the smell of burnt toast coming from the kitchen but everything is exactly as we left it weeks and weeks ago...(though the toast was removed from the toaster and the radio was unplugged to minimise electrical fire risk 🤓).
Staff and customer safety is of utmost importance, so dropping everything was always the right decision to make, but as we all start to look to the future we’ve come to realise and be thankful that our business utilises the old and somewhat unusual, meaning when we do eventually return, nothing will have expired and nothing will be out of season.
And so with no events to report on, we‘ve decided to see what we really have here at Preloved HQ - and that’s our excuse to play with the clothes and we’re sticking with it! Some of you will be familiar with our Wayne - our director and main buyer - but what some of you may not know is he’s got a personal collection of vintage items stashed away in a corner of our warehouse. He’s got Victorian dresses and Edwardian capes to couture suits and designer pieces straight from the catwalk, its our own vintage clothing museum!
It would be rude to keep it hidden, so we‘ve had a proper rummage on both ours and Wayne’s rails and we’ve found some amazing examples of fashion trends from modern history, and while we’re here we’ll also put together some mini guides to help you date your own finds too.
One of Wayne’s earliest pieces is this 1920’s wedding dress, though it has certainly seen better days, it’s just too beautiful to dispose of! The 1920’s saw women’s clothing adapt for the modern, carefree lifestyle with loose silhouettes replacing the restricted, contorted shapes of the Victorian era. The waists lowered and the hemlines rose, with boxy shoulders and tubular torsos. Drop waist trends did reappear throughout the decades, particularly in the 1960’s, but some of our customers will remember when this slouchy look made a spectacular revival nearly 60 years later in the 1980’s!
And we’ve only gone and found one of those iconic 80s does 20’s numbers on our rails, love it or hate it, you can’t deny it’s one of the most iconic trends in modern fashion history!
It's pretty easy to spot this look from the 80s - look for billowing bodices, dropped waists and huge shoulder pads, with bold prints and bright colours. Vertical stripes help to achieve the look of an elongated body, with overlaid panels creating a effortlessly layered look.
It’s incredibly difficult to source 1920's clothing without paying a fortune for items in wearable condition, so you likely won’t find any on our rails, though you can find plenty of lookalike styles. Seek out sequin dresses to recreate the striking look of the Flappers, or opt for more casual dresses like our striped piece above for a daytime look. Though you may want to find more subtle prints if you're going for an authentic 20s vibe, look for peaches, creams, blacks and golds or jewel tones if you do fancy a bit of colour.
Fun fact: the flower detail on the bridal dress is made from wax and paper! These materials could easily be shaped, dyed and sculpted to match an outfit, but they are much more fragile than today's more modern materials. These ones are still going strong though, not bad for a 100 year old dress!