A great outfit is all about the finishing touches. Accessories are the easiest and most cost effective way to create a different look and make your wardrobe more versatile. Vintage accessories are affordable, sustainable and beautiful. They can be mixed with modern outfits to complete your look.
Sourcing vintage accessories is great fun, visit your local vintage fair/ vintage shop, antiques fair, flea market or car boot sale to see what you can find. Chat to traders and let them know what you are looking for as they will often source to order if they can. eBay and Etsy also have plenty of vintage accessories for sale but make sure you do your research and check what you are buying is genuine vintage and priced accordingly! It is also harder to check the condition of an item online, so make sure you ask for more photos if you need a closer look.
Vintage bags are beautifully made with great attention to detail and elegant design. Whether its an evening bag, handbag for work, or a stylish bag for hard day of shopping, there is a vintage bag for everyone. Research shapes and style of vintage bags before you go to buy to ensure you know what you are looking for. If the label says ‘Made in England’ then you are pretty much guaranteed it is a genuine vintage bag.
Always check that zips and clasps work properly and try to view them in natural light so you can see any marks. Remember though, vintage bags are old and not all will be in perfect condition, personally I like them a bit worn and as long as there are no major faults that detract from the overall look of the bag I would still buy it.
Vintage scarves are one of the most available, affordable and versatile vintage accessories you can buy. Adding a scarf to your outfit can totally change your look. Whether you want to create a more formal look by adding one to a casual top or tie the scarf in a more relaxed way to dress down an outfit, a vintage scarf is a definite wardrobe essential. I often tie vintage scarves onto my modern handbags.
Check out this You Tube video for 25 ways to wear a scarf.
Vintage costume jewellery is classic, elegant and stylish. It is also good quality and well made. Try wearing vintage jewellery with modern clothing to create your own unique style.
Brooches are easy to source and affordable. Wear a brooch on your coat, jumper, dress or scarf to add a touch of vintage glamour. You can identify the age of a vintage brooch by the type of clasp it has, see this useful guide for further information. Look out for collectible and desirable costume jewellery designers such as ‘Trifari‘, ‘Monet‘, ‘Exquisite’, ‘Sarah Coventry‘ and ‘Sphinx’. There are some really fun novelty style brooches about too, mainly from the 1950s (see scotty dog brooch below).
Clip on Earrings are often overlooked because people think they are uncomfortable to wear and heavy. However, there are a lot of lighter vintage clip ons around that are comfortable, if you wear them correctly (see guide here). Larger heavy clip ons can be used as scarf clips/brooches instead. Here are a few of my 1960s plastic clip ons that I wear all the time.
Vintage necklaces & bangles are affordable and versatile. Go glamorous with sparkly glass beads or have fun with bright plastics. Just be careful with plastic jewellery that claims to be vintage ‘Bakelite’ or ‘Lucite’. Check it is genuine before you buy it, ask if it has been tested or research the different materials yourself so that you feel confident to identity what the item is made from.