Friday, February 10, 2012

New Year's resolution: Wear vintage, stage 4 continued


More about quality and value

In vintage, quality is often in the details. Better fabrics, lining and better-grade components such as buttons and trims add to the quality of items. Quality can also be in the design, which sometimes means better brand labels, and designer labels. Sometimes no-label or lesser-known labels are designed and made very well, so don't let the labels mean everything to you. Also, some designers sold their names for use in lower quality items, so a designer's name isn't everything either.
Right now there are some healthy prices being paid for lesser-made items from the 70s, 80s and 90s. There is a gradual change from better to lesser quality that has taken place from the late 1960s through today. Many labels (designers, makers) have transcended this in these decades, but the trend has been toward more disposable, briefly fashionable styles. The more you know about clothing details and manufacture, the less likely you will be to pay an exorbitant rate for something that is in actual quality, lower end. You may gain the power to find these relatively common items yourself at thrift stores and garage sales, and you may not need to see the item styled for you to get how it could look. I don't mean to say these items are not worth anything (especially if they make your heart sing) but it is best to arm yourself with the knowledge of their true value. If you still want to pay a top price, you will at least know what you're doing!
Condition is also a part of value. I recommend beginning vintage buyers be aware of the condition component in purchasing vintage. A great item in very flawed condition is of lesser value, possibly lower than a relatively lower quality item in excellent condition. The more you know, the more you will be able to assess this.

Value may also be judged in terms of how long a garment has been around, and how long it may continue to be around. Our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents did not live with disposable items the way we do now, clothing included. Purchases were made carefully, alterations were done, care was taken, mends were made, and quite a bit of wear was expected. If you find a vintage clothing item you love, consider grabbing the baton, wearing the item with the same care and thought that was used 30, 60 and 90 years ago. If you do, you may pass the item on for further use in 30 years!

This 1884 wedding dress has been worn by family members ever since...talk about longevity! (The story is at MailOnline)
Next: More on value

2 comments:

Vintage Cherry said...

What a lovely story about the wedding dress! And thank you for some more great tips.

denisebrain said...

That wedding dress is incredibly well-preserved I'd say...gives me hope for my favorite 40s outfits!