5 vintage fashion myths that need busting

I want everyone to feel good in vintage, in fact I am on a mission to prove everyone can add a bit of vintage to their daily wardrobe and look fabulous. Whether it is a whole outfit or merely a vintage brooch…go on give it a try! There are some vintage fashion myths out there about it though, so here I am to bust those fibs!

Vintage pleated blouse by Kate Beavis, Vintage Fashion Myths

Vintage Fashion Myths 1. Vintage clothing smells.

Now don’t get me wrong, all second hand clothes can smell if they haven’t been washed for years or stored badly. However, any good seller will not allow his or her clothing to be sold smelling bad. They will have often been lovingly repaired, washed and pressed so you shouldn’t be buying clothes with any odours. Of course if you have bought directly from the owner they may well do so bear this in mind before you buy. Most early vintage fashion should be hand washed (I do it in the bath as it won’t get scrunched up) then dried flat. Stubborn stains are hard to get out so again bear this in mind and make sure the price reflects this.

Vintage Fashion Myths 2. Vintage fashion looks like fancy dress.

People who wear vintage from head to toe look amazing, unique and have fantastic attention to detail. They are not wearing fancy dress, as well, they are not at a fancy dress party for a start!

You may not have the confidence to wear a complete outfit so why not try to mix it with modern fashion. Maybe wear all modern and add a vintage handbag and necklace. Or team a vintage blouse with your skinny jeans. I often wear a 1950s circle skirt with a new fitted white shirt. See how I mix vintage with modern here, here and here.

Vintage 1970s blazer as worn by Kate Beavis Vintage Fashion Myths

Vintage Fashion Myths 3. Vintage fashion is for skinny minnies.

Some vintage clothing is small (the average woman was a size 12 back in the 1950s)  but a good seller will try to have an array of sizes so they can cater for all. I once bought a whole collection of 1950s-1970s dresses from one lady in sizes 16-18 which she hand made for herself. These were snapped up fast though so you will need to be quick!

If in doubt have a look at the measurements of the item rather than the sizing, then compare it to an item of clothing in your wardrobe now. Vintage sizes are very different to modern day sizes – but then again sizes are different from one shop to another on the high street now!

You could also hire a good seamstress to alter your vintage clothing or to make a new item from vintage material. There are some great vintage patterns out there too, so you could have an original style in new fabric if you prefer.


Vintage Fashion Myths 4. Vintage fashion is overpriced as it is second hand after all

There are two types of vintage which should have two different pricing levels. Firstly there are older items from the 1930s to 1960s which are becoming rarer by the second therefore hold a higher price tag and should do. They are also better made, in lovely fabrics, often handmade or designer, and the seller will more than likely have had to restore them to some level.

Then there are later styles from the 1970s to dare I say it, the early 1990s. These were mass produced, in newer man made fibres which can go in the washing machine so will be cheaper. A polyester 1980s non labelled dress should cost no more than £20 in my opinion (unless it is something special)

Vintage fashion at Kate Beavis Vintage Blog Vintage Fashion Myths

Vintage Fashion Myths 5. I will look my granny

Well if your granny is currently rocking a 1950s cotton day dress with matching belt then you will look her! However I am sure she isn’t, and unless you are wearing what she has on now, you will not look like her! I hear this all the time and it is so wrong….vintage isn’t granny, granny is granny. Vintage is stylish and unique

What I think you should do is go round to see your granny in your vintage frock and ask her about whether she remembers wearing something similar. Where did she wear it, how did she feel? Go share some memories…maybe she wore it on a date with your grandpa!

Then go make some memories of your own, wearing vintage of course!


What vintage fashion myths have you heard or maybe believe – I will try to bust them next!

Finally, here are some sellers who will do you proud!

Lovely’s Vintage


Alexandra Vintage

Catwalk Creative

Love Miss Daisy

Real Green Dress





I love


  1. 2 July 2015 / 3:41 pm

    Hi Kate! So kind of you to mention us in this blog. Thanks so much!! xxxx

    • Kate Beavis
      2 July 2015 / 9:24 pm

      You’re welcome x

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