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Lure of vintage fashion
The secret lives of dresses
Erin McKean.
New York : 5 Spot, 2011.
After the grandmother who raised her suffers a stroke, Dora rushes back home to North Carolina and finds herself running her grandmother's vintage clothing store. Dora can trade her boring clothes for vintage glamor, but can she trade her boring life for one she actually wants?
     
A cast-off coven
Juliet Blackwell.
New York, NY : Obsidian, c2010.
Lily Ivory is not your average witch. She runs a vintage clothing store called Aunt Cora's Closet and has the magical ability to sense vibrations of the past from clothing and jewelry. When students are spooked at the San Francisco School for the Arts, Lily is called in to search for paranormal activity. She finds a dead body00and a closet full of old clothes with some very bad vibes.
     
A vintage affair : a novel
Isabel Wolff.
New York : Bantam Books, 2010.

Protagonist Phoebe Swift has left her prestigious job at London's Sothebys as an historical fashion expert to open a quaint, up-scale, vintage clothing store.  Along with her glamorous job, she has also left behind a passionate engagement to the man who once courted her best friend.

While Phoebe brings cupcake dresses and empire waists back to London, she meets an interesting array of characters who come into Viillage vintage.  There's Phoebe's mother, for whom cosmetic surgery is the new fountain of youth.  There's Miles, a wealthy, older gentleman with a snobby, spoiled daughter.  He wants to wine and dine Phoebe.  There's Dan, the journalist/film aficionado, whose article in a new local paper makes Village Vintage the hot new location for fashion couture, and has more than a journalistic interest in Phoebe.  Then there's the elderly Mrs. Bell, who has some of the most wonderful vintage clothing Phoebe has ever seen and a child's blue coat that has a history Mrs. Bell is reluctant to share.

The story is filled with historical tidbits about vintage fashion, classic films, vineyards, and WWII in Europe.  It is sure to please many readers of all levels of interest.

Annotation by: St. Louis Public Library staff.

     
Vintage Veronica
by Erica S. Perl.
New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2010.
Veronica Walsh is 15, fashion-minded, fat, and friendless. Her summer job in the Consignment Corner section (Employees Only!) of a vintage clothing store is a dream come true. There Veronica can spend her days separating the one-of-a-kind gem garments from the Dollar-a-Pound duds, without having to deal with people. But when two outrageous yet charismatic salesgirls befriend her and urge her to spy on and follow the mysterious and awkward stock boy Veronica has nicknamed the Nail, Veronica’s summer takes a turn for the weird. Suddenly, what began as a prank turns into something else entirely. Which means Veronica may have to come out of hiding and follow something even riskier for the first time: her heart.
     
Vintage fashion accessories
Stacy LoAlbo.
Iola, WI : Krause Publications, 2009.
Looking for a great way to add character, class and individuality to your wardrobe, without breaking the bank on a whole new outfit? Look no further than vintage accessories to take your outfits from functional to historically fabulous!With retro and vintage being all the rage, every great wardrobe can always use vintage accessories, even if it’s just a few timeless pieces. Vintage Fashion Accessories is your guide to making the most of vintage accessories and showing off your fashion and collecting sense in what you wear. You may be surprised at how a $12 hat from the 1960s, a $6 pair of vintage gloves and a $15 patent leather-look handbag can make your ensemble look like a million bucks, but with Vintage Fashion Accessories in hand it will quickly begin to make sense.In this beautifully illustrated book you’ll discover more than 1,000 color photos of hats, handbags, jewelry, shoes, compacts, scarves, hankies, belts and more. Plus, there’s a chapter on accessories for the debonair gentleman. This fun and stylish gateway to retro fashion also features: • History of fashion and accessories and current values • Tips on the joy of collecting and fun of the hunt • The best places to shop for first-rate items Fashionista or collector you’ll discover helpful and historical details about vintage accessories that you can use to punch up your wardrobe and stand out from the crowd. About the Author Known as “The Vintage Maven,” Stacy LoAlbo is the owner and proprietor of Incogneeto in New Jersey. The store is densely stocked with clothing and accessories from Victorian finery to funky ’70s polyester for both men and women, and in prices ranging from budget to outrageous. In the last two decades LoAlbo has written numerous articles on vintage for several newspapers, participated in dozens of shows in the field, given symposiums and lectures and has held several vintage clothing fashion shows.
     
Larceny and lace
Annette Blair.
New York, NY : Berkley Prime Crime, c2009.
Madeira Cutler is busy opening her new vintage clothing store in what was once the town's morgue when she discovers an intruder snooping around a bunch of bones in a body drawer. Now, she'll have to dig up more than the past to solve a crime.
     
Shopping for vintage : the definitive guide to vintage fashion
Funmi Odulate ; illustrations by Richard Merritt.
New York : St. Martin's Griffin, 2008.
"This definitive guide to vintage clothing and accessories covers every major fashion epoch and designer from the 1880s to today - from Charles Worth to Vivienne Westwood. With snapshots of the key designers to the pivotal pieces that defined each decade, fashion expert Funmi Odulate takes you through the history of each era." "Included is an extensive country-by-country directory of vintage shops, fairs and flea markets, with profiles of the major dealers and outstanding shops, from L.A. to Shanghai." "Packed with insider tips about what to look for when buying vintage, how to recognize something of value and most importantly, where to find it, this is a stunning and sophisticated reference for all lovers of vintage fashion."--BOOK JACKET.
     
Retro knits : cool vintage patterns for men, women, and children from the 1900s through the 1970s
Kari Cornell and Jean Lampe, editors.
St. Paul, MN : Voyageur Press, 2008.
50 vintage patterns--for everything from mittens and scarves to sweaters, vests--from the 1910s to the 1970s, with updated yarn and needle suggestions.
     

Vintage clothing is one of the best bargains in the antique world today. Simple items in cotton or wool can be had for a few dollars. Fragile silks and velvets will be more costly. The older and more fine the item, the more expensive it will be. Condition plays a key role in cost as well. While clothing from the Victorian era and earlier is rare, fabulous fashion items from later decades abound at attractive prices.

Garment conditions

Mint - no apparent damage or wear
Near-mint - only minimal wear apparent
Excellent - normal wear from aging apparent
Very good - minor flaw(s)
Wearable - allows gentle wear

(samples from Vintage Textile)

Because our ancestors were small their clothes are often small, making it difficult for modern buyers to find vintage clothes that fit. But loose fitting coats or capes can work well. Modern women can often wear men's antique clothing, making a unique fashion statement. Vintage pieces can sometimes be enlarged. Or, they can be remade into new pieces of clothing that suggest historical fashion. Fashion accessories such as gloves and hats are easy to find and to wear. Just these items alone can dress up an ensemble in vintage style.

Reproduction styles can be made to capture the flair of the original. Dressmaker details from 100 years ago will give a garment a historical look. A complete Victorian wardrobe from walking suits to ball gowns can be made using historical patterns and contemporary fabrics. Few will be able to distinguish between old and new.

Vintage clothing gives us a glimpse into the past. The fine fabrics and tailored details of yesteryear are irresistible.

Article by: St. Louis Public Library staff