Life & Style

Retold Vintage

From slow fashion to second-hand design, we are proud champions of pre-loved style at Collagerie, which is why we’re happy to welcome vintage expert Retold to our fold. Here, founder Clare Lewis shares her top five shopping tips...

Campaign photography: Nona Duch


Where to look?

As well as an abundance of established sellers online or with their own stores, there are also some incredible vintage markets and antique fairs out there. Being based in London, my favourites have to be Sunbury Antiques and Frock Me vintage, however there are amazing ones happening all over the UK and a quick Google search will reveal your nearest. Top tip – get there as early as possible to get the best bits and don’t be afraid to negotiate for a bargain.

Just getting started?

I would always advise incorporating small amounts of vintage at a time. It could be as simple as finding a gorgeous blazer to wear with your favourite jeans or accessorising with a beautiful bag or silk scarf. Choose timeless styles: beautiful trench, a luxe silk blouse or a classic chain necklace – all wardrobe staples that you’ll wear forever.

Quality check

Whether shopping online or in a vintage store, always give the item a thorough check to ensure you are happy with the condition. Look for stains, marks and odours, or damage and tarnish if it’s jewellery. Don’t be afraid to discuss this with the seller to ensure the piece is right for you. If you are shopping online, look at all the photos and read the description thoroughly.

Be true to your own personal style

The joy of vintage is there is something to suit all tastes, but because of this it is also so easy to segue off into a completely different aesthetic (guilty as charged in my fledging vintage years) which means you end up buying items which never see the light of day as they don’t work with your existing wardrobe. Use Instagram and Pinterest to find accounts that resonate with your personal style – they're such great source of inspiration and can help you research different eras to see which style you lean towards.

Make a wish list

Shopping for vintage can seem overwhelming due to the amount of stock, so do your research and have a plan of what you are looking for. Patience is key, so be prepared to have shopping trips where you come away empty handed; that’s all the part of the fun and it makes the moment when you come across an absolute gem even more precious I’m a strong (and maybe slightly romantic) believer in the vintage finding you and not the other way round.