Fashion can go out of style, but style never goes out of style – like the current boom in vintage and second-hand shows.
As consumers ditch fast fashion for more ethical options, old outfits gain new life and make sellers a pretty penny.
Expert sites, such as Vinted and Depop, are booming. Vintage clothing stores spring up on the higher streets rather than being confined to small, niche stores – and even the likes of ASOS and Boohoo have revived looks from the ’70s and ’90s.
But price comparison website money.co.uk has discovered the most valuable eras for vintage dealers are even older than the last century – the 40s, then the 50s and 20, the decades had styles that were completely opposite of modern trends.
Here, three women who crafted their wardrobes in the style of a particular era tell us how they managed to monetize their passion for fashion…
Sarah Goodlad / Caters News Agency)
Watching war movies as a child with her grandfather sparked Sarah Goodlad’s love of ’40s fashion. And the second-hand clothing boom means her vintage pieces are now worth much more than the £5,000 she paid for them.
Sarah, who also sews 40s-style outfits from old fabrics, says: “I love the clean lines, the length of the skirt, the hat and the shoulder detailing. The whole look and silhouette – it looks so polished. ”
The 45-year-old Coalville, Leics, started collecting works as a teenager, including a cape that “could cost ten times as much now”.
But she lacked the confidence to fully embrace the style until she was in her 30s.
Sarah Goodlad / Caters News Agency)
“The first dress from the ’40s that I wore was dusty pink and embroidered with buttons on the front,” she said. My second dress was a late ’40s dress from Horrockses, a British fashion house that existed back then.
“It comes in gray and green and remains one of my treasures. I put together £100 for this couple but now I’m counting on £400″.
Sarah is often complimented on her looks and is inspired by Hollywood greats like Lana Turner and Joan Crawford to create her own outfits.
As her collection grew, she started selling dresses and tops that didn’t really fit, or weren’t her style, on Etsy.
“I bought them cheap and sold them for a fair price, between £20 and £50. I haven’t made a lot of money yet – but I’ve been sent pictures of people wearing things they’ve bought from me.
“It is a joy that items are increasingly worn and appreciated. I feel a million dollars in ’40s fashion and it’s great that others can feel the same way.”
Belle Prive Photography)
René Keyleigh admired beautiful model Dita Von Teese’s style as a teenager and started collecting ’50s clothes. And the 32-year-old image consultant, also known as Lady Eccentrik, has been earns £30,000 from his hobby.
She said: “Dita is unlike anyone I have ever seen before, the epitome of beauty and glamor. I can’t afford it, but I want to look like her.”
René bought her first ’50s outfit – a blue floral gown from eBay – for around £15 when she was in her 20s.
“I was drawn to the era because it was a classic look that exuded Hollywood glam.”
She was passionate about the fashion of the 70s and 80s but after falling into the 50s, she threw out her entire wardrobe to start from scratch. But René says this was a mistake, explaining: “Then I realized that I could have done what I did to achieve the look. Fashion is cyclical”.
Belle Prive Photography)
Inspired by icons like Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly and Rita Hayworth, René watches classic movies for outfit ideas.
“When I wear ’50s clothes, it’s so inspiring. I feel elegant and it gives me a sense of freedom. I’m celebrating my femininity, because the silhouette of the outfit is very similar to the hour and you can be sexy and out of the box at the same time. It’s another form of sexy. “
René, from London, says a good piece of clothing used to cost £50 but has now tripled. She sells items that don’t fit or she won’t wear anymore.
“You don’t always make a profit because it’s a competitive market, but over the years I’ve probably made £30,000,” René said. I’m happy when people compliment my outfit. The classic look is increasingly appreciated.
“Joan Crawford said she would never go out unless she looked like ‘Joan Crawford movie star’. When I leave my house, that’s what I strive for.”
Roaming around in charity shops with her parents taught Caitlin Hare to appreciate a bargain. And now, the 28-year-old has turned ’70s fashion into a career after founding antique store The Octopus Garden.
The former retail worker from Liverpool, who made up to £400 a month from his business as a student, now runs the online store full time.
She said: ‘Mom and dad always used charity shops when my sister and I were kids but I used to find it really embarrassing. It was a choice, not because we didn’t have the money. But I don’t want my friends to see me buying second-hand clothes, which is weird because it’s a great thing to do now.
“It’s something I’ve spent all my money on and I’m always on the lookout for light colored clothes. That tends to be a lot of ’70s psychedelic prints. There’s no greater feeling than finding something special in a thrift store, it’s a joy.
“As I got older, I learned to really appreciate that I could find unique outfits. My parents’ favorite bands were The Beatles and Fleetwood Mac, so I was inspired by that era.”
When Caitlin studied sociology at university and lived in a small apartment, she started selling some of her belongings to make extra money.
“When my wardrobe is too tight or if something doesn’t fit me, I sell it on the ASOS Marketplace,” she says. I can make up to £100 a week which is great for a hobby.
“For me, ’70s fashion was all about color and pattern. But I’m also attracted to large collars and large sleeves, which are really popular these days and have such impact when I post pictures of them wearing them on Instagram.
“My pride and joy is my hallucinogenic jumpsuit – it can go straight off the stage or out of Woodstock.
“I bought it for £18 about 10 years ago. I fixed it and it’s probably worth at least £80 by now. However, it’s an item that’s definitely not for sale! ”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/3am/style/vintage-fashion-fans-make-fortune-26338233 Vintage fashion aficionados cash in on clothing from the Forties, Fifties and Seventies