What are reproduction clothes, and are they a good fashion choice for vintage-loving fashionistas?
Reproduction clothing refers to clothing that is made today, often using modern techniques and sizing but looks like clothing from another era. You can get all sorts of vintage reproduction clothing, from outerwear to lingerie. Most brands tend to focus on styles from the late forties, the fifties and the early sixties. However, as reproduction clothing becomes more popular, you can expect to see a more diverse range of styles. So why is reproduction clothing becoming more common? And why bother when there are still lots of great vintages finds out there?
Vintage clothing is great. Every item is one of a kind and often made with techniques that you just don’t see in modern clothing. Unfortunately, it does come with its own set of problems. Vintage has become increasingly popular over the past ten years. As demand has gone up, so have the prices. What was once the go-to choice for bargain hunters, is now sold for inflated prices in West End boutiques. Also, vintage clothing has an inherent problem for the modern girl.
We Are Fatter
The late twentieth century changed our lifestyle and our diets. We have higher calorie diets, and we are more sedentary. This has inevitably changed our figures. The waist measurement of a modern high street size ten is the equivalent of a seventies size fourteen. We are taller and we are thicker. Also, women used to wear far more restricting shapewear. Forget Spanx! Fifties girdles had much tighter levels of control, often including metal boning. This is why a trip to a vintage store can often be a depressing experience. The clothes are simply too small for many modern.
The third issue with vintage originals is how to care for them. Care labels were first introduced in Holland in 1950 and gradually spread across Europe. Clothing that predates care labels, or was handmade often doesn’t yield many clues on how to wash it. It’s often best to keep a vintage find out of the washing machine to avoid damaging it forever. Worse still, your garment often has traces of previous, less careful owners, such as stains or rips.
Vintage Reproduction Clothing
Vintage reproduction clothing answers these problems. Whilst the items aren’t unique, they do solve a lot of the problems that you get with original pieces. The sizing is more realistic, although you will find that waist measurements are often a little leaner than high street clothing. The pieces are brand new, so you won’t find sweat stains, or little tears on the garment when you get home. And reproduction comes with care labels, so you won’t accidentally destroy your favourite dress. If you love the looks of bygone eras, it’s worth checking out reproduction clothing. After all, there’s no harm in mixing your brand new wiggle dress with the vintage cape that you found in the back of Oxfam five years ago. You can buy some truly beautiful garments, that whilst they’re not one of a kind, will make you stand out.
A lot of reproduction clothing is American. Brands like Bettie Page and Stop Staring do excellent wiggle dresses. You can get a great pin-up look from these brands. Who doesn’t want to feel like Marilyn Monroe for the night? However, reproduction is becoming more and more popular in the UK. There are some great events you can go to where you will find vintage and reproduction stalls side by side.
Vintage at Goodwood Revival is a great festival where you can enjoy retro musical acts and vintage fashion. It’s great to be able to buy this kind of clothing in the UK. Read our guide to the hottest British reproduction labels.
Deco Suspender Belt from What Katie Did
What Katie Did stock faux vintage lingerie. There’s everything from hardcore control wear to fully fashioned stockings. Christina Hendricks recently remarked that she gets her Joan Holloway wiggle from the vintage underwear they wear on Mad Men. It really is true that the correct foundation garments will make you walk the walk in your vintage outfit.
Vivien of Holloway produces swing and wiggle dresses in a variety of prints and fabrics. They have some truly beautiful dresses for special occasions, including your wedding. It’s advisable to wear foundation garments with these dresses, as the waist may be smaller than you are used to.
If all of those don’t tickle your fancy, don’t forget the gem of vintage websites, Etsy.com