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Cease and desist!

A reader, (or perhaps not a reader, I'm not sure as the comment was left anonymously) has suggested that I cease calling my clothes vintage as although they may be new to me, 70's, 80's and 90's clothes do not constitute 'vintage.'
They pointed me in the direction of the Vintage Fashion Guild for assistance in pin pointing the era and labels of the clothes that I own, and I highly recommend it as a resource to anyone interested in vintage clothes.

It got me thinking about my wardrobe, because I'm not a vintage purist as any of you who read the blog regularly would know. I wear new, designer, second hand and vintage clothes, and normally say so in my outfit details. If I believe something is vintage, then it is tagged as such.

I thought it might be a good exercise to go through my wardrobe using the Vintage Fashion Guilds guidelines for vintage sellers on what to look for in vintage clothing listings as a standard for determining what I had in my wardrobe that could be termed 'vintage' and not second hand or retro.
It startled me that as someone who believes they have an eye for detail, I had left out label shots, or further descriptions about the 'vintage' clothes I have tagged.

Here are some of the guidelines I used:
Show a shot of the label.
Make a condition report on each item that gives a true idea of the garment's wearability.
Make your photos as clear as possible.
Show the item from different angles, but refrain from showing shot after shot of the same thing.
Date items accurately and place in the proper category.

Here is a handful of clothes , if you click on the picture they will enlarge. The label is a link to the a post they may have been seen in.

Vintage Dress

Vintage Taranto Spectators

This trench hasn't been seen on my blog yet!

Vintage Hilton Slippers.

Vintage Pierre Cardin Skirt

Vintage Bellino Suit

Vintage 'Ralph' tweed jacket

Overall I found the experience quite rewarding and insightful, and am thrilled that I now have a benchmark for tagging any new clothes that I buy and show on these pages.
I found that I was remiss in showing shots of the labels and talking more about the origin of the 'vintage' clothes that I own or have bought.
I always love to learn new things, particularly when it comes to clothing as I am certainly no expert on the topic, nor do I proclaim to be. Thank you to anon for pointing me in the direction of the Vintage Fashion Guild, it is a great tool for anyone wishing to know more about vintage clothes.




heartofpearl♥ said...

i'm no expert with vintage and labels and i think that site will help me out too! thanks anon and LM :) your labels sure look vintage though~ i think i'll pay more attention to my vintage finds from now.

Skye said...

I can pick true vintage - but I still persist in calling stuff from the 70s and 80s vintage. It's just because I hate the word "retro"!

enc said...

I guess if you got something positive out of that comment, then it's a good thing.

I had always thought that twenty years of age made something vintage, and that one hundred years of age made something antique, but I'll be researching all this now.

At any rate, I love all your things and how you wear them.

Penny Lane said...

ohhh i love the details on all of your clothes! you have some truly fantastic pieces there. i agree with skye, i hate the word retro so i just call my clothes vintage just because it's easy!!!

katiecrackernuts said...

Oh you funny thing. You have some lovely pieces. As has rightly been pointed out by the resource you linked to "what's in a label". We get that you're saying it's not new spring 2008 frocks. Oh and while you have a gorgeous collection, invest in better hangers my dear. Those wire ones will rust, snag, leave marks ... they're OK for the short term but I know you can do better. And how beautiful are some of those labels. Time has been spent on the typography and branding. Little pieces of art in themselves.

Anonymous said...


I've been wondering this for a while.

You post occasionally about your 'maids.'

Do you actually have these said maids? And do you really take them around shopping with you?

Or do you post 'the maids' in a different light, representing perhaps friends/family members forced to follow you around carrying your purchases, and cleaning up?

Kira Fashion said...

I wish i have more vintage great pieces like that too! they are so cool!!!

a kiss my friend!
Love your blog!

Louise said...

This is great, I'm really looking forward to learning a bit nmore about vintage clothing as you learn and post! It's true - we can really appreciate your clothes that much more seeing them in such beautiful detail. I generally refrain putting the label "vintage" on anything I own, even if I know it's dates pre-1960 simply out of fear of critisism from vintage purists!

Louise said...

Haha and whoever scolded your use of wire hangers is so right - you can do better than that Lady Melbourne!!!

Anonymous said...

To be honest, I really don't care if my clothes are true "vintage" or not - semantics are not going to interfere with my wardrobe!

a cat of impossible colour said...

Thank you for this - it was a really interesting post. I'm not a vintage purist either, and I love the way you mix thrifted, vintage, new and designer clothes in your outfits. It's very inspiring, and it's a real-world way of doing things - most of us don't get our wardrobe from one source.

Love to the 'maids'! :)

Anonymous said...

I only have a few things in my wardrobe that I call vintage...they are vintage to me but I'm no vintage expert or collector!
I imagine that site would be a fab resource for those that are fans though.

LM perhaps you should get your butler to address the issue of your maids?!

The Collector said...

After reading this post I have stopped to think what vintage means to me... For me vintage is anything from an era of fashion that i have not worn as an adult - this means anyhting that dates back to when I was a child and before - so basically anthing pre 1992 would be vintage for me.

The Collector said...

Oh yeah - go to Ikea for hangers. I know there are loads of people out there who swear by wooden coat hangers - but unless you have metres and metres of rail space - don't bother as they take up loads of space. I only use them for jackets - otherwise sturdy plastic hangers with nice rounded shoulders are the go.
Also avoid cheap wooden hangers!!! I know from experinece that a wire hanger is more delicate on a silk dress than a splintery bad quality wooden hanger!

geri said...

such a great post! im definitely guilty of overusing the word vintage.

The Paper Doll said...

Im really really bad at telling people where i get my clothes from. I need to go back through my posts and do that. What a handy website by the way :)

Anonymous said...

That first dress is very lovely, indeed.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lady Melbourne,
I follow a few Melbourne fashion blogs and I was wondering if you ladies work. Clothes are so expensive and I wonder how you guys afford them all? All you the wonderous, glamorous lot with rich parents, boyfriends or do you have a really good job or own a great business? I wish I could afford this sort of stuff myself. I seem to go clothes shopping once a month and only get a couple of things.


Well it's interesting to know how to classify vintage's clothes and accessories. Your guideline are a good idea and how beautiful vintage clothing you've got!

Penny Lane said...

i have only just noticed... when did you start selling vintage on etsy?!! :O
i want everything! the black and white heart print dress, the denim skirt!

svenskaussie said...

I am a recent convert to your blog, I LOVE it, keep up the fab work. I am a regular visitor to Melbourne and adore your city.

Imelda Matt said...

Now that your all worded up on what to buy Lady Melbourne best keep her sticky fingers out of Imelda's wardrobe...I still have the swaddling the Little Baby Jesus was wrapped in.


im so jealous right now! but retro is more like bright fun colours and think vintage and retro are completely different terms

Rhiannon said...

Oh man, people leave weird comments on your blog--I have to hand it to you for taking it so well and going to the Vintage Fashion Guild to do research instead of getting mad like I would have.

Anyway I think you do a lovely job of representing vintage already--and I'm not a vintage purist either so I don't find anything wrong in calling a '70s dress vintage.

But I love love love the idea of taking photos of the labels more. They're so lovely--half the fun of finding vintage dresses in thrift stores is checking out the pretty little embroidered labels in them. Thanks for going through all that trouble to show us! :)

Super Kawaii Mama said...

I know I'm very late on this one, but bravo on your open mindedness. I have to agree, (as you know) that unless it is at LEAST 30, preferably 40 or more years old, it is not Vintage in my book. Retro OK, but not Vintage.The VFG is an invaluable resource and I suggest you get yourself a pro membership pronto. There are so many hints, tips and incredible insights not available to mere mortals.

On another note entirely, I hear you are checking out the Stop Staring dresses and are just hovering with the mouse. Get yourself over to Vicious Venus on Smith street and try them on for real. That will surely help.. or just create more problems!

Princess of many sorts said...

Hi LM:)
loved the post, and thanks for pointing me in this direction...

I will post a link to your post on my site:)

Looking forward to your next Friday video:)

Have a good day - SP