Jacquie Gladden, who stated modelling in her 5os, has developed her own personal style through a love of vintage clothes and accessories. Jacquie shares her experience and tips on how do get started on the road to vintage style.
Where did your passion for vintage clothes come from?
For as long as I can remember I’ve always preferred classically styled clothes and have tailored (excuse pun) my wardrobe accordingly: when I married my husband in 1989 a friend bought me a vintage Corde handbag as a wedding present and I was immediately struck by how much this vintage item complimented my existing outfits. Shortly after I attended a vintage fair and purchased a pair of black 1950s evening gloves which I wore to the theatre that evening. I suppose that my passion for vintage was kindled at this point.
What percentage of the time do you wear vintage clothes?
I can’t wear vintage clothes for work as I have to wear a uniform: however whenever I go to town shopping or go out in the evening I enjoy wearing my vintage clothes. Sometimes mixed with modern items. If I go to a vintage fair or an event I love to wear top to toe vintage!
Is there a particular vintage era that you collect from?
I have items from the 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60s but my favourite period is the 50s.
I buy my clothes and accessories from a variety of sources: ebay, vintage fairs, charity shops, antique fairs and boot sales. I think it is important to know your vital statistics when buying on the internet. I am lucky inasmuch as I have a local lady who is brilliant at alterations; this helps a lot.
What is your favourite vintage find so far?
My favourite item is probably a beautiful 1950s dress I bought from The Girl Can’t Help It, Also my Lilli Ann mohair coat which I bought from ebay. It’s also 1950s and is in fantastic condition.
What is the most expensive item you’ve bought to date?
The most expensive items I have are my couture suits that I had made by Thomas von Nordheim. We went to the make do and mend exhibition at the Imperial War Museum and picked up a flyer advertising his services. I had three suits made altogether and love them. I have worn them so many times I think they have been a good investment.
What is the cheapest vintage item that you wear?
One of the cheapest items I have is a beautiful 1950s floral design evening dress. I think it was handmade and was in excellent condition when I bought it for £15.00. I tried it on and it fitted perfectly. That was a very good day!
What has been the nicest compliment anyone has paid you while wearing vintage?
Without wishing to sound arrogant I do get lots of compliments when wearing vintage clothes. One of the nicest was in Portabello road market when one of the stallholders said she thought I looked very elegant and confident in my own style.
What are your thoughts on high street retailers? Do you have any favourite high street shops?
I struggle to find things I like on the High street. I never have problems finding shoes but actual dresses and skirts can be a problem. The quality can be poor unless you are spending quite a lot of money. I can usually find nice pieces in Hobbs and LK Bennet but they come with a high price tag. This is why I shop for vintage.
How would you suggest someone wanting to wear vintage clothes should start?
If you wish to start your own collection I would say start with accessories, handbags and jewellery. As a beginner I would suggest a visit to a vintage fair and have a look on ebay or etsy. If you start with a nice handbag you can mix the look with your existing wardrobe. If you want to develop a real vintage look then you should invest in some nice gloves and also hats.