Thursday, 8 March 2012

Wearable Vintage Fashion: Book review

A lovely chunky book plopped through my post box this morning. 
Wearable Vintage Fashion written by Jo Waterhouse and Claire Bridge who own the Second hand Rose boutique in Worchester is a proper door stop of a tome. If staring at piece after piece of vintage clothing is your idea of fun (and by jingo its mine) then this book will be right up your street.
In the introduction the girls talk about finding normal vintage clothes reference books overly wordy with too few pictures. This book attempts to create something packed with knowledge and tips about wearing and sourcing old clothes whilst being full of handy photos.
The book spans some of my favourite eras from the 1920s through to the 80's. Its easy to see that the girls involved in writing this book live eat and breathe vintage clothes. The examples of clothes are to die for.The 1950's cotton frocks page particularly had me drooling and I love how they have included so many examples for accessories as well, from flapper capes to Bakelite bracelets and a smorgasbord of jaunty hats and bags.
Its written in a really nice accessible way. These chicks sell vintage fashion to real women so they understand that body shapes have changed and that some antique pieces are simply too small for most frames. They offer really clear ideas on how to put total looks together including shoes and their love of these clothes shines through.
One of my favourite parts of the book is at the end where they have included a section called Vintage Street Style. This includes photos of real people who wear vintage clothes. 
I'm always so inspired by seeing people out and about who look great and this also proves once again that vintage clothes can be worn in so many ways, whether you want to recreate a specific era or just channel a little second hand chic to a fashion forward style.
As I mentioned before this book is primarily a reference book and it does take a slightly scholarly approach so its not what I would term a coffee table book. The design style is quite austere and I would have loved it to have been slightly more visually "full". A few more graphics and backgrounds wouldn't have gone amiss.It also suffers a bit for not having better photography. Throughout the book the girls put together classic iconic looks such as Marilyn Monroe and Carmen Miranda and these do look a little rushed and would have benefited hugely from a stylist (the use of wigs rather than getting someone in to do proper hairstyles made my vintage pamperbox eye twitch I'm afraid), but the great writing and obvious passion mean this is all quite forgivable.
This is not as obviously delicious as Naomi Thompson's Style me vintage which came out last month but its still an interesting read and a good addition to any vintage clothes addicts reference library.
Wearable Vintage fashion is £15. 56 and available from Amazon

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