Unless you’ve been in a long term coma you’ve likely come across some books from the Style Me Vintage series already.
I’ve reviewed 4 of them already and today I am reviewing an advance copy of another one. Style Me Vintage: Accessories is by Naomi Thompson and Liz Tregenza and is available for pre order at the moment, due for release in a couple of weeks on the 25th September.
The bulk of the vintage I own is confined to accessories or homewares. As the book says in it’s introduction, vintage clothing is becoming rarer and less of an affordable option and I still remember with vague nausea the time I spent £80, a humungous amount of money to me, on a 1930s day dress that turned out to be made of fabric so fragile that the collar tore as soon as I put it on. I’m tough on my clothing and I want the money I spend to last me a while.
Brooches, handbags, hats, gloves and scarves, however, can normally take whatever I have to throw at them, even when they’re almost 100 years old (apart from the memorable time I broke a brooch after owning it for 5 whole seconds). I have a particular thing for vintage brooches.
I do find that vintage accessories are an aspect of vintage people forget about. That means that even in Charity Shops with a “vintage rail” of over priced tat you can still find a 1940s celluloid brooch for £2, or a 1950s silk scarf for 50p.
If you’ve never considered shopping for accessories before then Style Me Vintage: Accessories is an excellent starter guide to the options available. The chapters are arranged by type, rather than decade, so you get a good overview of what to look for when you find a big jumble of costume jewellery in an antique store, or the names for styles of hats and what decades they were most popular in.
If, like me, you are a regular purchaser of vintage accessories, there’s still plenty in the book for you. I’ve never been one to pay much attention to designer or brands, so to brush up on popular names to look for might mean I pick up on a bargain I might otherwise have missed. Also, and I say this unashamedly, it has really pretty pictures to look at and lust over and rekindle a little bit of excitement for vintage accessory hunting.
Another bonus, even for the more experienced vintage buyer, are the little tips on etiquette and care sprinkled throughout. You’re bound to find something you didn’t know. I, for instance, now know how to clean kid gloves.
Like the others, this book also finishes with a handy reference guide to shops and places to visit, including a list of places to shop for modern repro or future collectables, which includes the wonderful Betsy Hatter, so they must know what they’re talking about!)
The best thing about this book is it’s lack of cliches and snobbery. The authors have a genuine love of vintage, and although there is a lot of focus on labels as they are more collectable, there’s also a focus on items that are wearable, and not just on recreating a totally authentic style, or even on a twee modern idea of “vintage”.
The Style Me Vintage series is an excellent, accessible guide to the world of vintage shopping and styles, and this is a great addition to it.
It’s released on the 25th September with a RRP of £14.99, and is currently available for pre order on Amazon for £10.49. If you do want to add it to your collection then I’ll earn a few pennies if you buy it through the link below. If you hate me and want me to be poor then feel free to buy it another way!