Smart Retro

Smart retro
Anna Edwards
August 14, 2006 12:00am

IT ISN'T a fad. It isn't a craze. And it certainly isn't for the impatient.

Vintage shopping requires determination, a lot of time and plenty of practice.
Box Vintage in West End is a mecca for lovers of the classics.

From the roller-skates and cool '70s vinyl record covers displayed out front, to the striking silk and chiffon pleated blood-red halter dress which was recently hanging in the back room, the shop is full of fashion treasures.

Specialising in garments from the '70s and '80s, owners Nick Goding and Jaimee Shillitoe are always on hand to advise their shoppers.

Goding says the popularity of vintage fashion has grown in past years and he doesn't expect it to fade.

"I think if you look overseas to the UK and Europe you see that vintage shops have been around for at least the last 30 years. It isn't something that is going away," he says.

His advice to the vintage fashion shopper: "Take the time. Most of our customers spend an hour in here each time they come."

If there is a particular item you're after, Goding recommends trying on every one of them in the shop.

If that means trying on 50 pairs of vintage jeans then so be it – you never know which pair will fit.

You need to keep an open mind when indulging in this style of shopping.

Experiment and try things you wouldn't normally wear. And if you find an item which needs some tweaking, take the time and the money to get it altered so it fits you perfectly.

Goding says a recent customer bought an '80s formal dress for $120, she spent $40 getting it altered and the next month the same style was featured on the pages of Vogue for more than $600.

It's wise to mix vintage pieces with modern fashions.

Vintage shops are constantly receiving new stock, so pay regular visits.

Goding and Shillitoe's customers include fashion students, stylists and musicians (Katy Steele from Aussie band Little Birdy has been known to bag a Box Vintage piece or two).

Endos (the Endeavour Foundation's retro shop) in Paddington, Lifeline City, Adornments in Paddington and Vintage Revival Lifeline shop in Annerley are some other exceptional haunts for vintage fashion aficionados.