How many times have you heard this said? It has been applied to cars, music, films and film stars, food, fashion… Things change, and not always for the better. Profits become more important than customer satisfaction and corners are cut to drive up productivity. Have you ever bought a favourite perfume only to find that something has changed? A cheaper ingredient has replaced a natural (more expensive) oil, which has affected both the fragrance and its lasting power. Do you wish that a dress you bought on the High Street was finished as beautifully as the 50s style dresses you see at vintage fairs or in museums? You’re not alone. This feeling goes beyond the need for value and decent craftsmanship, it includes a desire for something more individual than mass-produced goods. Do you look at the stars of today and see little difference in their style, their make-up and hair? Botox and fillers have created an ideal of beauty where everyone looks alike, possessing expressionless faces that could be anywhere between 25 and 40 years old. Oh, it makes me sad. It also makes me feel like I am slightly out of step with the tastes of the day, so it is important to take a moment to remind ourselves what we love about vintage.
It is not just a sentimental desire for a life less complicated, it is more like a desire to embrace a piece of history but also to make that history your own. It isn’t about slavishly copying the styles of yesteryear – to do this would be tantamount to turning your style into fancy dress. The chances of finding a vintage wiggle dress in your size, perfectly fitted to your figure is like finding the proverbial needle in a haystack (figures have changed, underwear has improved and modern materials are so much better at achieving support and fit). It makes more sense to display your love of vintage with something well-made and fit for the contemporary wannabe 50s pinup queen – of course, we’re going to say this, aren’t we? But we know what we like, love what we do and wholeheartedly believe in it!
We base our designs on original vintage styles from the 1950s, creating beautiful dresses that are works of art. Back in the 1950s you might have made your own dresses from a paper pattern, visited a local seamstress or bought something off-the-peg (mass produced). We like to think British Retro is delivering the best of all of these worlds with our handmade dresses, made in small numbers at a very reasonable cost. Buy a vintage style dress online and you also have the double benefit of avoiding the High Street and an opportunity to multi-task (I can browse the ‘new in’ pages while waiting for a manicure to dry, it’s a skill for the CV, really it is). Maybe they don’t make ‘em like they used to, but we like to think that we’ve improved and updated the things that matter without losing the essence of the 50s vintage style we adore.