I asked vintage expert Wendy Crawford, one of the talented trio who co-owns Bow a wonderful independent shop located in the Georgian Powerscourt Townhouse Centre in Dublin, what her top five tips are for vintage-clothes shopping. Bow, incidentally, is one of my favourite shops I have written about it here. Bow stocks: clothes by gifted Irish designers such as Eilis Boyle (the second co-owner of Bow) Tim Ryan and Emma Manley; vintage gems sourced by Wendy; and a treasure trove of jewellery made or sourced by Margaret O’Rourke (the third co-owner of Bow).
First here’s a little about Wendy and a bit about Bow in Wendy’s own words.
‘I’ve worked in fashion since I graduated from NCAD in 2004 where I studied embroidered textiles. I have been a personal stylist for going on eight years now also! I regularly travel on buying trips for Bow sourcing new labels and of course buying vintage pieces! Bow was nominated last year as one of the UK and Ireland’s most inspiring boutiques which we are very proud of and wish to continue providing a treasure trove of one-off and interesting Irish designs!’
And here are Wendy’s tips:
- Don’t shop seasonally for vintage i.e only look for spring summer things in spring and ignore a fabulous wool cape just simply because it’s too warm to wear it! Snatch that bad boy right up as some other savvy shopper will!
- Befriend other vintage fans and share tips and secrets.
- Always always check for weird stains, you can always fix a button or zipper but funny stains are most likely the reason it got discarded!
- Travel for vintage! If you’re just going on holiday somewhere google local vintage shops or flea markets. Different styles and trends occur in different cities so you’ll ensure your wardrobe has a wide varied look rather than picking up similar pieces all the time!
- Befriend your local vintage shop owner, tell them what you’re looking for and if they know your taste they can shop with you in mind! I have customers I buy bits for as I know they’ll love them and then text them when I’m home!