Vintage French clothing is back! There is no doubt about it. The world of fashion is forever influenced by the designs and fashions of the past, and French styles are no different. For this reason, collecting vintage clothing and even ordering designer-made vintage clothes is the latest trend in acquiring apparel that is both high quality and high class.
If you were born in the last couple of decades, chances are you're not familiar with vintage French clothing. Basically, clothes made between the 1920s and 1980s are referred to as vintage, while clothing and accessories from earlier periods are considered antique.
But no matter when you were born, you no doubt know that Paris, France is considered the fashion capital of the world. In fact, haute couture (high fashion) is as important to the French as are France's wine and perfume industries. For centuries, French designers have awed the world with their outstanding (and sometimes outlandish!) choices of textiles, tailoring, color, style, and production. If you wanted to know what's hot and what's not in the world of fashion, all you had to do is pick up the latest French fashion magazine. Any item bearing the label of designers Coco Channel, Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, or Pierre Cardin, was sure to come with an expensive price tag and be top of the line.
However making a comeback today is French vintage clothing, including Chantilly lace, floral appliques, black or red toile patterns, and other one-of-a-kind prints. Most of these exclusive styles are best described as classic or romantic and have a refreshing appeal, competing and contrasting with much of the high-end clothing produced by famous design houses.
Where can you find French vintage clothing? Some great places to look include the Internet, auction houses, and vintage clothing boutiques. Features to look for include hand-stitching, fabric-covered snap fasteners, long rows of buttons with hand-bound buttonholes, long gloves, puffy skirts, winter capes, hand-set thin zippers, fine silk linings, hand-finished linings, hand-made embroidery, and any other indications of fine craftsmanship. Interestingly, a new term, "vintage haute couture," has emerged, reflecting the growing popularity of vintage clothes.
Finally, once you have selected your one-of-a-kind vintage French clothing, why not spruce it up with some vintage accessories and create your own personal style? Simply add some vintage broaches, a chunky emerald ring, a clutch or a sparkly handbag, toss in some sequins and studs, and you'll be all set to strut down the runway!