Get to Know Our Staff - Elizabeth!
Our staff love Vintage clothing and we love our staff!
We wanted to let you get to know them better, explore their personal styles, get tips and tricks and see how vintage is really worn, day-to-day by real people. We will be exploring what makes each of their styles unique, how they came to dress the way they do, who inspires them and what their favourite items are. We’ll be introducing you to the real people who make Armstrong’s Vintage as special as it is!
First up is Elizabeth, she graduated from an English and Film degree last year and is our mid-century miss who can usually be found near patterned dresses! She has been working at Armstrongs for three years and has recently taken on the role of Social Media Coordinator.
What's your most coveted piece of clothing? I have a 1940’s CC41 romper/underwear suit which I am pretty proud of. Or my 1930’s art deco, royal blue velvet capelet! Or a men's, 50’s, jazz band novelty print shirt. Oh wait, or the red, tulle, polka dot, 1950’s prom dress I wore to my graduation. To be honest, it would be too hard for me to pick, this list could go on forever.
Do you have a favourite decade, why?
I’m a mid-century gal! I naturally gravitate towards 1950’s pieces; loving the femininity, colours, crazy patterns, cuts and quality the decade has to offer. I love original 50’s pieces as you rarely see the exact same piece more than once or twice. The looks are classic and stand the test of time, they inspire a lot of high street trends. I find them very easy to mix and match. However I do dabble from the 20’s-60’s, and my wardrobe is pretty much a vintage dressing up box (room).
Who/what inspires you?
This is a difficult question, I take inspiration from everywhere. I’ve always loved films from the Hollywood Golden era, which was also part of the inspiration behind my degree. I love the sudden injection of colour, pattern and frivolities the fifties had, they were a contrast to the constraints of rationing from WW2. I’m also inspired, weirdly, by what is “on trend”, it interests me to know this and then I can often find pieces in my own collection that capture it in my way. In terms of people, well, obviously Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, Diana Dors, Grace Kelly, Dita Von Teese and Paloma Faith are up there. However, I’m probably more inspired by people I follow on Instagram.
What was the first piece of vintage you bought, do you still own it? Oh wow, okay the first piece of proper Vintage I bought, almost a decade ago now, was the most beautiful 1950’s, tulle, floral prom dress with a full skirt, nipped waist, sash with 3D bow and a low cut back. It's a classic 50’s piece and almost identical to the iconic Betty Draper dress from Mad Men. I still have it, I still love it and I still fit into it!!
How would you describe your own style? Eclectic! I like to mix things up and i’m in no way an era purist. Although I’ve almost always got at least one vintage piece, usually a whole outfit, and it's usually from the 1950’s, I don’t restrict myself. I’m most comfortable in a fifties frock, converse and a leather jacket, although the Scottish climate doesn’t always allow for this and I spend more time with a polo neck under a pretty dress.
Top tips when vintage shopping? I have three main tips. 1)If you’re new to it I can’t stress enough the importance of trying things on! I spend a lot of time with vintage clothing and can usually tell if something will fit, however I have got this VERY wrong before! If you don't have time to try, then take a measuring tape. 2) Learn about vintage care. Most shops do not have time to fully wash and repair every item and therefore knowing the basics yourself is important. I’m a bit bad when it comes to vintage and often break, what many people believe is, the cardinal sin by washing vintage in the washing machine. I have a large collection and spend time getting to know the materials, therefore i’m usually confident that the items I put in the machine will be fine. If i have any doubt whatsoever, I hand wash them in tepid water in a bathtub. This way I can see how the material responds and react accordingly. So far, in the years I've been doing this, I’ve not ruined anything but I wouldn’t dive straight to the machine! Get to know your clothes! 3) Don’t go out with a very exact image of what you want. Vintage clothing is often one off and is always surprising. If i’m in search of something I go with an open mind and enough time to try things on. I’ll quite often find a beautiful beach set in December or a wonderful wool dress in July, I don’t shop in seasons!
We hope you've enjoyed getting to know Elizabeth a bit better. You can follow her on instagram @elizabethunston for more fab frocks!
Until next time,
Armstrongs Vintage x
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