Designer Spotlight Saturday:
Junebugs Talk About Vintage Clothing Pros and Cons

Saturday, April 12, 2014


Amelia's Dress is from Sweet Ludie's Vintage in Augusta, GA  |  June's Dress is an eBay find

Every Saturday, we've been selecting a brand in our Designer Spotlight Saturday series to review and provide a buyer's guide (those can be seen here).  Because of our tendency to enjoy and share reviews about retro reproduction pieces, we get a lot of questions like  "how often do you wear vintage?" or "do you just prefer reproductions?"

We thought we would take a break for one Saturday to touch base with our readers about our love for the "real thing".  We want to discuss a few pros + cons we've found about wearing vintage versus reproductions and we want to hear what you ladies think!

The Pros + Cons and Authentic vs. Reproductions


We will  go on the record to state that in our opinion, no reproduction will ever be QUITE as good as finding the "real thing" in good condition, in your size and in a fit and pattern that you love.  Pulling a piece like that off the rack is like pulling the sword from the stone and stumbling across a piece like that online is like finding the holy grail.

June: A huge pro for my about buying vintage, is that the period in which Amelia and I shop (50's and 60's) was during a time when clothing was made for curvy women!  Regular readers of our blog know that I have a HUGE struggle with sizing because of my measurements (38-26-36).  On a modern size chart, sometimes my waist is a Small and my bust is a Large, so I end up scrambling to fit in a Medium where I'm belting the dress to fit my waist and flattening my boobs to fit in the bust.  I don't have to do that with a SINGLE vintage dress I own.  Give it up for 50's/60's design! 

Amelia: When it comes down to it there are a few reasons why buying vintage is something that I love to do!  Probably the first reason (and maybe the nerdiest) is the history behind it! A lot of the vintage clothing I buy is handmade and sturdy, which is something I can't easily buy nowadays.  I also love to research the labels (if the item is not handmade) and find out more about the vintage brands I wear.  I love being well dressed in vintage and well educated on the history! Another major thing I love about vintage is the PRINTS!  Obviously, novelty prints have not disappeared, but there are just some vintage prints that are just untouchably amazing!

June's Dress was found on a tip from a friend and shipping from Sweden  |  Amelia's Set is from Sweet Ludie's Vintage


But, vintage wearers know, that it's not exceedingly common to find a piece that fits all the criteria.  Sometimes a piece needs a lot of TLC, some pieces are an inch too small or big somewhere and that can be difficult for those of us that can't sew.  There is nothing worse than finding a piece that won't fit, because you can't just ask if they have another in the back.  We don't think this is necessarily a con, but it does make building a vintage wardrobe a little more difficult. We've both experienced horror stories with vintage purchases and that is definitely a deterrent from wearing vintage as "every day wear."

June: I will say that sometimes when I buy vintage, I forget to check it thoroughly before purchasing.  But, I've had minor things like buttons popping off, I've had zippers come completely off a dress and even pieces disintegrate from dry rot WHILE WEARING THEM (embarrassing).  That might be while I love vintage for special occasions but sometimes steer away from it in every day wear.

Amelia: I'm definitely a destructive person, and as much as I love being well-dressed I am dangerous to a dress' well-being. Hook and eyes do not have a chance against me especially when they are attached with delicate old thread.  Not only do hook and eyes end up breaking, but I always seem to be repairing hems on my vintage dresses. That doesn't even mention the multiple times my zippers have detached from my dress causing a gaping hole, which probably isn't my most chic look!

June's Dress was an eBay find  |  Amelia's Dress was a gift from June and is also an eBay find

In the future, you'll see more posts from us about buying vintage because we want to keep a good balance going between vintage and repro's!  Our next post will be about how to shop vintage online, so be on the lookout!

What is your favorite piece of vintage clothing? Do you prefer vintage or reproductions? What are your pros and cons?


  1. I love shopping vintage. I just went to a vintage clothing show where there were a bunch of vendors and it was like heaven! I love the 50s/60s style as well. I love how well-made everything was back then. I also love the whole history aspect of it. I love wondering about al the different people who might've worn this dress and where it's been. It's pretty awesome! I would definitely say that a con is that a lot of the dresses have super tiny waists. My waist is small, but it's not 24-inches small. A lot of the dresses I find, the waist is just an inch or two too small and it's always a bummer if you really like the dress that you can't get it (unless you know how to alter it). I do have a similar problem as June, though. I have bigger boobs and a small waist so sometimes it's hard to accommodate for that with modern styles. I'd say another con is that vintage can be pretty expensive, although reproduction pieces can be equally or more expensive. :\

  2. Although I love buying vintage, it is not always the most feasible choice for me. First, I think that there is a fair share of over prices items out there. I know that they are rare, but that does not make them worth my $200 (others are welcome to purchase). This leaves me to getting most of my vintage finds from thrift shops, which means there are less finds. Additionally, I do adore so many modern repros. I also have a dangerous love affair with high end fashion (Kate Spade, Alannah Hill, Elie Tahari, Tory Burch, Marc Jacobs). So many of these designers use classic vintage silhouettes in their designs each season, causing me to prefer paying the higher price point (or scavenging eBay) for pieces that I love and are not going to have issues. Plus, they have a wider resale market when I am ready to pass them on to their next care taker. I adore you two. You are so lovely.

  3. Kirsty, Blue bird daysApril 12, 2014 at 6:47 PM

    Shopping vintage is fun and all but really hard here in Australia...unless your grandma has a secret closet upstairs in an attic you wont find many at lifeline stores. Also if you were lucky enohgh to be brought up in an old country town were your vintage collection is your only collection then your looking for a needle in a hay stack. Most vintage stuff is homewear here, dont get me wrong I love it a lot, but its hard to find clothing. Then if it is clothing it will only be brand new from pinupgirlclothing or youronestoppinupshop. Lucky that it is fashinable now to dress vintage and it is becoming more and more popular here. But alas the only good finds are in other states -_-brisbane is a great city but its not as cultured as melbourne or sydney.
    Love the blog ♡♡♡
    Keep it up you too, never stop blogging.

  4. Good, affordable vintage is an impossibility where I live. My measurements don't correspond to what's available either. I am a big fan of reproductions and I am lucky to be an experienced seamstress.

  5. I will always and forever be in love with vintage dresses, but I do have to admit that the over pricing by sellers on eBay, etsy and at vintage stores is ridiculous. I'm hoping that one day soon the market will level out and have more reasonable prices. Other wise I will just be sticking with the repo dresses.
    Btw, I seriously love this blog and its content is refreshing! :D

  6. I adore vintage, I'm quite lucky as in the UK charity shops I find a lot of vintage and retro pieces for reasonable prices. The only time I find the prices sky rocket are at the travelling Vintage Fairs round the UK and of course online - ETSY and Ebays prices are generally ridiculous!

    I tend to steer away from wearing vintage for work because it can be quite a physical job and I always fear I will ruin a dress but in my spare time and days off I always wear vintage. I do have a few reproductions but I try to steer away from reproductions as I love the uniqueness of a vintage piece.

    Recently I have also taken Dita's advice and I have been buying Vintage / Retro pieces and having them tailored. There are reasonably priced tailors everywhere you just have to look for them and when you do find one you will wonder why you didn't do this all along!
    I bought a bargain twin set off ETSY but it was too big when it arrived - I did consider selling it on but it was just so pretty. I took it to a tailors in town and had it pinned and then done and it fits like a glove now and cost me £10 for all the alterations! So its always worth thinking about.

    I just love true vintage! ♡♡♡♡

    Insta: missmary_thevintagecatastrophe
    Tumblr: the ladyisa-vamp

  7. I tend to buy more vintage than repro, but I'm lucky to live in a city with some great vintage stores. There's one store that I go to so often that they know me by name, and if I see a piece that I love that's just a little out of my price range, I can ask for a deal and they'll usually give it to me. I do buy a fair bit online as well, but I have the time to comb etsy for the best deals. I've definitely popped buttons, split seams, and had zippers detach, but those are fairly easy repairs, even if you don't have a lot of sewing experience.
    There are some repro styles that I really love, and I don't doubt that I'll end up picking up more of them in the future. I'm getting to the point where I wear vintage style clothing almost daily, and not having to worry about irreparably damaging a one of a kind vintage garment is definitely a plus.

  8. ChristopherLWeaverApril 13, 2014 at 11:27 AM

    This leaves me to getting most of my vintage finds from thrift shops, which means there are less finds. Additionally, I do adore so many modern repros. I also have a dangerous love affair with high end fashion (Kate Spade, Alannah Hill, Elie Tahari, Tory Burch, Marc Jacobs). So many of these designers use classic vintage silhouettes in their designs each season, causing me to prefer paying the higher price point (or scavenging eBay) for pieces that I love and are not going to have issues.

  9. i adore vintage but i am having a hard time finding 50/60s items as i live in Norway. So most of my finds are from trips. i really wish that vintage clothing was more affordable on ebay and etsy

  10. wardrobe experienceApril 14, 2014 at 2:03 PM

    as a vintage lover i'm not able to say anything else than: great post! i love your both collections of vintage dresses. especially june's dress with the roses and emilia's redorangeyellowwhilte shirtwaist dress made it into my heart ...
    this post made me think about, why i actually prefer wearing vintage to wearing repros ... maybe it's time to write a post about it ... sooner or later.

  11. Really lovely post! It's not one or the other all the way for me. I adore and see the worth and merits of both, just as I do vintage appropriate pieces, and as such my wardrobe is a joyful combination of all three, which grant me the ability to put together a really wide range of 1940s and 50s looks that are so very "me".

    ♥ Jessica