Vintage clothing and accessories have teen prom appeal

Teen fashion magazines have been showing vintage fashions and accessories for today’s prom-going teen. From flirty vintage dresses, to accessories like purses, gloves, and jewelry, today’s generation is bringing a new appreciation, and with it, a new life to vintage fashion and accessories.

Among items shown in the article is a metallic brocade purse. Metallics are still trendy today. Not everyone can wear a gold lamé dress, but a vintage metallic purse, or shawl, or pair of shoes is just that one of a kind touch that gives you a flash of sparkle.

A very versatile vintage accessory is a pair of vintage shoe clips. They aren’t just for shoes. They can be clipped onto a dress, a purse, a hair accessory…and they come in a variety of materials, shapes, and sizes. A rhinestone bow shoe clip can be fastened at the neckline of a dress or used as a clasp for a shawl or scarf.

If you’re not into glitz and glimmer and prefer a softer look crocheted gloves or vintage lace ribbon in your hair might be the right touch. How about a pretty petticoat under your 1950s A-line, with just a little ruffled edge peaking out from the hemline?

Are you wearing a little billowy dress like Fergie wore on New Years Eve? Then the perfect compliment is a vintage Art Deco enamel or mesh bag.

To help teens become experienced vintage shoppers, Dana Balsamo, from Material Pleasures ( offers the following advice:

– While eBay is first in thought in everyone’s mind for antiques and collectibles, don’t forget to visit local antique shops, consignment shops, and independent online antique stores.

– When buying in person, carefully inspect the piece. If it’s a purse, check the inside. Make sure the lining inside is strong. If you need help opening an item, don’t be afraid to ask for help.

– If you are buying jewelry make sure the piece is not damaged, that all beads, stones, and closures are intact and sturdy. Some antiques should not be used because of fragile condition. Ask and make sure it’s functional for your occasion.

– When buying online, be sure to read the item’s description carefully and look at all the pictures. Ask the seller questions.

– Ask what the return policy is. Many establishments have only a Final Sale policy, or a store credit only policy. If it’s a piece you HAVE to have, that’s fine. But if you’re not sure if the color will match, or if the size is right, communicate that with the seller, and confirm that a return within the certain period of time is allowed.

– When buying vintage clothes, realize today’s size 2 can be yesterday’s size 12. If possible, ask to try on the garment. If it’s online, ask for its measurements if they aren’t already listed. Check the integrity of the seams, straps, zippers, and closures…no one wants a wardrobe malfunction on the dance floor!

– Realize that some vintage pieces can be less expensive than their modern counterparts, but some can be more expensive, so be sure to stay within your budget. One opportunity you have with an antique dealer that you don’t have at a regular retail store, is sometimes antiques are negotiable. It’s okay to ask for a better price, especially on more expensive items. Don’t expect much haggling room on items $20 or less.

– After you use your vintage piece, be sure to clean and store it properly. Dry clean your dress, store jewelry in a jewelry box. If you have a question about cleaning and storage, ask the dealer.

– Find your own vintage style. Show it off, wear it confidently  –  nothing will be more unique or more beautiful!

Dana Balsamo operates Material Pleasures Antique Textiles online, from her home in NJ. Material Pleasures also carries vintage fabrics, linens, purses, compacts, shoe clips, aprons, and more. She specializes in antique quilts, but also carries one of the largest varieties of antique laces online. Her clients include museums, historical societies, fashion designers and interior decorators, experienced and new collectors.

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