Clare Lewis on First Timer Vintage

Retold was founded by Clare Lewis in 2018 with the mission of curating beautiful vintage pieces for lovers of modern and contemporary fashion. Based in east London, Clare handpicks each item – her edited finds are listed on retoldvintage.com every week! Clare hopes Retold encourages more women to consider vintage and secondhand shopping as an alternative to buying new which in turn will contribute to a more circular and sustainable fashion model.

We discuss vintage (and much more) in this week’s podcast episode, but here, Clare shares her tips for incorporating vintage into a wardrobe of new.

Balance

“Avoid the head to toe vintage look! Unless thats your vibe, which is totally cool, but if you are new to vintage then start off small. It may simply be an accessory such as a vintage belt or bag or a beautiful silk blouse that you can wear with your favourite jeans.”

Contemporary Shoes

“For me, adding a pair of modern shoes to a vintage dress or skirt instantly makes the outfit still feel current yet unique and individual.”

Measure Up

“Make a tape measure your new best friend! Avoid referring to labels on vintage clothes; sizing has changed so dramatically over the years and also depends on the country you are in, so ditch the habit and shop with a tape measure instead. YouTube has some great videos on how to measure yourself so make a note of all your details and refer to this when shopping for vintage. You may be pleasantly surprised!”

Inject Personality

“Be you! The joy of vintage is there is something out there for everyone’s style and taste. Just because you start shopping vintage, you have to change your whole aesthetic. Like you have your favourite high street brands, get to know vintage traders and what they specialise in. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice, they are the experts and can advise on fit, style and after care. “

Madeline Petrow’s Favourite Mamoq Brands

Humphries & Begg

“I love their style. They have amazing jumpsuits that are all block printed by hand in Jaipur, India. I think that humanitarian elements really speaks to me because that is my background. They produce really awesome, fun clothing. What’s really special about Humphries & Begg is their a young company. Seeing them improve their supply chains while we’ve worked together is so inspiring. They’re now phasing out any conventional cotton and are moving into organic. When we spoke about a year ago, they told us that was their goal. It’s been really amazing to see them actually execute that. It’s all about doing the best you can and continuing to make changes.”

Elvis & Kresse

“Elvis & Kresse are so impressive. Kresse Wesling who runs the company is an OBE. They are really interesting because they work ‘problem first, product second’. She found the problem of firehouse waste, then designed her accessories to take it away. The whole design process is completely flipped backwards for them. They now take 100 percent of all firehose waste from the UK, and 50 percent of their profits go back into firefighting charities.”

Rakha

“Rakha is a really beautiful brand. You’d look at them in a magazine and all you’d think would be, it’s gorgeous. Then you delve deep into the story. The founder, Gözde, is currently getting her Masters from the University of Cambridge in how to better recycle textiles and make a more circular economy. In think it’s a really inspiring brand because it’s all about active learning. It’s not about running with the status quo. They’re always think about how to get better and how to inspire others.”