Vintage shopping tips from stylist Mrs Jones (and a ShopStyle, Living & Giving and Save The Children event)

I’m loving my vintage clothes at the moment (think it’s the spring sunshine bringing out the “retro chick” in me) so I was thrilled to be invited to a vintage styling evening at Mary Portas’ Living & Giving shop in Notting Hill, (shown above) in aid of Save the Children. 

Of course, the event is on Thursday 29th March (along with all the other events I want to go to but can’t due to my thespian offspring’s packed schedule), but if you have a bit more control over your diary, it might just take your fancy…

How much do I want to rifle through Mary’s vintage closet?

The vintage styling evening is being hosted by on Thursday 29th March. I’ve never been to one of Ms Portas’ Living & Giving charity shops, but now I’ve seen these pics I’m dying to. Living & Giving is a concept she came up with for Save the Children after her 2009 series, Mary Queen of Charity Shops and is described as “not just a shop, but a place to inspire, share, create, meet and discover”.

The ShopStyle shopping event, from 6pm-9pm on Thursday, is set to include styling tips and bubbly alongside raffles and fundraising for Save the Children – and if you pop along with “stylish donations of pre-loved designer fashion or vintage pieces” you might get yourself a little gift too.

I soooo wish I could be there, but as I cannae, I wanted to share some nice little tips on “how to vintage shop” prepared for the event by stylist Mrs Jones instead (Mrs J designed Kylie’s Can’t Get You Out Of My Head catsuit; that is all you ever need to know):

Mrs Jones – she knows what she’s talking about

Mrs Jones says: “Don’t be put off by smells. Some bits can have a whiff of mothballs or smell a bit musty. These can easily be removed with a trip to the dry cleaners – although, and it is not very pleasing, body odour left on garments is one of the most difficult smells to get rid of, even with dry cleaning.

“Some old clothes and accessories such as handbags can look beautiful and very tempting but be careful as they can just disintegrate especially silk and lace. Give the garment a little test, pull the fabric in both hands and with your thumb nails give it a rub/scratch. If you see the threads of the fabric move about or crumble, leave it on the rack.

“Make sure you try things on or properly hold up to your body if you don’t like the idea of trying before cleaning. Older clothes are generally a lot smaller as people were smaller than they are now (eg, a size 12 will usually be a size 10).”

Written by Johanna Payton