Fashion Friday: Norwich stylist on how to get the 60s look
- Credit: Archant
As the Vintage Sixties Festival returns to Cromer Pier on March 28 and 29, Norwich fashion stylist Susie Pritchard, of Wake Up Little Susie, tells us how to get that retro look.
How are you getting ready for the Vintage Sixties Festival at Cromer Pier?
I work at Mod One on Pottergate in Norwich, which sells Mod-style clothing, much of which takes inspiration from the 1960s such as sta-press trousers, classic knitwear, paisley shirts and Italian style suits. We also stock a range of 1960s inspired dresses from a small company called Love Her Madly, which are made from original 1960s patterns on a vintage sewing machine. David Hanton, the owner of Mod One, and myself thought it would be fun in the lead up to the Cromer Vintage Sixties Festival to create a mini pop-up shop featuring true vintage ladies' accessories from my business Wake Up Little Susie so our customers can come in and mix and match the reproduction dresses with vintage accessories. So alongside the colourful Mary Quant-style dresses, you can now find sunglasses, hats, jewellery, scarves, bags and some footwear, and I've created displays to show how the pieces can be worn together.
What are your styling tips for incorporating 1960s/ vintage pieces into a contemporary wardrobe?
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Some people love to create authentic outfits from an era, but it is also great to mix up different eras and an easy way to add something unique to your day to day style is to add a vintage touch to your modern wardrobe. Vintage costume jewellery is easy to find, so add a brooch to your work jacket or a bit of vintage sparkle to your contemporary evening outfit. Vintage scarves are very versatile and can add a twist to your wardrobe when worn as a belt, attached to a handbag, in a pocket - or even around your neck! I tend to mix and match vintage pieces with high street and charity shop items all the time, so I may have a new skirt with a vintage sweater, a second hand jacket and set it off with some vintage jewellery.
Where are the best places for people to look for 1960s pieces in Norwich?
The new Vintage Hub in The Treasure Chest Centre on St Benedict's Street features a collective of vintage loving ladies all selling their own take on authentic clothing so there's always a gem to be found in there. Plus, if you contact them, someone is always on hand to give shopping and styling advice.
The range of stalls on the back of Norwich Market is a treasure trove, not to mention Retreat Vintage on Magdalen Street. The many antique centres are incredible for picking up all sorts of 1960s homeware, furniture and pop culture collectables as well as clothing and jewellery. And never underestimate the fun of charity shop bargain hunting! Sue Ryder Vintage charity shop in Bridewell Alley is an absolute must-visit. For retro ladieswear try Lady B loves in the Royal Arcade - they also regularly host vintage pop-ups. Also look out for the regular fleamarkets at St Andrew's Hall and the Lou Lou's Vintage Fairs, and Little Vintage Lover Fairs that visit us throughout the year.
We are also very well served for secondhand records in Norwich with Out Of Time and Beatniks on Magdalen Street, Circular Sounds and Soundclash on St Benedict's Street, and Fine City Sounds on Pottergate.
What are the key things to look out for when buying 1960s and vintage fashion?
With buying vintage clothing from any era, it's always a good idea to check the condition. Remember, this stuff is getting old - an item from 1965 has been around for 55 years, yikes! Some pieces will be in mint condition and may be hardly worn, others may simply be missing a button or the original belt, whilst there may be slightly more serious issues - and there's always that mystery stain...Make sure you're entirely happy with the condition of your piece and that you can easily make any repairs; for many vintage lovers the restoration is all part of the charm of collecting original clothing.
Sizing is always important and don't go by what it says on the label. Dress sizes have changed over the decades, so a 1960s Size 12 won't be the same as a modern day Size 12. The best thing you can do is try something on.
There really are no rules when it comes to buying vintage - mix and match eras, and wear what you love and what you feel good in. If you are looking to create an authentic look from a specific era, however, perhaps for an event such as the Vintage Sixties Festival, there's nothing wrong with a bit of research; the internet is always there, but try watching some films from the era, look at some record covers, listen to the hits of the decade, grab some 1960s magazines...old sewing and knitting patterns are plentiful and great sources of outfit inspiration.