- Wednesday, 22 August 2012
Old clothes are highly coveted. And where there’s a demand there are dollars to be had says Jacqui Ramsey.
If you’ve a passion for fashion it’s so easy to hang on to clothes you have from decades past, even when you know in your heart you’ll never wear them again.
It can be hard to let them go though, especially if a strong sentimental value is attached to them.
But at the end of the day those clothes are taking up space that could be put to better use. And having a good old de-clutter can be quite cathartic.
Not only that, if you take the time to go through those old outfits of yours you may find that they are worth more than you imagined; Vintage clothing is currently the height of fashion - as Lesley Gilmour from Ross-on-Wye discovered.
Lesley’s love of fashion started in her teens. By the turn of the millennium she was running three successful fashion boutiques.
“Gradually I amassed a huge stock of glamorous vintage clothing through my contacts,” she says, “I found vintage clothing hard to resist.
“These items pro-vided me with another market – hiring out original clothing for 70s and 80s themed parties or for anyone looking for something different to wear to a ball”.
Eventually Lesley sold her shops along with the stock apart from her beloved vintage clothes and returned to university, graduating in 2007 with a first class honours degree in Health and Exercise.
With that Lesley began work as a Health Therapist and Wellbeing Co-ordinator providing health education and rehabilitation guidance for the elderly.
She stored her vintage clothes in boxes in her home with the exception of some personal favourites.
“I’ve always liked mixing vintage pieces with a couple of up-to-date high street items. I like to look different and wear something original”.
Recently, with a move to a smaller home Lesley has had to rethink all the possessions she’s surrounded by: “do I want them…do I need them…are they worth anything?” she asked herself.
Recognising that, at 57, a lot of her vintage clothes are no longer appropriate for her age and lifestyle, and with limited space, Lesley started to sell the items on the internet. The demand was immediate and the timing perfect.
“I was spotted by a vintage clothes retailer who asked to look at everything I had. The designer labels included Versace, Christian Lacroix, Vivienne Westwood, Thierry Muglar, Liza Bruce and John Paul Gautier.
“To my amazement I made a tidy sum of money in a short time. The vintage clothes are now worth ten times more than when I bought them!”
The popularity in vintage has been fuelled by style icons such as Kate Moss who favours quality individual clothes; one-offs that no-one else will be seen in.
Lesley will hang on to those garments that she’ll still wear, inc-luding a handmade dress from a Vogue pattern that was once her mum’s and her grandmother’s before that.
“I’ve no regrets parting with my collection; the moment’s exactly right.
“I’m glad to be able to pass on the enjoyment of dressing up in my vintage designer clothing to a new generation.
“I’m a natural hoarder but now discovering the delights of a de-clutter. I’ve more space at home and some cash for a holiday into the bargain.
“It’s been fun though, owning all those gorgeous clothes, but now it’s time to move on,” she says.
Main pic: Liza Bruce silk jacket and belt Krizia puff-ball skirt. Inset: The handmade dress Lesley’s mum made from a Vogue pattern