Dear Hazel May

Q: Why buy vintage?

A: Beyond it being a green option, and therefore not contributing to the pollution that a lot of new clothing manufacturing produces, you are also buying the highest quality garment, while being guaranteed that you are extremely less likely to ever be caught wearing the same dress at a party as anyone else. When they say “they don’t make them like they used to” they weren’t kidding. For example, metal zippers, (which most manufacturers ceased using in the early 1970’s) can hold up much better than the newer nylon zippers. They are also easier to zip by yourself. If a nylon zipper gets stuck or is acting up, its time for a new one. And often we just throw out the garment instead of replacing the zipper, so we create more garbage. If a metal zipper is sticking, simply rub a bit of wax paper over it and it glides good as new!

Q: Why is it so hard to find modern sizes?

A: It is a common myth that women were all rail thin and tiny in the 50’s and 60’s. In reality we may be overall a little larger, taller and bigger bones as a result of hormones in our food and just more food in general; however most women were actually fairly voluptuous. The reason we are able to find the tiny dresses still in tact and wearable is because they wore them for only a year or so and then grew out of them. The dresses that were larger sized they wore to death, because they fit them for that much longer. 

Q: What condition are the clothes and jewelry in, then?

A: Everything is cleaned, sometimes several times, and mended before being listed. If there is beading missing from a dress, or a loose rhinestone or faulty clasp on a piece of jewelry, the replacement parts are of the same era, and therefore the same quality of the item needing the extra love. 

Q: What do you use to clean things?

A: For clothing, usually a preliminary soak in mild dish detergent and sometimes oxy, and then a second soak in a mild fine fabric laundry detergent. Occasionally there is a more stubborn stain that needs heavier artillery and that depends entirely upon what the stains is as well as the type of fabric. The jewellery all gets cleaned with a soft toothbrush and mild dish detergent and then air dried. 

Q: What does New Old Stock/Deadstock mean?

A: An unworn, with original tags on garment.

Q: What is the difference between new cashmere and vintage cashmere?

A: Vintage cashmere was made by only using the longest threads from the belly of the goat, and always the same length. This makes the garment stronger and less likely to pill or get pulls. When making new cashmere they use whatever threads they can get their hands on, with no regard to length or quality of the fibre. This is why new cashmere pills easily and gets holes or runs after the first year usually.