Christmas always means extra magic and sparkle to me - magic and sparkle in the sequin sense. One of my wardrobe staples, I err on the side of sequins on a regular basis but ramp up the sparkle come Yuletide. Most of my vintage sequinned pieces have come from….wait for it….charity shops! The quality of the vintage sequinned garments far surpasses anything I've found on the high street. With some high street sequinned garments the sequins shed – this is because they are sewn on in a sheet. Vintage sequins normally would have been individually hand-stitched so you won’t leave a trail of sequins behind you on the dance floor!
I found a cracker of a sequinned top in a charity shop in Holmfirth last Saturday, made even more special due to the fact that it is a bit of a designer steal! Oleg Cassini no less! Not heard of him? He worked for Paramount Pictures, 20th Century Fox and dressed Jackie Kennedy no less:
For the PresidentKennedy's Inauguration in 1961, Cassini dressed the First Lady in a fawn beigewool coat with a small sable collar and a matching pillbox hat. Mrs. Kennedywas the first one to be seen on every TV in the world. Soon, it seemed, womenall over the world followed the First Lady's image. In 1963 the world sawanother pink pillbox hat by Cassini on Mrs. Kennedy, when she was next to thePresident when he was assassinated. In less than 3 years Cassini created aboutthree hundred outfits for the First Lady. His creativity was inspired byRussian, Italian, French, Oriental, and Native American cultures.
|I think I've got a faint whiff of Debby Harry here!|
Not getting swayed by the designer label I've found most charity shop vintage sequinned numbers, including Oleg’s offering, come with a few downsides....
|Massive issues with massive shoulder pads|
1. The shoulder pads – you can see from my face the shoulder pads have scared the bejesus out of me. If you are small of frame, don’t fancy looking like a transformer and don’t want to be mistaken for an extra in an 80’s film then it may be worth removing said pads of horror and inserting smaller ones. I turned the top back-to-front and found that the deep V took the attention away from the pads and gave the top a softer line.
2. The weight – man are they heavy! These designers and dress makers certainly didn’t skimp back in the day! Get ready to heft around your glitter ball outfit!
3. They can look old fashioned – and they can look very square. You have to put your own modern twist on them. I wear one of my sequinned tops with a denim shirt underneath. I paired the top I bought on Saturday with bright lime heels, to add a pop of colour, and wore my Jamie High Waisted jeans from Topshop. You could try wearing leather leggings, culottes or layering over dresses.
The great thing about having vintage sequins is that they make your party wardrobe truly unique – no one will look like you; you won’t have the style death moment when you enter a party and see someone wearing the exact same high street dress as you. Party on!