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Vintage fashion: A Timeless Love Affair…

Our editor, Louise Steel, visits Loseby Lane Vintage and Retro – a treasure trove of vintage nostalgia, to find out why the clothes of yesteryear continue to be coveted, and are now more popular than ever…

There’s something about vintage fashion which strikes a chord with me and millions of others across the world, including even the youngest fashionistas. Maybe the appeal is in its charming, timeless aesthetic, or its undeniable ability to stand-out in a crowd…

Picture: Pukaar News

According to Kyra Ching, manager of Loseby Lane Vintage and Retro, it’s all this and more.

For some, the appeal of vintage fashion is more than thread deep – a psychological and subconscious longing for a simpler and more elegant time…

“Nostalgia is a very powerful force. It’s not just clothing – it can be toys, tea sets and old vinyls,” she tells Pukaar.

Our shop’s a bit like a museum centre – people come in and look at things which remind them of the past. Maybe they don’t really need the item but because, they had it as a child, they’re very keen on buying it again to kind of relive that past memory I think…

Kyra fell in love with vintage fashion after being gifted a 1970s shirt as a teenager.

However, her favourite era is the 1940s.

“Dresses and coats back then were just very elegant”, she says.

“The clothes were also of a much better quality back then. They were made to last and will never be found in a landfill unlike today’s ‘fast fashion’. They’re items which can be reused time and again, and even passed down through generations…”

On the day we chat, Kyra is wearing a 1940s dress, which has an attractive 18th century style print on it.

“I actually got it in this store,” she enthuses when asked about its origins.

“It’s crazy to think that it’s been around for over 80 years and is still in really great condition!

“I love it when someone compliments your outfit and you always get a little thrill out of saying ‘oh yes I found it in a charity shop or a vintage shop,” she went on to say.

“I love the idea of having something that’s one of a kind. You definitely develop your own sense of style with vintage, unlike with the modern stuff that’s mass produced. If you buy into that, you just end up looking like everyone else.”

According to Kyra, more and more people are discovering vintage – including Gen-Z, who are looking for ways to stand out and shop more sustainably.

“The 90s and Y2K fashion is very much in at the moment and very popular among the younger generation,” she reveals.

“People are looking for bias cut dresses, low slung baggy jeans and trousers, little crop tops, bucket hats and things like that…

“We’re also seeing a resurgence of 1970s things coming back into fashion because of what we’re seeing on the runways…”

Loseby Lane Vintage and Retro is one of 400 Sue Ryder shops across the country, which raise funds for the charity.

Picture: Pukaar News

However, it’s the charity’s only specialist vintage store in Leicestershire. Other vintage stores in the city include BluTit, Above Ground and The Vintage Scene.

According to Kyra, another draw of vintage, or charity shop shopping in general is the possibility of unearthing some rare and coveted treasure.

“The appeal of vintage shopping – or just charity shop shopping in general can be the ‘thrill of the hunt’ – not knowing what you’re going to find,” she says.

“We have a lot of regular customers who come three or four times a week to see what’s new.

“Sometimes they might not find anything, but on another day they might find just the thing they’re looking for!

“All our items are donated and we never know what we’re going to get in. Sometimes we open a bag and squeal with delight! We do get some amazing stuff through the door,” she went on to reveal.

“Last year we had an amazing donation of 1950s ballgowns, which just blew our minds!

People have been very generous, but we’re always looking for donations as well as volunteers. If they happen to have a passion for vintage, that’s a bonus!”

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