Vintage has become somewhat of a buzzword in recent years. Celebrities began delving into archives in an effort to ensure that they are never seen in the same outfit as their prettier rival. In no time a world that was pretty much exclusive to the fashion elite and those in the know, became mainstream. The high-street caught on with the usual fervour and hashed out “vintage” t-shirts with faded prints for effect, and once special beaded dresses were soon being sported by every enthusiastic fake tanned chick. For many, vintage had lost its appeal.

The whole allure of vintage is the fact that no one else will have what you have. You get something authentic and lived-in; you buy a story. As fashion has become global it is increasingly difficult to come across something unique and special, so fashion fans continue to be creative.

Rooting through charity shops and buying vintage was “in Vogue” for a time but back in the 80’s it was less about the cool factor and more about necessity. Now that we’re experiencing leaner times, swap shops, car boot sales, flea markets and charity shops are popping up everywhere and being enjoyed by a host of new fans.

Rough Gem recently hosted a swap-shop in Powerscourt Townhouse, Shebeen Chic has been holding one for the past couple of months. The car boot sale in The Bernard Shaw has grown out of control and now has a waiting list of people trying to sell their wares. A new flea market began on Sunday last in Newmarket St and charity stores are no longer for the homeless and destitute but for anyone looking for a style injection without a blow-out.

In truth, vintage shopping and charity store shopping in particular, can be hard worth but it’s definitely work the effort so ditch the high-street and embrace the real deal.