Thursday, 19 May 2011

Vintage Inspired Boudoir Wear - Value for Money

Take a look at these two pictures.

The first is a robe by faux-vintage lingerie retailers What Katie Did.

The second is a robe from good old Marks and Spencers 2011 collection.

Which would you choose?

Now I'll give you some more information. The one from What Katie Did retails at £70 and is made of polyester. The one from M&S retails at £60 and is made from pure silk.

My point is that sometimes us vintage enthusiasts get a bit dazzled by the fact that garments are proper 'vintage repro' and if we're not careful we end up getting something that's not actually good vale for money.

Check your labels ladies!


  1. So true. We need to use our imaginations as much as possible in this game! xx

  2. as a vintage designer, there is no way I can compete with Marks and Spencers buying power, I'd imagine they get their silk at the lowest prices
    possible because of volume of purchases.

    I adore What Katie Did and I know when I buy from them my items are durable and last. M&S, well I've had undies from them that don't last the course.

    So I'll stick with WKD for the extra few pounds as pretty as the M&S robe is I don't think their items are always top quality nor durable.

  3. I think that you just need to use your imagination and find the best item for your needs, budget and tastes, whatever the retailer!

    The WKD robe matches a range of their items, so if you wanted a matching robe for that set it's surely the best choice.

    I would never in a million years expect a small independent retailer like WKD to be able to compete with the buying power of a company like M&S. But I would expect a different level of service and attention to detail from them and I know that as vintage loving lady I can go there and find what I want quickly, instead of trawling round the High Street hoping to find something that's vintage style.

    Personally I like to support independent retailers and designers as much as my budget allows, as without them we'd all be a bunch of identikit High Street clones!

  4. I think it's all a matter of preference! I've got a couple of 1930s rayon dressing gowns/robes that have lasted me longer than mass produced "cheap" items (not from M&S). Sometimes, I also would rather prefer to support small entrepreneurial endeavours (like WKD), rather than continuing to fuel the "throwaway" clothing industry. But sometimes, a bargain is a bargain and I totally respect the right to differ on this!

  5. Oh, I should add: I think ease of care should be factored into the price when considering to buy an item. If the silk one is dry clean only, you'll lose any potential savings on purchase price if you have to pay for dry cleaning for it vs. being able to handwash? Just a thought regarding wash n. wear. I agree, though: silk is ideal against the skin. To complicate matters further, does the M & S label specify what KIND of silk is used? Most silk is synthetic these I would imagine it's a silk rayon?

  6. Very good point. Buy the item for the quality, style and price, not for the label. It's the same issue with people buying designer clothing, it's only the label, not the item they're buying. Vintage repro isn't always the way to go. And polyester versus silk... No contest!

  7. I kind of see what you are saying. I think that there can be a "clambering" for "vintage" products to get the "look", and sometimes the sense of value for money goes out the window.

    I have never bought from WKD, but know people who have and cannot fault their products. Same with M&S - that stalwart of the undie drawer.

    For me it comes down to cost - and for me - both of these, regardless of big time buyer or smalled independant - are way over my 2nd hand budget, lovely as they are.

    But - with regards to the WKD item not potentially being value for money - isn't polyester practially indestrucable? *accept vs irons and roll ups... as I know all too well... *sigh*

  8. Thank you all for your comments on this, it's really interesting to see all of the different viewpoints!

    In response:
    - I love What Katie Did underwear! I have their bras & knickers, suspender belts and stockings. I think on the whole the quality is very good and they're durable. It's just this one particular item that I think is not particularly stand-out in terms of design, and therefore I don't think it represents value for money. I really love supporting independent businesses in the vintage repro world, but I choose my products carefully and I'm not going to buy something just because it has a certain label.
    - I love Marks and Spencer too! I have lots of their underwear that has lasted a very long time, and again on the whole their quality is very good.
    - Polyester is just a pet hate of mine! Give me rayon, viscose, anything but polyester! It irritates my skin and makes me sweat.
    - Dry cleaning?! Everything goes in the washing machine - vintage clothes, silk items, undies - as long as you use a gentle cycle, gentle detergent and don't spin them, you're fine! The only items I dry clean are winter coats, and I have a couple of really 'delicate' dresses with beading that I handwash.
    - I never knew there were different kinds of silk though, thanks for the heads up on that Baroness!

    Right, I have some trousers to review for you ladies now, more vintage repro to debate over!

    Miss P xx


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