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Blog post - 80s clothes worn a 90s way

How to: Build your own Fashion Archive

All the tips and tricks to becoming a true Fashion collector

If you're like us Chillie London gals, you're probbably a bit obsessed with fashion - whether it's online shopping, hunting down the coolest pre-loved vintage or just generally wearing stunning outfits that make you feel like an absolute babe. But do you ever think, hey, I could really turn this into a proper hobby or even a profitable business which is not only incredibly rewarding but an amazing way to invest your money and build an extremely chic legacy. So if you're serious about starting to collect fashion and build your archive, we've compiled our top tips to get you started.

Find your Niche

Every collector and connoisseur has a niche area of fashion they dedicate their collection to. Not only does it make you stand out as you'll have your own unique collection - it also makes buying much much easier. Now you can be as broad or as detailed as you fancy - think about what you like wearing, a particular era or a specific designer or how much you're willing to spend; do you really love jewellery, shoes or handbags; do you just love to buy knitwear? Ballgowns or fashion magazines? Choose what excites you, what makes you happy and on top of that what's realistic for your budget.

The possibilities are endless - but choosing your specific area of interest makes it easier to find stuff, after a while you'll know where to look, you'll be able to narrow down your search and also connect to other people with similar interests who'll not only become your close friends but also help you find stuff and might even share their sources. It may take a while to land on your area - so do lots of research and see what's out there, most of the time as your collection grows your 'niche' just organically manifests.

To Gatekeep or not to Gatekeep?

Finding good sources is the key to becoming a collector, remember sometimes it's okay to gatekeep, especially when you've worked hard to curate your own network of sellers, so only share your info with people you really trust - otherwise you could find yourself being undercut and usurped.

Prepare to Dig

Going to random shops, flea markets and auctions in far flung corners of the country is honestly one of the best parts of collecting fashion. You'll discover a whole new world, and there's something about sifting through rails, piles and shelves of clothes, shoes, books, whatever it is that you're buying which is strangely meditative. And when you actually find some good pieces you always feel like you've won some sort of huge jackpot. Trust us is addictive.

Surf the Web

if rooting around irl doesn't sound like your thing - or if you're just simply too busy to put the time into all the travelling it then don't worry the internet has an abundance of amazing finds which you can snap up wherever and whenever. Scroll through eBay in your spare evenings (you can also set really detailed search alerts which email you every time something new gets listed), scour the pages of Vestiaire, 1st dibs and Grailed or if you're looking for more specialist stuff check out auction house Kerry Taylor, who regularly holds amazing sales of the most fabulous hand picked pieces, which you can bid for online from the comfort of your own home or office.

Make a Wishlist

If you've got aspirations to add some seriously rare, expensive or just generally hard to find, you'll probbably find yourself thinking how the hell is that ever going to happen, but it's worth taking a couple of hours to make a record or a wishlist of your 'holy grail' items and add to it as your taste evolves or as you discover new pieces and things to obsess over. Even if it's just for manifestation purposes; solid lists of items with details, photos or descriptions also helps you to be on the look out whilst you're out hunting and train your eye to spot them when you're able to clearly visualise them. And there's nothing wrong with being a little bit aspirational at times.

Invest in Storage

You're going to all this effort to source beautiful pieces, so of course you're not going to want them to take over your bedroom, cupboards or even your entire house and before you know it you're getting accused of being a hoarder by your friends and family. See your new influx of goodies as an opportunity to revolutionise your storage space: have a clear out of your clothes and accessories you never wear to free up some space for your treasured pieces, buy a shelving unit to display your amazing jewellery or handbag collection, do a bit of DIY organising to optimise your set of draws. Not only will your space feel tidier but you'll also be ensuring that your collection is staying in tip top condition.

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