out for this symbol ...many
items in the Attic have been in storage for over 25 years and
have never been worn, some still have tickets attached!
OBSERVER - 23 September 2005
Reid writes - Vintage clothes are hot news at the moment
and stars like Sienna Miller and Chloe Sevigny are fans of authentic
outfits from days gone by.
They might even have
bought things off Longtown based web site Sara's Attic. What
started as an interest in shopping is now an international business
for Sara Wilson. who operates out of an office (wardrobe) at
her farmhouse home.
Her devoted followers
log on regularly to buy, hire and even just browse through the
huge collection of dresses, bags, shoes, skirts, trousers, coats
tops and accessories.Much
of the Attic stock has never been worn and Sara guarantees good
Special thanks to our model Kirsty
Mail - LIFEstyle - 7 March 2005
Question:I am getting married this spring and would love a vintage wedding
dress from the 40's or 50's, but l have no idea where to start
London based designer Catherine Buckley by appointment only, 020
7229 8786 makes excellent copies of vintage wedding dresses. Alternatively,
check the websites www.sarasattic.co.uk
, www.vivalafrock.co.uk , www.samimiller.co.uk
- featured trader
Name: Sara Wilson
Location: Rural Farm Location, Nearest Village 3 miles- Longtown,
15 miles from city of Carlisle, Cumbria
Business: Vintage Clothing & Accessories Online
Started business: February 2002
inspired you to set up your business?
I have always had a passion for vintage bags, jewellery, shoes
& dresses and have collected bits & pieces for my own
various collections over the years. After attending a local house
clearance & buying 24 tea chests of 60s & 70s clothing,
I knew I had to sell some of it.
is your business all about?
Well, it comprises of a web site containing vintage clothing,
accessories & kitsch household items. It also has pages on
fashion trends, featured years with pop & news trivia and
vintage news & book reviews.
do you think it is that has made your business work?
Well, I have 20 years retail, management & buying experience
to draw on and have always wanted to buy for & have my own
shop. So I have that now albeit not the shop I always imagined
it would be but it is a virtual one!
are the best bits about setting up on your own? That I
dont have to answer to anyone, or dance the corporate tune.
the crucial aspect is It allows me enormous flexibility
as I have a family with two young children, a husband, a home
and two dogs.
are the downfalls you have experienced?
Keeping too much stock!
did you realise that your vision was working?
I knew Saras Attic had arrived when it has been favourably
reviewed in the Sunday Times Culture in its first year. Again
recently I was amazed and proud when The Independent ran a feature,
50 best vintage fashion shops in the Uk and ranked
Saras Attic 3rd. Of course the only true litmus test is,
when a customer emails me to say how pleased they are
then return for another item!
is the best advice you have been given? Go
is the best advice you can give?
Research your market as far as possible to ensure you understand
it and then go with your gut feeling
you have any good advice for someone else who would like to become
a vintage retailer?
Know your product and know what you are selling. Its also essential
to have something different to set you apart from the other retailers,
in my case I have a very professional site and I knew I had products
which were quite rare, unworn virgin vintage and that formed my
original core stock.
you do it all again? In a heart beat
I love vintage shopping, but I don't live in a big city
and the charity shops where I live are pretty lame. Any ideas?
EXPERT SAYS: Pop yourself
down in front of your computer immediately: there are a wealth
of great sites out there for vintage shopping, all just a few
famous Internet site for designer vintage buys is probably eBay
(wwww.ebay.com). Sift through the warped vinyl and other offerings
and you'll be able to find vintage Diane Von Furstenberg wrap
dresses, Oscar de la Renta suits and much more. Topshop have also
just launched their own on-line vintage boutique (www.topshop.co.uk).
Second-hand clothing experts Peekaboo and Vintage Princess source
great dresses and accessories, and the selection is updated every
Others sites worth a visit include Candy Says (www.candysays.co.uk),
Sara's Attic (www.sarasattic.co.uk) and The Cat's Pajamas
(www.catspajamas.com). As with all vintage shopping remember sizes
are often cut smaller than today's. If in doubt, buy accessories
and don't be afraid to customise your purchases.
details correct at time of publishing, 27 July, 2004.
- THE INFORMATION magazine 6 -12 November 2004
The 50 best vintage fashion Shops'One
for shoppers who want their retro in virgin condition. The majority
of goods for sale through Sara's Attic have been stored for more
than 25 years and are as new and in pristine condition, ('...well
almost pristine', says Sara ), some with labels intact.
is an easy website to navigate, and browsers can click on a variety
of shopping departments including Party Wear or Wedding Belles.
If you have something special in mind, contact former shop fashion
buyer Sara, who will try and source it for you,' says Jane.
- September 2004 - ask Hero
and I are planning a wedding with a '20s, '40s or '50s theme.
I'm looking for a vintage wedding dress, but I have no idea where
to find one.
I have had a hard time locating shops that specialise in vintage
bridalwear but you're in luck. Catherine Buckley at 302 Westbourne
Grove, W11 sells copies of vintage wedding dresses and is open
by appointment only (020 7229 8786). In the same area at 98 Portland
Rd, W11 is a fantastic vintage shop called Virginia, which may
have a few wedding dresses. Call (020 7727 9908) before visiting,
as the opening hours can be erratic.Here
are some good sites to check out
Woman.co.uk - June 2004
surfing for vintage chic
By Lindsey Groh
16 June 2004
street shops jumping on the same fashion bandwagons theres
only one affordable way to make your style unique vintage
chic. SJPs Sex And The City alter-ego Carrie opened our
eyes to the joys of vintage style, and since then we cant
resist bagging unique, retro pieces to customize our look. But
let's face it, who wants to search through dark, musty shops and
hunt through piles of clothes for that one great find?
So welcome to the retro Internet revolution! There's bags of websites
ready to cater to your vintage needs. Heres our top three:
Former fashion buyer and retail fashion manager Sara decided to
use her discerning eye for classic items to set up her vintage
fashion and homewares site. As a result theres plenty of
must-buy shoes, bags, coats and even erm, lampshades. Plus, its
all at affordable prices, like bags from £15!
For top retro bargains I headed to CandySays. It has a massive
selection of vintage clothing and accessories from the 1950s right
through to the 1980s. Theres plenty of unusual and eye-catching
pieces to choose from, we particularly love its choice of summer
dresses and shoes. The prices are unbelieveably affordable with
gorgeous unique dresses starting from around £20.
Theres plenty of vintage designer gear going under the virtual
hammer. Using searching words such as vintage, retro, vintage
Gucci, vintage designer (you get the picture) I found myself tempted
by a vintage Gucci-shopper last spotted for £67. Just when
I thought Id had my great find I came across
vintage Nina Ricci sunglasses (£16.00), not to mention some
gorgeous vintage brooches to brighten my denim jacket.
on the Net' - Summer 2004
useful Internet directory lists Sara's Attic on its fashion page....nice
to get a mention!! Many thanks!!
- January 2004 - Paisley Days
spring/summer 04 menswear collection features paisley prints splashed
across shirts and ties. It may be time for you to be captivated
by the power of paisley too. You won't find much around in the
fashion glossies or high street shop windows, but it is one of
the most formidable prints ever created and has yet to be hijacked
(unlike some tartans) by one designer or label. Paisley's origins
have nothing to do with the Scottish town, the teardrop pattern
has roots in both Celtic art (some 2,000 years ago) and, more
recently in India. Apparently, it first appeared on shawls in
Kashmir which were then brought to England by the East India Company
during the 18th century. British mills began making their own
versions of paisley (including those in the town of Paisley) to
meet the demand for cheaper versions and the print has featured
in everything from haute couture pieces to napkins ever since.
to Sara's Attic for a beautiful paisley print mini
dress tunic by Marks and Spencer's from the 60s (just £28
in their January sale and brilliant over a pair of jeans), or
check out La Redoute's paisley print tops.
Magazine - September 2003
fast Fashion Bible - 250 'shop
at your desk' fashion finds!
without leaving your living room with our indispensable guide
to the best websites and mail order catalogues around!
Don't fancy wading through racks
of musty old tat? Vintage shopping has hit the web.
Crack - 3 June 2003
If, like me, you are
fed up to the back teeth of the current trend of fluorescent string
vests and leg-warmers with stilettos in gaudy colours..... the
internet is the ideal playground for the retro shopper. One of
our favourites is Sara's Attic...its ideal for those wanting
to lend a touch of old school chic to a special occasion.
ANNANDALE OBSERVER - 30 May 2003
and Gladrags! - Sara's treasure trove on show
a look inside any woman's wardrobe and there will be an assortment
of bags, shoes and accessories dating back over the years. Some
people may class them as old junk, but to Longtown woman Sara
Wilson they are treasure! She is the founder of popular vintage
clothing website 'Sara's Attic and is behind a new exhibition
in Langholm's Town Hall Gallery this month. Sara said, 'It follows
the theme of the website, featuring party wear and accessories
from 1950s-1980s with a selection of Victorian Ebony Vanity items.
Eskdale & Liddesdale Advertiser - 22 May 2003
you got a fashion fortune hidden in attic? Were
you a sixties flower child, a seventies glitzy glam rocker or perhaps
an eighties power dresser? Pop into Langholm Town Hall Gallery over
the next two weeks and be transported through the decades of the
last century in all their glamour.
THE SUNDAY TIMES - 1 December 2002
Section- Doors Site Test: Stepping back in time
Sick of trudging round
muddy car-boot sales? Gail Robinson compares websites that offer
retro and second-hand gear, from records to ra-ra skirts
Classic wear www.sarasattic.co.uk
rated 3/5 stars
'Sara Wilson has a passion for vintage
clothes that she wants to share with the world. On her site you
will find second-hand fashion gems for sale from the last century.
It is the glammed-up 1970s that Wilson has a fondness for, so
if you are after that Abigail's Party look, you have come to the
right place. men, women and children are all catered for and most
of the clothes are good value for money. Hit the party wear section,
if only to gaze in wonder at the 1980s ra-ra dress (£22).'
Magazine - Issue 35/11th July 2002
review this fortnights crop of the best new and revamped websites
Sara's Attic - Our
rating 3/5 stars
attic is a recently launched website offering original vintage
and retro clothing and accessories from the Fifties to the Nineties.
The site will interest fans of nostalgia, keen collectors or anyone
attending a theme party. Most things on the site are from the
60s and 70s, including some items that have never been worn and
are still in their original packaging. items we spotted on the
site ranged from a Sixties blue and white paisley print day dress
to a classic Adidas sports top from the Seventies. Some of the
categories, including men's clothing, have a shortage of items
but expect more as the site grows. The DIY design (version 1)
lacks the hi-tech glitz of corporate sites, but it perfectly suits
the quirkiness of the clothes.
& Star - 3 July 2002
feature in Carlisle's Daily Newspaper
on Classics' by Jane Loughran
vintage clothing business is booming
absolutely fabulous Darling...Who needs Harvey Nicks? Patsy and
Edina's idea of seventh heaven is right here in Longtown. If you
tune in to Sara Wilson's Attic, you can take a magical mystery
tour into the past. Perhaps you want to look like a hip Sixties
chick - all Mary Quant mini skirts and geometric hairstyles. Patsy
just adores that look. Or maybe - like Edina - a full-skirted
Fifties cocktail dress is more your style? Longtown's Sara Wilson
has set up a website which sources, sells and hires original dresses,
skirts, coats, tops, shoes and accessories from decades back.
of Sara's collectable clothing items have been in storage for
more than 25 years; some have never been worn and many still have
their original labels still attached and intact. The odd piece
is still in its original packaging. "Fashions are constantly
recycled!" says Sara, "look how big the Hippie look
is this summer."
Sara, 43, is a former London retail buyer who now lives in a farmhouse
near Longtown. Her passion for vintage clothing and accessories
escalated when she attended a house clearance sale and stumbled
across an enormous stash of authentic classic clothing.
started hunting down vintage clothing in boot sales, flea markets,
charity shops and auction houses- wherever l could find it- with
the result that all the rooms in our house started to fill up
and overflowing with boxes of my finds. It became obvious that
l would have to do something with it all," says Sara.
March 2002, Sara launched her website www.sarasattic.co.uk
and she has been overwhelmed by the response. The site has already
had more than 17,000 hits from all over the world with enormous
interest from Australia, Canada and the USA. Items in Sara's attic
date from the Thirties to the late wannabe Eighties but the Swinging
Sixties and Glitzy Seventies are Sara's speciality. As well as
buying and browsing, some visitors have been asking for vintage
advice on how to care for clothes. The site offers a collection
of kitsch items and retro clothing.
defines vintage clothing as any garment over 25 years old. "If
it is still around, it is usually a quality piece of clothing,"
she says. With some pieces of vintage clothing, the sky is the
limit when it comes to price. Some garments are worth hundreds
or thousands of pounds, but I am dealing in affordable clothing,"
says Sara, a married mother of two, who is now hoping to open
a vintage clothing shop in Cumbria.
bulk of Sara's customers are partygoers with a taste for nostalgia
or fashion fanatics looking for something to set them apart form
the crowd. "One professional woman bought several blouses
from me because she wanted to look distinctive -despite the fact
that she had to dress formally for work. The fact was that she
wanted to wear something that complimented her personality. I
think that sums up a lot of my customers," says Sara who
tries to update her website at least once a week.
writes..."a very special thank you to you... Sandra (Harrison)...for
helping me with the modelling and cream cakes...I wouldn't
have done it without you!"
GAZETTE - Cumbria June 2002
appears in the ONLINE section of the Business Gazette.
Wide Winners' reviewed by Richard Simpson
'This new site
offers vintage clothing, plus the variety of kitsch accoutrements
that are so essential to anyone who's keen on the retro lifestyle.
A minority taste
of course, but well supported by a website that's simultaneously
efficient and suitably stylish .
Site Design: 4/
5 Content: 3/5
OBSERVER - June 21 2002
Sara's Attic' by Fiona Reid
inside Sara Wilson's attic and go back in time to the nifty fifties,
swinging sixties and groovy seventies. Launched in February, Sara's
Attic sources, sells and hires original dresses, skirts, coats,
tops, shoes and accessories from decades back. cocktail dress,
mini skirts and tasselled bags are just some of the online gems!
Many still have their original labels, some have never been worn.
sure what to expect, Sara has been overwhelmed at the response.
In the first month about 1000 people people visited the site and
in May the figure rose to 5200. As well as buying and browsing,
some visitors have been asking for advice on how to care for clothes.
She said: 'It is very satisfying and feels like having a book
published. I really get a thrill out of it.'
SITE AWARD - APRIL 2002
Attic are very pleased to have received the 'GROOVY SITE AWARD'
Tenika Morrison founder of Catching the Butterfly.com our very