London is the hub of all things fashionable and fabulous. However, the vintage shops know this, and, as a consequence up their prices. A good idea, when stealing looks from fashion shoots, is to go farther-a-field and venture into the charity shops that lurk in the gray area between city and country. You'll always be surprised by what you find in what seems to initially be a charity shop filled with stretch waistbands and old handbags.
This is where all the research, reading and invention comes into play. As an example, for this season's animal print frenzy, you don't need to set foot in a boutique to copy the latest in leopard print. Pop into a few charity shops and keep your fingers crossed that they are nostalgic for the 80s because if they are, you'll find some great key pieces for your wardrobe. Rummage through the racks for jumpers in the season's fashionable print. Also, keep an eye out for floral trouser suits, old Laura Ashley patterns great vintage-looking belts, and a denim jacket or two left behind. All can be incorporated to an autumnal wardrobe.
In the same way, there are treasures untold probably lurking in your home or the home you grew up in. Chances are your parents or grandparents will have hoarded trunks of old and antique delights that would add a perfect vintage charm to outfits, and update a wardrobe. This season brings with it a nostalgic nod to the 1950s, with TV shoes like Mad Men showcasing their glamorous stars in some stunning ensembles. Twin-set cardigans, cashmere, pearls, tweed and swirling A-line skirts have been seen in some shape of form across magazine spreads and catwalks. It isn't a look that's hard to achieve, and a hunt around an attic or loft, should unveil some perfect items to create a similar take on 50s femininity. See if there are any cardigans, high-waisted trousers and skirts to adapt to your style and taste for an original appropriation of this look.
Check out also, the high street versions of high-fashion looks. New Look has a range of knitwear that would work well mixed up with charity and found-at-home vintage pieces, should produce an inventive and inspired on-trend outfit.