My Vintage Wardrobe: Rachel Boston, Jeweller

04/02/2015 12:22 | Updated 20 May 2015

When it comes to her personal style, jeweller Rachel Boston tries to find the balance between smart and playful pieces, but can't resist a few signature touches: on any given day you'll find her wearing "too much leopard, leather or black."

She teams contemporary designer and high street pieces (she loves a good designer thrift find, like the Acne leather trousers she snagged for £65 in NYC which would normally retail at over £900) and boasts a fabulous collection of 1980s-1990s era vintage designer pieces from Alaïa, Dries Van Noten and Hervé Léger, given to her by her stylish mum. Jealous much?

While Rachel's clothing style embraces 60s and 70s silhouettes, her jewellery designs for her eponymous brand look even further back in time. She takes inspiration from Memento Mori and Victorian jewellery, vintage Cartier and Indian pieces from Gem Palace, who have been making jewels for royalty from the mid-19th century, and geometric Art Deco designs, which she reworks with her own contemporary finish as part of her engagement and wedding ring service.

Don't miss Rachel's fab vintage-meets-East-London wardrobe – leopard print palazzo cat suits, leather jackets, colourful hotpants – and her tips on how to find (and style) the best vintage pieces below...

Where are your favourite places to source vintage items?

It used to be East London, I live in Bethnal Green and used to work at a shop in Brick Lane during university so I'd always be on the hunt on my lunch break or after work for new, exciting things but now I find it really over-saturated there and over-priced. There used to be an amazing store at the very end of Brick Lane where you could pay a tenner and fill a bag with us much stuff as you could squeeze into it and that's where I got some really fun pieces for the equivalent of a £2 each.

I also used to love Camden and Shoreditch but now I much prefer looking on Etsy or eBay and I have pages of things that I favourite and come back to when I've got an event I think they'd be good for. It sort of puts me off impulse purchasing, too, as I spend longer thinking about what I'm going to buy and instead of buying lots of small, cheap things I buy one really special, more expensive thing.

Other websites I like are Shop Backbite for vintage tees, and I'm a really big fan of reworked vintage like Bliss and Mischief, or The Reformation, which uses a lot of recycled material but gives it a more modern and sexy look. I travel a lot to New York so actually do a lot of vintage shopping out there, Tokio 7 and Tokyo Joe are great for vintage designer and Brooklyn shops like Stella Dallas are great for really fair-priced pieces. When visiting my sister in Barcelona I like Le Swing for some glamorous finds.

What do you need to watch out for when buying vintage? Any top vintage-scouring tips?

Beware of sequins! I am a magpie and when I see something in a vintage shop that shines I just run to it, but when the threading is very old it may look great on the hanger but when you wear it out dancing you will leave a trail of sequins behind you and your outfit can start looking a little sad.

Also, know your body type. I used to buy so many vintage dresses that were either way too oversized or way too tight and just wear them as they were and they'd look so unflattering. The baggy ones would make me look frumpy and bigger than I was and the tight ones would literally (twice this happened on nights out) split open on my bum. It is worth getting things tailored for a few extra quid and making something you didn't spend much on actually look decent and flattering.

Do you have a favourite vintage beauty look?

I've been wearing the same style of make-up since I was 15: black winged eyeliner and red lips. Recently I've stopped wearing lipstick every day as I've grown tired of having to keep touching it up but I found the product Lipcote actually very helpful for helping the colour stay on.

I love my 60s-style eyeliner and I feel totally naked without it; it's definitely the most important part of my make-up routine.

I'm not great with doing my own hair, it's very thick so quite a painstaking task to control but if I'm making a real effort for something I try to backcomb it a little to give it that 60s volume.

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