Going Vintage…Don’t Resist It

10 Nov

Roger De Souza

This is a piece I wrote for l’ecole on shopping vintage for the first time. For those of you who are vintage virgins, it may be helpful 🙂

Worn out. Smelly. Old Fashioned. Unwanted. Used clothing tends to have a stigma attached to it. Some women won’t be caught dead in a vintage depot and others have an inkling of curiosity but do not know where to start.

Let’s clear the air about shopping for vintage clothing. Throw away your prejudice of the pre-loved and embrace the past!

Fashion moves in a cyclical motion. Although decades past had distinct style staples, they were all influenced by previous designs. The re-emergence of past trends like biker jackets and acid wash jeans, oversized blazers and leggings makes it clear that old items still have value and more importantly, fashion credibility.

The key to finding vintage treasures is knowing where to look but huge, often cluttered stores can be intimidating. Where to begin?

The Plan

Patience is a virtue but often it’s not enough. Fashion Blogger for The Katie Girls, Randi Bergman suggests you plan ahead before going to a vintage boutique. “Only go in there for certain items of clothing.” Have a clothing item in mind and a similar piece will stand out once you start looking.

“If you go for something like a dress, it’s all one look, you don’t have to pair things together.” Bergman Says. “Pick out the ones you like, pick out the ones you don’t like. See the colours and the fabric you like and then go from there.”

Less is more or more for less?

If you want a single reason to buy vintage, it’s the price. Vintage stores offer clothing that may have been pre-worn but it is also high quality and very reasonable.

Vintage expert Emma Hayfield considers shopping for vintage to be an economical tool. “It’s a great way to save money and get more out of the things you buy.”

Bergman couldn’t agree more. “It’s worth it to buy a cheaper item of clothing. Wardrobes take time,” she says. “There’s no point in going to buy a skirt that’s $200 if you have nothing to wear with it.”

Cheap as it may be, there is a range in terms of how much a vintage look can cost. Usually the cheapest items are the newest ones. This doesn’t mean you can’t find a great deal on clothing from the 1930s or 40s, it just means you may have to pay an extra 10 or 20 dollars for it.

Hayfield’s number one shopping tip? “Cash is king,” leave the plastic at home!

Be Creative

Vintage shopping has an element of risk taking. Think of each item in relation to what you have while considering how you can alter it to make it fit your wardrobe. “You have to be open minded,” Emma Hayfield asserts, “don’t be afraid to try your hand at changing things.”

Because used clothing is reasonably priced, there is no need to feel guilty if you need to snip and stitch to personalize a piece.

Tis the season

As Canada freezes over, it’s worth looking for alternative outlets to find seasonal staples. Matching your favourite trendy styles with a classic vintage jacket will add some one-of-a-kind style to the typical winter layers.

When it comes to low priced leather items, for example, vintage boutiques are at the forefront. A new pair of stylish tights and some rugged leather boots from 1979? The ultimate combo.

You are the artistic director for your personal wardrobe. Might as well have fun with it.

The next time someone asks, “Where did you get that gorgeous sweater?” you can safely say, “oh this thing? They stopped making these 30 years ago!”

Stay tuned for some video footage from my interview with Emma Hayfield.

2 Responses to “Going Vintage…Don’t Resist It”

  1. Kathleen at 2:31 am #

    This is really well written!

    • romeh at 5:20 am #

      Why thank you Kat!!!!

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