There has been a change of tide lately with the economy the way it is and people wanting to find comfort in the simple things again. This is why, I believe, shopping for vintage anything (but especially clothing) has made a rather large resurgence.
Along with yearning for the nostalgia of yesteryear finding vintage pieces is like finding hidden treasure. Finding beautiful pieces with tags still attached – oh I just felt my blood pressure rise – such a rush!! Even if I don’t buy it for myself there is no way I’m leaving an incredible vintage find behind – I know someone who would look awesome in it or I will use it for a photo shoot before I walk away from something so fantastic!
For one, things were just made better in certain eras than they are now. The material may not have been wonderful (polyester I’m talking to you) but the craftsmanship was impeccable. Things that were less expensive and not considered couture at the time were even made better than today.
I have searched through many definitions of “vintage clothing” and the most common theme seems to be as About.com defines it: “The term vintage is used to describe clothing between 20 and 100* years old which is clearly representative of the era in which it was produced. Vintage clothing can be used, new (from dead stock), manufactured, and handmade. It is important to understand that the definition of vintage is fluid, so every decade brings forth new items as “vintage”. It is also important to understand that all vintage will eventually become antique. *Clothing 100 years old or more is classified as antique” Something to think about when consciously going out to search for a vintage piece or pieces.
Doing vintage is fun and adds to your own personal style. I talk a lot about personal style but it is important to express yourself through what you wear and how you wear it. It is an outward expression of what’s going on inside – some days that’s good and some days not so good – but nevertheless it’s the truth.
I view vintage as I do a trend. Meaning that I wouldn’t do a trend from head to toe – I strategically mix and match it and several pieces throughout my wardrobe or outfit. If you find an awesome vintage dress then mix it with some sky high platforms to make it modern. If you layer yourself in vintage jewelry like pearls and rhinestones, then wear it with a white tank top and denim and, again, a hot shoe, to offset the fanciness of the jewelry. The trick to “doing vintage” is to do a piece here and do a piece there. If done all at once it can look as though your grandmother’s (or great-grandmother’s) closet imploded all on one person and we don’t want that (unless you are doing a period piece in the theaterJ.)
It is also important to do your research. In the age of smart phones and tablets it makes it easier to find out on the spot if the deal you think you’re getting at the thrift store is truly a bargain. If I come across a label I am unfamiliar with I will do a search right there in the store – sometimes it’s good and sometimes not but it is important to be informed. If there is a dress that isn’t a popular name but I really love it and it’s $5.00 then I go for it and tweak it to my own personal taste. That’s the beauty of it – you buy something for $5.00 and make it look like $500 and no one is the wiser. It’s all in how you carry yourself and the confidence you exude in anything you wear.
- Do vintage in moderation – a piece here and a piece there
- Make vintage modern by pairing it with classic pieces of today (denim, platform shoes, blazers, that little black dress, or the classic white oxford)
- Have fun when picking out pieces. It’s easier to try something if it costs $5.00 than if it costs $100.00 so go for it!
- There are no rules when it comes to your personal style.
- Do your research – look up unknown labels or fashion houses just so you know what you are buying – especially when it comes to high end couture vintage pieces (e.g. Dior, Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, etc.)
Vintage pieces can be found just about anywhere: Goodwill , Salvation Army, your local thrift shop, your family’s closets, your friends’ family’s closets, and garage and estate sales. There are also some companies who have made upscale vintage their livelihood and only sell high end designers and fashion houses for a pretty penny but they are worth every cent!
I’ll leave you with a few of my favorite links:
Live life well and ENJOY!!
Julia Rutland is the Founder and Owner of Aesthetic Design Style House located in Indianapolis, Indiana. For more information about Julia, her company and the services she has to offer, please visit her website at: www.aestheticdesignstyle.com.