A subject I could probably wax poetic about for hours has to be vintage shopping. I could immerse myself in discussions on which decades are most worth pursuing (imo: the ones that best fit your style!)
I could contrast and compare the best online merchants, talk about which vintage shops in Amsterdam are the absolute top, how I spot authentic pieces, and how I style them afterwards etc.... etc. etc.
Interested in these topics?
Let me know in the comments, cause I’d be happy to oblige. And to get started, check out my post on best practices for vintage jewelry shopping!
But for today, I’m taking it from the absolute basics: namely, why vintage shopping needs to be on your radar to begin with.
Why beyond the aura of mystique and desirability that has transformed vintage into a sort of mainstream trend lately, it is actually an incredibly rich style resource. Not only for now, but for decades to come.
Because there is a depth to vintage clothes, accessories, home items that will add another dimension to your style. If your tastes run this way, that is- because I can understand not everyone falls in love with decade old items, or feels their appeal.
But here’s the thing:
Even if you end up not liking a certain style concept (be it vintage, or anything else), it’s still smart to get informed about it. Because if you don’t give new things a try, you can’t evolve and make your personal style all it can be.
Piqued your interest yet?
Then you may want to consider that vintage shopping:
Is a good way of practising sustainable shopping
Last week I was telling you about more mindful principles of sustainable fashion consumption. And I feel like vintage shopping is a great such instrument!
While I’m also all for encouraging emerging sustainable fashion designers, and brands that are doing their best to stick to ethical fashion principles, I recommend vintage shopping if you’re looking to reduce your fashion carboon footprint.
Because bottom line is:
As much as we can produce new fashion items sustainably, buying existing ones will take less of a toll on the environment. And it will also result in less items ending up in landfills! Which makes vintage shopping a great means of making fashion circular.
Vintage shops hide unique pieces
I think once we understand our own style preferences, we gravitate towards clothes that help express them the best. We want to find those individual, unique pieces that highlight the essence and individuality of our style.
But- truth time:
The chances of finding these pieces are a lot smaller when we shop at the same old places we and everyone else always have!
So what to do when you’ve hit a shopping rut?
Go off the beaten path, of course! And one of the loveliest paths hasn’t been fully explored is that of vintage shops. They always have special, interesting pieces- which makes the hours of sifting through rows and bins of items worth it.
Because THE find is even more enjoyable when you’ve worked for it, right?
Another thing to consider is that since vintage pieces are usually unique, you will not find them in multiple sizes. So get to know and befriend the sales personnel- they’ll usually be willing to let you know when new merchadise comes in!
And a word to the wise:
If you do find a great piece you just can’t live without, but isn’t your size, consider if it can be tailored. A good tailor is gold, as I was telling you another time. So they will be able to resize an item, or even creatively redesign it a bit!
You can find quality fabrics, extra details and ultra-feminine cuts
Now this is one for fashionistas of a more feminine, romantic, flirty persuasion. Vintage is an absolute gold mine when it comes to finding cuts and models that flatter the female body!
Case in point:
This 40’s dress I’m wearing here has a very fitted bodice that accentuates the bust and waistline. It also has a very slight flare over the hips, and stops at the knee. Both features that make it more charming to me than a bodyco, micro-mini dress for example.
And yes, I know that not everyone will be a fan of vintage fashion, precisely because of this! It’s not trendy or current- most vintage items actually have a classic, and even slightly old-fashioned air.
But at the same time, if you’re looking for timeless cuts in quality fabrics, your local vintage market or store will probably be a good bet. Or at least a better bet for this particular purpose than say, fast-fashion, high-street brands.
Because here’s the thing:
Clothes made 60+ years ago had a much sturdier construction, and usually natural fibers. And that’s because back then people couldn’t afford to have as big a wardrobe as we do now. So they had to care for it, use stronger zippers, buttons and fibers- and generally ensure their clothes last as long as possible.
It teaches you the power of mix and match.
Whether it’s designer pieces with no-names, feminine items and masculine ones, or old and new, mix and match is the secret sauce for your style.
Because any look can be taken to the next level by adding a contrasting piece. As long as the contrast enhances the whole, instead of clashing with it, that is!
And one of the things that vintage afficionados learn fairly quickly is how to mix their old items with new ones.
If you dress head-to-toe vintage, you might end up looking like a costume. But by adding contemporary items, the entire look becomes balanced and more personalized. So if you’re looking to practise your styling skills, try playing with some vintage pieces!
Add a loud 80’s bomber jacket over a modern lace mini dress, for example. Or pair a 30’s slip dress with a 70’s suede jacket, and a stack of rings or thin necklaces cca. 2019. Or, one of my favorite looks: a demure, romantic 50’s dress paired with big, glam hair & makeup, and pointed-toe stilettos.
Vintage shopping connects you to a piece of history
Again, this is one of the strongest reasons I’m absolutely head over heels in love with vintage. It’s that these items actually embody a piece of history. They are tangible pieces of the past, which can be yours to keep for a while.
And you know what?
Maybe this doesn’t move everybody as much- but it’s absolutely fantastic to me! Vintage fashion becomes a connection from one woman to another, across decades and centuries. Which you can then pass onto the next generations willing to carry its story.
And to wrap it up: another reason I’m happy to frequent vintage sellers is because these awesome, unique, feminine, well-made pieces of history often also come at a reasonable (or at least reachable) price!
So basically… a dream come true, right?
Have I convinced you to move your next shopping session to the vintage stores and markets yet? Or maybe you’re already pros at this! In which case, I’d love to know just what about it makes you tick.
Why do you love vintage shopping?
Thanks for reading- and until next week, have a fabulous time!
P.S.: If you haven’t by now, make sure you join The Style Club to receive your free personal style printables and get the most stylish updates directly in your Inbox!