It is a mystery to me why anyone would find it scary to pick up fun and interesting pieces at a vintage or resale clothing store at a fraction of the price you’d pay for new clothing and accessories at a boutique or department store. It today’s economy, it’s truly a must to stretch your dollar as far as possible. Granted, you don’t want to look like you were plucked out of 1953 ala the lady in this photo, but there IS a way to go about vintage shopping wisely and still look modern.
You’ve heard the saying ‘everything old is new again’ or this one ‘the more things change, the more they stay the same.’ In fashion it is true. Current designers are notorious for copying collections from the past, putting their own twist on it. Why not own the original? I have successfully shopped in vintage stores for years. Here are a few things I’ve learned:
Focus on accessories. It is a given that it’s much easier to find the right fit with accessories, wouldn’t you say? It is always appropriate to add a retro accessory to a modern outfit to keep your look grounded and interesting. I own more vintage accessories than anything else because they’re easy to work into an outfit and they’re one-of-a-kind.
Think of your top half. I find it much easier to mix in an interesting top, a fitted sweater or a flattering jacket into a modern ensemble than vintage pants or skirts because bottoms often are cut in a dated way or made in undesirable colors, patterns or fabrics. A little bit of vintage goes a long way. Just one piece on your top half is all you need to make your outfit pop.
Consider condition. Give the garment a very close inspection before purchasing it. Granted, the store likely did this when they purchased the item; however, after being tried on various bodies, a garment can begin to show signs of wear and tear. Most resale and vintage stores do not allow returns once you have made a purchase. If you notice a problem and still want the item, as for a discount.
Buy what you love. You might grow weary of hearing me say this, but here goes: Buy items you love, items that speak to you and communicate to the world who you are. Who cares if it is from 1966? If you can envision it working in your wardrobe, get it and enjoy it. You are guaranteed to be the only person wearing it.
You can’t go wrong by occasionally mixing a vintage piece into your outfit. It’s one of the secrets of the fashion savvy. Shhhh. Who knew that’s how they always manage to look so intriguing? As with all items you purchase, make sure to have your vintage pieces fitted by your tailor so it looks like it was made for you.
A local favorite: Dallas gals, are you familiar with Vintage Martini in Carrollton, TX? It is situated in old downtown Carrollton off 35E. It is WORTH the trip! Believe me. Co-owner Ken Weber knows his fashion stuff from top to bottom, and his selection is amazing. Tell him I sent you! www.vintagemartini.com