Thursday, September 24, 2009

D&OC's Top 5 reasons to shop vintage

**Warning: Many words follow, some pictures too, just to hold your interest.
So, as you might already know, I work at a local vintage shop on Saturdays. I choose to work an extra day a week for a couple of reasons: 1) I can always use the extra dough and 2) I enjoy being out of the office, away from budgets and finance stuff and around clothing that I can touch and smell (not that I'm walking around smelling everything, just some things). I've had this Saturday position for over a year now and I still am slightly taken aback when a college student or young 20 something approaches me to ask if other people have worn the clothing (ummmm, yes!) and/or what vintage is exactly, "like, is that used clothing?"
This past weekend two college girls came in and spotted our stack of Donney and Bourke bags. One girl, rightfully so, picked up a pretty red saddle bag, got quite excited and oooohhhed and ahhhhed. Meanwhile, her less enthused side kick crinkled her nose and said, "it's soooo old."
I realize that you might already shop vintage and don't need to hear my meager opinion on why vintage is awesome, but I forget that some of you (maybe many of you?) probably don't and it's for you that I write this post.
1. Pinch pennies, save money. Some (definitely not all) vintage shops are more affordable and the quality is higher than many average clothing stores (in the same price range). If you're a savvy vintage shopper you can save a great deal on clothing, especially accessories. If money is no concern to you (congrats!) there are plenty of high end shops to tickle your fancy. Hello vintage couture!
FRYE Vintage British Tan Leather Hobo Satchel Handbag $44.99

via ella confidential
2. Vintage IS eco-friendly. Enormous amounts of material consumption have put this planet in a pretty substantial predicament (duh) . Reducing your waste, recycling, and re-using materials that are already available is an eco-consious decision. If something doesn't fit you just right, but you love the fabric or shape, why not get it tailored or upcycle it into a whole new piece?
1950's vintage blue rose garden dress $68

via Allen Company Inc
3. Flex and strenghten your creative fashion (and interior design) sensibilities. Shopping vintage forces you to see the POTENTIAL in pieces. Sometimes it takes me a minute to get my bearings walking into a vintage shop because seeing all the STUFF can get a little discouraging. It's hard to differentiate between what might be considered junk vs. what is actually usable. Make sure to take a double take, sometimes the pieces you write off too quickly will end up becoming THE piece in your wardrobe. Turn on those creative juices and see what happens, you might surprise yourself.
Can Can $24

via Solanah
4. Support your local economy and independent shop owners. Whether you shop locally or online, by shopping vintage you are supporting an individual's business endeavors. I'd prefer to give my money to a hard working individual than to a major corporation any day.
After Midnight $36

via Shopcuffs
5. Find unique, one of a kind pieces that you can confidently wear to a party knowing you won't look like someone's doppelganger. The majority of compliments I get on my outfits are pre-used pieces. I always get a little thrill (dare I say smug even?) when someone asks me where they can get something I'm wearing and I say, "I have no's vintage."
Bitter Sweet Dress and Capelet $168

via Thirteen Bees Vintage
Any thoughts? Additions, edits, concerns?


Laura Trevey said...

sweet sweet blue rose dress!!!

xo laura

The Cottage Cheese said...

Vintage clothing is really cool, although I do agree that sometimes it takes a little work to put outfits together. There are so many great affordable pieces on Etsy, and re-sale and vintage clothing stores are popping up everywhere. It's so good to see this! That blue rose dress is so cute. I can't ever get enough of little dresses like this!

vintage simple said...

I'm so glad you posted this, Christina..! I definitely love vintage for interior design - of course. I am not as good when it comes to clothing, though, so I'm inspired by this post. Thank you!

Sixpence and a Blue Moon said...

Great post, Christina! I've had a 16 year old living with me the past three weeks and have been confronted with the fact that so many of these kids do not get it. I would never buy anything from a mall, not my cup of tea. I have always bought from second hand stores, thrift shops, Goodwills, etc., ...and LOVE it. Thrifting is for the creative soul - one who can imagine a piece of clothing or a an abandoned item in a different setting, giving an item a new lease on life. I have concluded that kids have more money these days than I had as a teenager. I love it when I see kids who have originality.

Love the last dress!

Hope you're having a wonderful week!


Molly Jean said...

i prefer vintage to new any day of the week!

A Life More Fabulous said...

I was skeptical at first, but I have a friend who only ever buys vintage now for environmental reasons(maybe she gets new underwear but that's about it :) ), she always looks so incredible and puts together such cool creative outfits! I don't know if I could go that full force, but I do love a good treasure hunt for cool vintage pieces

LifestyleBohemia said...

That's awesome that you change it up once a week and work at the vintage shop. I was thinking about volunteering at my local salvation army shop so I could get first dibs on the items while doing something good.
I love the Frye bag you have pictured.
Have a great day!

Arlynn said...

I'd love to be one of those fabulous fashionistas who ceate an amazing ensemble out of super affordable vintage finds, but each and every time I go into a vintage clothing store I get overwhelmed, or the items available are SO not me or they're the wrong size when they are me, ugh! Oh well, won't stop me from appreciating the look :-)

Ginger said...

Oh my god. There are seriously people out there who don't know what vintage is?! I weep for the future.

I have been a vintage hound ever since I was young; in a family of seven, you shopped at Salvation Army and Goodwill A LOT. So, I love the eclectic blending of new and old pieces, and a adore items with a history;)

Great post, and next time some teenager asks you what vintage is, tell them the clothes have been aged in vats, like wine, in special *clotheries* in Napa Valley. See how long it takes for the story to get around;)

Tish Jett said...

Great post and a stunning blog.

As you surely know, vintage shopping in Paris is truly a treasure hunt -- so much fun, such surprises to find.

I also have lots of friends who can do vintage "shopping" without leaving the comfort of their homes. Their closets are full of wonderful pieces. Frenchwomen always care more about style than fashion. That's why they are so irresistible.

Pixel Wild Child said...

Really nice post. Even though I have never really been a consumer of vintage stuff you indeed have a point in your reasons to buy vintage. Unfortunately though, vintage shops are not so common in countries like Spain and especially Greece as they are in US or England and even if you want to go for vintage is not a handy alternative :O(

Have a great day girl! ;O)

Tom Tuttle from Tacoma said...

i'm no vintage expert but i do agree with some points. i just blogged about my evolved shopping patterns as being 'green' or eco-friendly. i'm relieved i'm not that far off. haha.

park & cube did a post on vintage as well. i agree with her on some points.i believe there's one or two common points both of you brought up:

K @ Blog Goggles said...

This is a great post. I really got into vintage a few years ago and my boyfriend did not understand it at all! I might send him this :)

Lily G. said... it!

{The Perfect Palette} said...

such a great post! I tweeted about it :)

Elizabeth said...

I'm sold! And I snickered at your description of those two college girls--they'll learn :)

flynn said...

nice post! anytime anyone ever asks me where i got something, the answer is always "it's vintage" because people get snotty about "it's from a thrift store." but really, if you're clothing obsessed and hate running into people wearing 'your' skirt; problem solved.
(btw - that handbag is so cute that my first thought was "i want to bite it." weird.)

LindsB said...

I love shopping for vintage items- they are the best. I just found a beautiful JCrew cashmere sweater for only $5, its my new favorite now :)

Diana said...

You work in a vintage store?? Even if it's for one day, that's soo cool!!
I never thought of these reasons, especially being good for the environment! So true!
I think vintage also lasts longer. If it has lasted all that time, it would last me, too!
Plus, back then the seams were stronger compared to now. We all know how we feel about F21...

stacy di said...

great post! I totally agree...sounds like a really fun Saturday job!

AND, anyone who can throw the word doppelganger into a post has got it goin' on!!

Gabbi said...

Lovely lovely, I adore the blue rose dress!!!

Iva said...

Such an awesome post! I love it!!

You are soooo funny too :) lol....ohhh silly girls lol :) I only wish to have been able to see the look on your face hehehe

I really like the 1950's vintage blue rose garden dress!

Target-Addict said...

A wonderful post; thanks for opening some eyes on why shopping vintage is worthwhile and important. And not only vintage, but all second-hand. Those college girls might "get it" once they start having babies later on. Do you think they're going to pass up their friend's hand-me-downs on baby clothes and buy all new (which is SO expensive??). Probably not.

Jennifer Ramos said...

I really prefer the Vintage handbags and furniture to the Vintage clothing...but that's just me...EVEN though like you is more Eco-friendly.
Jen Ramos
'Cards & Prints You'll Love...'

Bromeliad said...

I'm totally with you on all points above. I have not bought a new piece of clothing since last winter.

I also find that buying second hand makes me braver - I'm not spending much so I'll go for something wilder than I might normally buy at a retail store.

Lotus of Wadi Arts said...

Love, love, love vintage since I was a teen! Check out my site for some of my vintage outfit combinations
Lotus of Wadi

Kitty said...

I'm having so much fun bringing unusual vintage things to my five year old granddaughter! Her sense of style is already blooming and she gets so excited when I find her something like a crocheted cardigan or a long rayon floral print dress from the 1980's. The next time I see it she will have incorporated it into some eclectic mix that just blows me away!

Today I picked up a denim bolero jacket for $1 for her. It has a roll collar and two big silver concho buttons. I said, "I'm not sure if you can make this work with anything....." and her eyes just lit up with possibilities!

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