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window shop #1: how to buy vintage fashion for spring 2013


Allot has been weighing on my mind as of late thanks to the ever-disappointing mass market fashion industry rearing its Medusa head time and again. And while I will be devoting my entire weekend to peeling back the layers of the little ethical choices we do have left, it goes without saying that ... when in doubt, thrift! How vexing it must be to hear the widespread outcry from certain bloggers (you know the kind, the ones that eat Prada for breakfast) mourning over the Bangladesh tragedy, pointing out that while they wholeheartedly feel sympathy for those suffering, they just can't seem to get themselves to stop shopping long enough to modify their consumerist choices. Oh how bourgeois a predicament. While they helplessly deal with the inner turmoil of having no power over the addiction to superfluous purchases and unequivocally poor quality clothing, I will wield my well-trained power of restraint (because yes, it takes effort to not be a freakin hypocrite, trust me I know...I was formerly very happy as Ms. Hypocrite USA) to not set one foot in a chain store again until due diligence is done. Not everyone has the luxury of whining over not being able to help themselves, because some people still live paycheck to paycheck (like me....fashion isn't all glamour and wealth) and some people have the means but lack the desire to constantly subject their wardrobes to repeated offenses (like me). So wherever you are on the spectrum, I thought offering up a silver platter of thoughtfully curated vintage inspiration each week would help you curb those impulsive buys at Zara and J. Crew and instead adopt a piece of history. It might sound like justification hogwash (and sometimes, isn't it always? after all, its fashion people) but honestly, as a true history buff, I find nothing more titillating than digging a gem out of a haystack and fantasizing about the era it was born in. Did it clothe a woman who had lunch with Diana Vreeland? Did it board a bus to Poland? Who knows! But that's the whole point. So first, a few tips from a discerning vintage rookie.


3 TIMELESS TIPS FOR INCORPORATING VINTAGE INTO YOUR WARDROBE

  • Know your ass-ets girl. For me its my décolleté, my derrière  and now after a brutal month of pilates, my legs (but only if exhibited from thigh down because I'm of average height, not a supermodel). For you it could be your long torso, flawless back, or shoulders which lend well to 50s sweetheart necklines or 90's crop tops. Vintage is the one chance to know your body more intimately than your OBYGN and the mister (or misses, hey!). While its not always necessary for those that are fond of an era come hell or high water like I am with 70s boho maxis no matter how much my waist is lost in the process, for others still experimenting, it saves a hella time to narrow down your most flattering options, especially for online shopping. You'll soon be styling and mixing up your vintage pieces like Rachel Zoe.
  • Always shop bigger when in love or in doubt, but never shop smaller (yes, this goes for you Mad Men addicts too, spilling out and hugging curves is far different than looking like a sausage tube). The point is not to extend your bad habits of over consumption for the sake of impulsion. Yes vintage is a wonderfully magical world of first dates that woo you, but if that first date doesn't fit you right, bringing it home would make for an awkward next morning. So tame the beast and stick with pieces that truly fit, and when all else fails, larger sizes can usually be tailored down beautifully.
  • As a novice, build your collection of vintage by reigning in the basics. That's why Spring 2013 trends is the quintessential place to begin. You can never go wrong with geometric, florals, leather, and lace so long as it fits your aesthetic. Don't abandon your personal style for trends, but rather let the timeless nature of them steer you in a direction of effortless style. It makes mixing a piece of cake. I'm no Nicole Richie, so I tone down by bohemian collectibles with denim motorcycle jackets or pair 80s padded blazers in neon brights with frilly white dresses as you saw yesterday in this post. Feel revvin to give this a whirl? Alright, cancel that trip to Zara, Mango, H&M, et al, and see if vintage whets your appetite. (<-- you thought I would say something more cheeky there didn't you!)
Note: This took a few hours to put together and I'm happy to curate it if there's even one piece that reflects your tastes and saves you from clicking buy at GAP's latest sale. I included all price points and nothing over $500 for rare/designer, as finer vintage usually seems unattainable, but I have my secret sources where this isn't the case and I'm sharing them just with you.

stripes

lace
leather
90's revival
moschino embroidered tank / galliano body con bandage minidress / guy laroche military coat / versace houndstooth top / alai ribbed skirt / beaded body con minidress


How are you feeling about fast fashion lately? Does vintage and thrift shopping bygone eras that made use of unions, fair wages, and more ethical working conditions seem like a desireable respite?

13 comments

  1. Great article. I love to shop but lately something seems amiss in what's available. And I'm a fashion junkie! But. I love the look of vintage and I do purchase it, as well as wear it, whenever I can. :) Thanks for sharing! I'm looking forward to reading more on your blog.

    Debra@stylewisebydebra.com

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    1. Thanks Debra, glad you enjoyed the read! I'd love to see vintage you've amassed so far :)
      But I very much agree that venturing out to shop sometimes feel completely useless and unfulfilling in terms of what's available these days especially when it comes to chain stores. I'm just so tired of the whole ordeal. I haven't bought NEW items in months.

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  2. thank you for visiting my blog, and nice post, thanks for sharing an inspirational writtings,

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  3. Wow it's actually a good idea to go second hand, I hadn't really thought of it before. I usually buy at fast fashion stores (namely GAP and Uniqlo) either when they stock up a great basic I failed to find in a more sustaibale brand, or when I want to do some style experiments without involving a lot of money. But the second hand option is actually a great way to ally low cost and a level of sustainability. Thanks for the tip!

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    1. Oh you're welcome Kali! I'm so surprised that living where you do buying secondhand isn't a popular mode of shopping. I even dare say that you guys have more markets than we do! Is it mostly antique markets then and not thrift fashion shops? This is really interesting. I was sure most people shopped this way already :)

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  4. Gosh, but I am crushing on you hard right now. LOVE this post! If I had the money, I would buy the striped tank-and-legging combo in a heart beat for our upcoming flat warming!

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    1. Haha, its mutual girl! When is your house warming? Congrats on the move. I move in two weeks. So excited. Guess I need to be planning the same. Oh boy...

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    2. may 31st. Gonna go shopping this week! luckily there are some good vintage places here in Auckland : ) Good luck with your move!!

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    owlspassion.blogspot.com

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  6. Love this post! So digging the floral peplum strapless top, as well as, the yellow floral/lace top---sooo cute!!!

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  7. thanks to provide this such nice information about fashion. you have done great work . and you also gain more information in http://www.shopjessicabuurman.com

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