Is Vintage for You?

I’m sure there are people who are sick of hearing the word vintage. Vintage this, vintage that..the celebrities are wearing more vintage dresses on the red carpet now and even the high street labels have many vintage inspired pieces.

So what can be called vintage?!?! I don’t think there’s a definite answer to that, some fashion experts have different opinions and I do think it’s in the eye of the beholder. For me, if I find the clothes in second hand store or in yard sale that don’t have any high street labels and the style resemble any of the fashion eras before I was born or at least from when I was a little girl, can be called vintage. Hard core vintage collector probably will only consider vintage if there were made before the World War II since mass produced items were started after that.

I discovered vintage stores back in 1997 when I lived in Perth, AU. There were quite a few vintage stores in there, my favorite was the one in the city, some in Fremantle (Fremantle market, Matilda Antique Centre, etc) and also Subiaco area where I used to live. Subiaco is close to the city, but it has an old city charm, I love the flea market there!!. Honestly though, I shopped there not because I appreciate vintage stuff and the history behind them…it was more because of a ‘why not’ factor since the stores were everywhere and I could find some stuff I like that are easy on the wallet, that’s all. I didn’t even care what era the clothes represents. It was also not for the uniqueness or the one-of-a-kind factor..and certainly not for the sake of saying it’s vintage when my friends ask me where I got them because I wouldn’t even tell them I shopped at a second hand store..:D

In here, I visit some thrift stores once a while, unlike in Perth where I bought mostly clothes, I have only looked at the accessories here, mainly the necklaces, the belt, the clutches and the shoes, although I rarely wear the latter. But now, I’ve been venturing to clothes too and have begun to appreciate their value.

I went to some yard sales last Saturday and found many beautiful blouses and dresses in one of the houses that made me almost cry in disbelief. The clothes were unbelievably in perfect condition, and were only priced at $5 the most!!. The owner is a charming old lady who is probably older than my grandma. I could totally imagine her wearing those dresses to go on a date with her husband in the 50s or 60s. I felt like asking her where she got all those dresses, where did she wear these to and what happened then..but of course I was afraid of coming across as too nosy so I just kept quiet and just admiring the dresses. But I really wanted to take a peek of her closet though and see if she has more stuff to sell..:D.

Anyway, there are a few reasons why vintage clothes is growing on me now. Apart from the style, I also love fact that these clothes have been loved before and a part of someone’s life, there’s so much story behind them. They are also a part of history and represents a different era, a different generation..so I feel like a legacy is being passed on to me..

and here are a few more reasons:

One of a kind. If I shop at Zara, GAP, Forever 21 that have stores everywhere and produce the same clothes for their stores around the world, I will bound to see someone wearing the same clothes. This is why one of the rules that I make is when I shop at those labels, it has to look somewhat discreet, I don’t want the popular pattern or style that make people who look at me mumble “itu atasannya kan beli di forever 21 tuh”..:D. That won’t be the case with vintage as it is the only one at the store and the chance for you to see someone wearing the same stuff is almost zero.

Quality. You bet the quality is better than the mass produced items, the structures and the fabric is better. If they have stood the test of time for 30 and 40 years and still look good, I’m sure with proper care, they will still look good when they are being handed down to the next generation.

The style. Well, obviously I don’t buy something just because it’s vintage, but because the style fits me. Not only the style but also the cut, the pretty details and pattern. I also love the modesty that they offer. The fact that they are vintage just make them more appealing and make me feel special when I put them on because people used to look pretty and dressed up everyday, they liked to feel special. Even now that they are old, they still take their appearance seriously and look very well groomed everywhere they go, even if it’s only to the post office or just a quick trip to the bank. People tend to dress up more casually now. I think the only occasion that I still see people get dressed (apart from party or big event) is when they go on Sunday mass that I always see at the all-you-can-eat buffet afterwards.

Cheap!. If you know where to find them that is. If you go to vintage store they are not that cheap, especially if the style is parallel with current trend and especially if it’s designer items. The popular choice is to go to thrift store, not vintage store. Vintage store sells hand-picked items that are genuinely vintage. The store is divided by eras. Thrift store sells used-items that are grouped by colors, so there are a lot of GAP, Banana Republic and everything you would find at the mall. But there’s a good chance that you would find vintage stuff in thrift store. You only need to dig deeper :D, and that’s exactly the thrill of the hunt. The best way is actually the flea market or yard/garage sales.

Personal style. Vintage shopping is a good to develop personal style. When we go to the malls we are bombarded with the current trends, the color of the season, the latest style and everything that is so IN at the moment and without realizing it, our taste is swayed by those stuff they give us. In vintage/thrift store, there’s no telling what’s on trends at the moment, what celebrity is wearing what items..and each of the item in the store is different that make us choose everything carefully..based on only what we love

Anyway, I’m far from vintage expert and I only have a few pieces but this is basically what attracts me at the moment and I realize I still need to educate myself more about this.

How about you? Do you like Vintage? Do you get it or do you find them rather creepy and basically just old stuff that you have no interest about? Either way, please do tell me..=))