Wednesday, March 18, 2009
What Recession?: Vintage Shopping 101
Okay so the recession is very real but I refuse to moan and groan about it. That old saying about the happiest people not having the most of everything but rather making the most of what they do have couldn't be more timely. And it applies to how we dress as well.
Enter vintage shopping. Vintage has been "hip" for a minute now but folks are looking to vintage and secondhand (or third or forth) even more to make a dollar stretch. Um, keeping your home off the foreclosure block or ensuring Junior stays at University is more important than a new Gucci purse, right????
But I know many people are intimidated by vintage shopping. So, I dug up an article I penned for a custom published mag nearly 4 years ago on vintage shopping. Here are a few highlights:
*The first lesson on vintage shopping is to understand exactly what it is. Constance White, fashion expert and style director for eBay explains, "A garment generally has to be at least 10 years old for it to be considered vintage."
*The best vintage items are probably right under your nose, or in your attic. Search through Grandma's chest and you just might uncover the perfect little clutch you've been looking for. Remember this post about shopping in your own closet?
*If you're saving your pennies (Who isn't these days?), stay away from vintage stores in places like NYC's Soho or Washington's Georgetown. Vintage doesn't always mean inexpensive and touristy areas usually mean higher price tags. Instead, opt for Goodwill, Salvation Army, garage/yard sales and flea markets off the beaten path.
*Fret not if you don't strike gold on your first vintage adventure. It might take a few visits to the same store before you land that must-have item.
*Before determining whether you really have a bargain, check for missing buttons, permanent stains and other damage like rips. Only you can know for sure if the repair costs will be worth it in the long run.
*Wearing head-to-toe vintage is quite a challenge to pull off--even for a vet. Try to stick to mixing elements of vintage into your existing contemporary wardrobe. The result is more likely to be modern and sophisticated than dated and weird.