Apr 29, 201405:30 PMAn Element of Style
For me, fashion and vintage clothing have always walked hand in hand. As a child, I loved dressing up, but a limited budget prohibited me from frequenting more expensive and more popular shopping venues. As I grew older, my emulation of current trends via used finds transformed instead into the pursuit of the unique and unusual. I had always had a natural penchant for the retro look and finally stumbled into my first vintage store at the age of fourteen. And it’s without a doubt that I’ve been hooked on vintage ever since. On a surface level, it may be easy to assume that this passion is simply a basic materialistic pursuit in the fashion department. However, there is more to vintage than meets the eye. If you’ve never experimented with wearing older clothing, then I proudly present you with these three good reasons why you should give vintage a try:
Vintage clothing is excellent in quality. There is a reason that these clothes have lasted this long. Most typical vintage stores carry a selection ranging from the 1940s-1980s, meaning that these items have survived up to seventy-five years. Garments made in the contemporary world are simply not made to last. How many times have you purchased a basic blouse or tee shirt at your local mall store, only to discover a hole in it a few short months later? Over time, the ratio of physical damage to vintage clothes as opposed to modern pieces is drastic. The care and quality with which vintage garments were constructed lies stark in comparison to the mass overseas factory production of today’s typical fashion industry. An everyday garment from the 1960s prevails over an everyday garment from 2006. The only contemporary genres of clothing production that hold a candle to the quality of old-time construction are hand crafted items and certain high end designer brands… which brings us to my second exaltation of vintage.
Vintage clothing is very affordable. The high prices of certain items in a vintage or antique store may seem intimidating. However, when you compare the quality and construction to contemporary pieces, you’re actually getting a far more satisfactory deal. Hand crafted and designer items almost always exceed the price tag of vintage pieces. Anything that you see at your local arts fest, craft market, or holiday bazaar has hours of painstaking attention and detail put into it and will hence usually cost a pretty penny. And it is without question that most upper crust designer items of top-notch quality will do a significant amount of damage to the contents of your piggy bank. The beauty of purchasing a vintage item is that it is a financial investment. Unlike hand made or designer items, vintage pieces typically only exceed in value over time. There is no other fashion industry that gives you the freedom to thus recycle your wardrobe.
In addition to being both durable and affordable, vintage is most notably unique. In comparison to most modern day fashions, you can reach a whole new level of artistic appeal if you fill your wardrobe with vintage pieces. Walk into any “normal” store and you might happen to see a selection of desirable items. However, keep in mind that for every cute dress you run into at your local mall, there are usually half a dozen identical pieces hanging on the rack behind it. What’s the fun of purchasing something that you know other people will be wearing? It’s much more exciting to come across a one-of-a-kind find. In my own personal experience, I have developed an almost spiritual connection to the acquirement of favorite vintage pieces. There is a reason such magnificent garments end up in our hands. When you shop vintage, it takes far more time an effort to obtain the perfect item than making a sojourn to the mall. It may be drastic to compare the acquisition of vintage clothing as an outpouring of blood, sweat, and tears, but it is not far from reality.
When you surround yourself with vintage garments, it becomes easier to feel more deeply enriched as a person. Not only are your clothes aesthetically pleasing, but they are of high quality construction, act as long term wardrobe investments and will guarantee that you stand out from the general crowd. If you feel wary delving into the realm of used clothing, you don’t have to start off with a head-to-toe vintage ensemble. Dip your toe into the water with one vintage piece at a time. The rest is fashion history.