I love vintage; to look at, use, and wear old or antique pieces gives me pleasure, and yes, it makes me happy. I’ve always had a passion for vintage items, however, it wasn’t until I became more eco conscientious that I embraced vintage as a way of living. I try to consume in an earth friendly way and find what I need, either vintage or handmade, even fair trade. I also understand that if everyone embraced this lifestyle, the worldwide economy would suffer and the many industries would stumble/crumble - we have created that type of society, but it takes all kinds to make up this planet.
To me, vintage represents a great solution for anyone who wants to do a few minor adjustments in his/her consumption habits. Starting by appreciating a few vintage items,whether furnishings or clothing, is a great way to help the planet. Leather is a good example – there are plenty of vintage leather items that are a great way to prevent the killing of more animals, for fashion purposes. If you - like me, love the leather look and durability, you can look into vintage leather items as a way to save a few animals, and the ones who were sacrificed, would have not died to become an item on a landfill, thus polluting the earth. When I talk about vintage to some people, I find that there are big misconceptions about the term. Here are a few misconceptions.
- All vintage items are old or used - Not necessarily, there is plenty of NOS (new old stock) that has never been worn and has the tags attached. Some of it is stock from stores that closed long time ago or from warehouses.
- Vintage is dirty and smells funny - This is another big misconception and it depends on where and from who you buy the items. There are plenty of vintage boutiques, shops, even upscale ones. Many online shops which cater to vintage fans make sure that these items have been cleaned, laundered, pressed, and given the royal treatment before presenting these items to their customers. When you think about it, these items are probably cleaner than the new blouse hanging at your local department store, as this blouse may have been tried on many times and hanged up in the racks over and over.
- Vintage items are dated, and I will look as if I stepped out of a time machine – Again, it is how you wear and combine these items. If you wear a complete ensemble from the 20′s of course you are going to look as if you stepped out of one, went to a costume party, or are starring in a play. The key is to accessorize vintage or mix and match with more current items. Although, if I happen to like the look (time machine look) I don’t care what anybody thinks of it; I wear it.
- Vintage is dirt cheap and passe - Some pieces are very inexpensive, but others will cost you a pretty $$$, and where do you think designers take their inspiration from? – vintage pieces. Just look at what is being highlighted now (at the writing of this post) on the runways, and get a hint – pleads, 70′s …
- I might pick up germs from wearing vintage - I think microbes and viruses might have died long time ago, besides, it comes down to where and from who you get your pieces.
- I don’t want to look like my grandma - You will not, if you know how to wear vintage, and besides, what’s wrong with the granny look? I see many online sites that cater to the young market carrying the “granny look,” however, they know how to accessorize and mix it up. You can do the same and learn a few tricks from those sites – Ruche, ModCloth … for example.
- Why buy vintage when I can buy new and spend the same? – The answer is a personal one and it comes down to taste and how eco conscientious you want to become – and I say become, because in the end, it is a choice that you make – no one is eco conscientious, you become that way and you choose that lifestyle, in degrees. At first, you start learning and educating yourself, trying a few things and later, you might want to do much more. If you don’t like the vintage approach, you can always buy new from eco-friendly companies that manufacture items using sustainable materials, or you can also buy handmade, fair trade products.
I hope that after reading this post you have a better understanding of what vintage is and can find a new spot in your heart for it, or at least, a new appreciation of it. I hope that you enjoy this post and I leave you with a few pics of my vintage favs.
I call these midcentury shoes my Hemingway shoes.
Circa 1970′s pleated dress
New old stock tortoisse sunglasses