my outfit - floral dress :: prabal gurung x target | lace up boots :: forever 21 | tights :: forever 21 | messenger bag :: maurice's | necklace :: rue 21
A few snapshots from the Vintage Whites Market, held at the Utah State Fairgrounds here in Salt Lake City a few weekends ago, as well as an inventory of my fantastic haul from the event and the obligatory self-outfit-portrait. Spent less $$$ than a day at the mall, had more fun and the options were much more interesting than anything found in a chain store. Please don't misunderstand - I heart my Forever 21 and H&M - but vintage is definitely the best way to go when searching for those truly unique statement pieces that will make your wardrobe stand apart.
I've been perusing vintage racks since I first discovered fashion blogs (let's just say it's been a while), though I rarely make a purchase. In my mind, a vintage item is a treasure - it should be a thing of beauty, even in its age (which it should show in a ladylike way). Everything has a story to tell, and good vintage pieces have the best ones. As I grow increasingly bored with my wardrobe, I've found myself gravitating more and more frequently towards the vintage pieces I currently own. I suspect I will be adding to this collection heavily this spring.
Some tips & hints for newbie vintage shoppers:
- Vintage usually refers to something made or manufactured at least 10 years ago.
- Check pieces over carefully for flaws - hems and seams of clothing, hinges and lining of purses, clasps and hooks of jewelry. Look for missing beadwork, jewels, buttons, stuck zippers, stains, etc., and always sniff any fabric before buying.
- Keep in mind that even flawed or broken items can be given second life. They can usually be repaired on the cheap, or turned into something new (like a single earring into a necklace, or a broken brooch sewn onto a purse as a button).
- Google the brandname on the tag to get an idea of a garment's worth and timeframe, this can help you decide if it's worth the price the vendor is charging.
- Quirky is wonderful, but don't do quirky for the sake of quirky. It should be something you'll want to wear even when you're not trying to impress any fashionista friends.
- If the idea of vintage clothing turns you off, try vintage accessories (jewelry and clutches are my favorite pieces), furniture (usually takes some restoration work, but well worth it) or decor (I'm still hunting for my dream antique jewelry box).
- Vintage items are the closest you can get to purely unique in today's fashion world without handmaking your own clothes. They're a great way to spice up your look while being kind to the environment.
LoveCharles Vintage is by far my favorite online vintage shop; Lily is great and has some truly amazing pieces. Locally speaking, BlueBird Vintage has some beautiful items (my pretty red bag came from their booth at the Vintage Whites Market). What are some of your favorite vintage shops (both online and off)? Share them in the comments, along with your best tips for vintage shopping.