I love vintage. But not because I have any great nostalgia for bygone eras. I mean, I love fifties and sixties style as much as the next gal, but let’s be honest; those were not great times to be a woman of color. No, I don’t have a lot of love for those eras, but I still love the clothes, as well as clothes from the seventies and eighties, for several reasons.
Back in the day, they used to teach people how to sew more than a terrible, lumpy barely-recognizable-as-a-dog-shaped pillow in Home Economics. Back in the day, they used to teach you how to sew clothes. Therefore, there are a lot of literally one-of-a-kind vintage items to be had. Especially at thrift stores. Many vintage shops only carry labeled vintage, leaving the handmade, only-piece-in-existence pieces languishing on the thrift store rack.
Here are some of my favorite handmade vintage pieces that I’ve thrifted:
And, even when pieces are mass-produced vintage, they still feel like one-of-a-kind pieces because you probably won’t see them on anyone else. And that is always good news because it means you won’t have to fight anyone for wearing the same dress.
I tend to have a more modest style. Sure, the occasional rebellious bra strap sneaks out every once in a while, but for the most part I tend to like my clothes with coverage. It’s not that I don’t think that I’ve got it; I just don’t want to flaunt it to strangers as I ride to work.
And modern clothes can be a little skimpy for my tastes. Maybe I’m getting old, but what passes for a dress nowadays is what I’d consider a shirt, or at most, a tunic. And the shorts? I’ve seen, hell, I own, underwear with more coverage. And speaking of underwear, nothing is lined nowadays, forcing wearers into thong underwear (not great for bike riding) or a slip. And stop with the spaghetti straps and racer backs and one-shoulder looks already! Sometimes a girl just wants to wear a regular, comfortable, non-contortionist bra.
(Wow, that was a rant, wasn’t it? I’m practicing for when I get older and assume my mantle as the most crotchety old person ever. It’s going to be fabulous.)
But, I digress. What I’m trying to say is that I like vintage because it general offers more coverage, and, for me, that’s a priority.
In general, vintage clothes are better made than most of today’s clothing. Or at least the clothing you can get today for a comparable price. A thrifted, vintage item that costs $7.99 is probably going to be higher quality than a fast-fashion piece that costs the same amount, or even three times as much. I have had vintage pieces disintegrate on me from age, but I’ve never had one fall apart from poor construction. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for my fast fashion pieces; I’ve had more than a few fall apart after a few wears.
For my limited budget, I’d rather thrift quality vintage clothes for a few dollars than spend the same amount on something that won’t last.
Easy to Find
Happily, vintage clothes are fairly easy to get ahold of. I’m not saying it’s easier than standard retail, but it is pretty darn easy. Etsy, eBay, vintage stores and thrift stores all offer vintage items and often at reasonable prices.
And there is a huge variety out there. My closet contains vintage coats & furs, more vintage skirts than I need, vintage dresses, clutches, caftans & vintage jewelry. And most of it is from thrift stores and local vintage stores.
Not sure how to tell if something is vintage or not? I suggest you visit Sammy Davis Vintage; her blog is amazingly helpful in determining if something is vintage or if Hot Topic was just having a 70s moment. And, if you’re not sure how to incorporate vintage into your modern wardrobe, Catherine at Not Dressed as Lamb just recently did a great series of posts on the topic.
What about you, Lovely Reader Friends? Are you fans of vintage?
Already Pretty contributor Gracey hails from from Fashion for Giants. She’s essentially your average blogger, except that she’s taller than average (six foot) and bigger than average (size 14). She also likes to think that she’s more amusing than average, but that could just be vanity. In addition to being tall and plus-sized (and possibly hilarious), she’s also a thrift store shopper, a vintage lover, an Oregonian, and a bike commuter.
Likes: Gracey likes to shop, to blog, and to terrify her co-workers with brightly colored outfits.
Dislikes: Robot uprisings, too-short skirts, and leggings as pants.