Out With the New, In With the Old

Regarding women’s clothes and accessories, when you hear the word “vintage” do you instantly think frumpy, out-dated pieces or are you the kind of woman who jerks her head so quickly to look that you nearly strain your neck?? If you’re a vintage lover, you know it!!!

Vintage black frame bag, brocade shoes, belt, & necklace dress up a current Juicy Couture sweater dress.

Vintage black frame bag, brocade shoes, belt, & necklace dress up a current Juicy Couture sweater dress.

For informational purposes, clothing is considered vintage if it’s ten years or older, semi-antique at fifty, and antique at 100. If you love vintage, this is for you. If you think you don’t, read on and maybe I’ll convince you to at least give it a try!

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Vintage bow tie blouse (now called pussy bow) with current BCBGMaxAzria blazer & white skirt for a day in the country.

In a world now overcrowded with mass produced, look-alike, not well made, everyone’s wearing it pieces, vintage is definitely a way to embrace and showcase your individual style. Admittedly, I seek out new designers to have their first or second year lines. If you’re not attending Fashion Week somewhere, a great source for discovering new designers is www.ofakind.com. Also, I do rush to Neiman’s to get my new Chanel bag when the yearly line is introduced – again, these are unique, limited edition pieces. Aside from that, and a few long-standing classic designers, vintage is dear to my heart.

Why? Firstly, they are unique as not many survive because they’re usually donated or just thrown out – pause for gasp!! Secondly, they’re usually very well made with hand stitching, hand sewn beading or appliqués, etc. and usually made in Paris, Milan, London, or the USA. Thirdly, what goes around comes around isn’t just about karmic retribution – it applies to clothing as well. Harper’s Bazaar just released, via email, a tribute to the seventies featuring patterned & print dresses. Several of the designers at this week’s NYFW gave their own nod to the sixties or seventies. Tribute, or just reminding us that fashion, like life, is cyclical?

Vintage pieces can readily be found if you know where to look. I sell, and have bought, many vintage pieces at Poshmark.com (check out my selections at poshmark.com/closet/vacat) – necessary self promotion and extra kudos that mine are one-owner pieces – St. John, Escada, Halston (not Halston Heritage), Valentino, Mackie, and many much less known designer pieces from the seventies and eighties. Also, never underestimate the value of your local consignment stores and estate sales. When mother or grandmother dies, their clothing is usually donated unless there’s a fashionista in the family to save them.

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Frumpy – yes, but with some styling……

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Ordinary “Mom” dress, but……..

Here’s a quick example of how to make vintage your new friend. A twenty-something year old friend of mine wanted something different to wear to a wedding. I asked her about trying a vintage trendy mix and she almost fainted!! I brought out a cornflower blue semi-sheer duster from the seventies. She thought it a bit frumpy. Vintage 7Fast forward to getting her to try it on. Ok, it actually wasn’t that fast! Then I added a belt, bag, and shoes in varying shades of orange. Happy face!! Vintage 6Now that’s how to work vintage into your modern wardrobe. Vintage pieces are always classic, always timeless. Trends come and go, but quality stays. Merge the two and you’ve got a look that will keep people asking, “where did you get your outfit?”