By Noemi Plaza
How good does it feel when someone asks you, ‘where is your jacket from?’ and you answer, ‘pre-loved Vintage!’.
It is exciting to see how once stigmatised vintage or second-hand shopping is becoming a new trend.
The popularisation of second-hand shopping is mainly due to platforms like Etsy, eBay and Instagram connecting vintage shoppers globally, facilitating the sharing of style and buying advise, and making second-hand shopping accessible and attractive. Clare, founder of Retold Vintage agrees,
“I’d like to think a lot of this is down to people’s desire to consume more sustainably as well as this new wave of vintage / second-hand sellers that are making vintage more accessible and desirable.”
Partnerships like Vestiaire Collective and Selfridges marks a turning point in the fashion industry, burying stigmas around pre-loved clothing being old-fashioned or dusty and promoting circular fashion.
What I like most about vintage, apart from its sustainable factor, is the variety of styles you can find. Every curator has their own unique style, but my top 5 favourites are:
Retold has that ‘Celine’ vibe I absolutely love.
‘Less is definitely more for Retold and I’m a minimalist at heart. I lean towards a high-low style so customers can expect a mix of gorgeous tailoring as well as standout items you can pair back with denim. Quality of fabric is really important to me and I will always lean towards silk, cotton, wool and linen. I love the popular designer labels of the 80’s and 90’s such as Escada, Jil Sander, Armani and YSL (..) I like to curate timeless pieces in classic designs I know my customers will love forever.’ Clare Lewis, Founder of Retold Vintage. You can buy Retold here.
Haute is one of those vintage shops where you can always find a unique statement piece that will blend amazingly with your wardrobe, no matter what your style is. ‘The most important thing for me is the quality of the items I sell. Most of the clothes from our selection are made from natural fabrics’ says Gabriele. Haute Vintage is available here.
When asking Clare from Retold and Gabriele from Haute about what inspired their brands, sustainability seems to be the factor in common: “A life-long love of vintage as well as an ever-growing awareness of the environmental impact of the fashion industry. l was turning to vintage more and more as an alternative to buying new and I wanted to inspire others to also do the same,” says Clare.
While Gabriele tells me, “to provide good quality pieces at affordable prices for people who don’t have time to look for vintage pieces themselves in local second-hand shops. And at the same time to make our planet a little better place.”
Our top tips when buying vintage
- Start slow: ‘Start off small by introducing a few pieces into your wardrobe at a time.’ Clare from Retold.
- Pay attention to quality – feel the fabric, look for stains and signs of irretrievable wear.
- Don’t be tempted to buy the label, don’t let that be the main reason you’re buying it. Consider the fit, feel and look of it on you.
- Look out for rework vintage items – sometimes, items are amended to give them a more modern look, e.g. A sweatshirt can be cropped and have elastic sewn at the new hem.
- Don’t pay attention to the sizes – they don’t always reflect the standard sizing for women in the day and age.
- Get it tailored – if you fall in love with something that doesn’t quite fit, remember that it can always be nipped and tucked to make it perfect for you.
Vintage or secondhand shopping it can be daunting in the beginning, however once you start adding unique and high-quality pieces in your wardrobe, you start building up the love for vintage, at the same time that empowers you to be more sustainable.