With all of the different places us girls can shop for clothes, why should you choose to spend your hard earned cash on clothing that is vintage? That is the question I am going to be answering in this little guide. Yes, it's true that I am a seller of vintage (my eBay shop is called Lullie Vintage Clothing) so I might be a bit biased, but let it be known that I was an enthusiast and buyer of vintage for 20 years before I ever started selling! Below are some well-thought reasons why you should buy vintage!
Classics never go out of style. Period. When we look at the world of fashion we always see echoes of the past and plenty of those echoes are not so subtle. Take a look at almost any runway and you'll see a show filled with fashions that call back to styles from earlier eras. Red carpets are packed with leading ladies wearing vintage gowns. The newest It-girls and socialites are always cavorting about in vintage too. Why is this? As you'll read below, It's for many reasons. Vintage is known as a favorite of visionaries and creative types because simply stated: the hype is justified. Oh, and in case you've got visions of grandma in her rocking chair, vintage doesn't have to mean "old" either! The fashion world is a circle where everything old becomes new again. Because of this, vintage is versatile. It can be up to the minute fresh if you so choose, it's all in how you wear it. Pair vintage items with new accessories or vice versa. Mix and match for an uber-hip look that isn't dated or retro. You can wear vintage to go right along with the current trends or you can make your own trends. Here's just a few reasons why vintage clothing is so great.
Vintage is Unique
Have you ever walked into a party and realized you were wearing the same dress as another girl? We cringe at the thought of this common social misfortune. With vintage you are spared these embarrassing moments because vintage is unique and one of a kind. When you wear a vintage garment you are wearing a rare piece of clothing that very well might be the only one of its kind left anywhere. Vintage fashions are anywhere from 20 - 80 years old. For the most part, these older items were produced in much smaller quantities than the mass produced clothing of today. Let's not forget that out of the small amount that were originally made, most are probably not still around today. This is one of the main reasons why so many Hollywood celebrities wear vintage on the red carpets. Angelina Jolie doesn't want to wear the same thing to this year's Academy Awards that Katy Perry wore to last year's Grammys so stars ask their stylists to find them something one of a kind - something vintage. Wearing vintage assures that you'll stand out from the masses in a trendsetting outfit that accentuates your individuality!
Vintage has a Positive Environmental Impact
Modern girls care about the environment and we should. There is no question that purchasing new clothes has a negative impact on our world - whether it's through harmful emissions or sweatshop labor, the clothing manufacturing process is destructive. Here's a few interesting facts:
1. The average conventional cotton t-shirt takes 150 grams of pesticides to produce.
2. The average westerner's annual clothing purchases account for about 1/2 the amount of Carbon Dioxide emitted by a small car!
3. America throws away two quadrillion pounds of used clothing each year!!! (Insane).
Now those are some crazy stats but here is the good part: when you buy vintage clothing you are RECYCLING. Why not cut down on the negative impact of the fashion industry by picking up some recycled clothing from Lullie Vintage? It's a small way that you can do something for the environment while feeling AND looking good doing it.
Vintage is the Source of Inspiration
It's no secret that lots of the fashion world's top designers liberally borrow many of their styles straight from vintage pieces. It's extremely common for a designer to find a vintage dress, make a pattern from it, and sell it as their own. Industry insiders have always been hip to vintage - and for good reason. There's no better place to borrow from than the classics! I see this often in my own shop too. Rarely a week goes by where Lullie Vintage does not ship at least one garment out to a major fashion company. Take a hint from the pros and buy vintage.
We live in a society of mass produced goods. "Fashions" are churned out of clothing mills in third world countries. These factories make the most garments in the shortest amount of time possible all with inhumane working conditions. Quantity over quality is the name of their game. It's like fast food fashion. This is just not the case with vintage fashions and it shows! Vintage clothing was made with superior expertise, including details, buttons, and flourishes you won't find on today's garments. If you take the time to examine most vintage pieces you'll notice much greater attention to detail in textiles, patterns, textures, stitching, etc. Vintage fashions were designed to last and were sewn by hand. They were built to be passed on to little sisters, not to fall apart. Why pay a bunch for cheap quality? Buy vintage.
Vintage Has History
I love the feeling that vintage clothing has already lived life. Vintage helps to give your style character and a story. When you buy a vintage dress, you are not just getting something that came straight from a factory overseas, to a truck, to a store shelf. You are wearing something that has seen life. Vintage garments are a lot like us modern girls. That cute vintage piece has seen good times and bad times yet survived still looking beautiful and stylish. I love that. So, fashionistas, why not wear a bit of nostalgia? Even if you can't recall your mom's "good old days" or even much of your own early childhood, it can't be denied that playing dress up is still fun! Now who said history isn't enjoyable?
Vintage is an Investment
How many pieces of new clothing can you buy and expect them to keep their value? Unless you are spending a small fortune on haute couture, just like a new car, your clothes lose value the second you take the tag off of them. There is a collectible market for vintage clothing and many pieces have value that raises with time. Not every vintage garment is collectable, but many are. There will never be more 1950's wiggle dresses, 1960's Pucci silks, or 1970's high waisted Levi's bell bottoms made. Because they become harder and harder to find with time they become more valuable as they grow older. Vintage is money well spent!
Celebrities Wear Vintage
Vintage was hip long before superstars started dressing up wearing it, but I still like hearing a big name woman say that she wears vintage. I know that she cares about making a bold statement in her own style and I appreciate that. The growing number of celebrities wearing vintage - whether in their everyday lives or to high profile events - is a trend that seems to be exploding. For all of the reasons I've already mentioned, celebs are keen on vintage. Just a few who are known to wear vintage are: Natalie Portman, Kate Moss, Nicole Richie, Mary Kate & Ashley Olsen, Erin Wasson, Sienna Miller, Agyness Deyn, Gwen Stefani, Charlize Theron, Julia Roberts, Eva Mendes, Chloe Sevigny, Nicole Kidman, Karen Elson, Rachel Bilson, Katy Perry, Zoe Kravitz, Theodora Richards, Kate Bosworth, Mischa Barton, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Lou Doillon, and Angelina Jolie. You don't have to be a star to wear vintage, but then again, many vintage pieces cost much less than celebrity prices so you CAN dress like a star for cheap!
So there you have it. I'd say there are quite a few good reasons why you should doll yourself up in vintage. So what are you waiting for? Shop Vintage! Oh yeah, before I forget...
A Quick Note About What Vintage is NOT
There's a growing trend these days of labeling things "vintage" that are simply NOT vintage. We've all seen boys wearing new t-shirts that have an aged look (many of these have rock band logos on them). Lots of popular stores sell brand new items that are made to look old or items that blatantly appear as if they are from another time period. New items made to look old are not vintage. Vintage does not mean "retro." If you see a new tag on something - chances are it's not vintage. It might LOOK like vintage at a quick glance but it's like those Louis Vuitton bags for sale on New York street corners for $10. There's nothing like the real thing. You'll know the difference.
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