Source: Aiseirigh Vintage
You have misconceptions about vintage fashion.
There, I said. Chances are if you’re reading this post right now, you’ve fallen prey to believing one of the misconceptions outlined here. Not because you dislike vintage, but rather because vintage is represented in mainstream media as a facet of fashion that’s only enjoyed by a select few creative enough to successfully find, buy and style it.
Well, I’m tired of being “one of the select few” who benefit from the virtues of vintage. I want everyone to join the party! That’s why I decided to write an e-book demystifying the stereotypes behind vintage by proving just how easy shopping vintage online truly is.
The 100 Best Vintage Shops Online proves why vintage fashion is accessible for every single woman to enjoy, and not just a special club of insiders, for occasions that call for a costume or dare I say, by “outcasts” looking to differentiate themselves from the mainstream.
Vintage fashion is for every woman – especially you. Did I forget a misconception about vintage? Have your own two cents to add to my thoughts?
Misconception #1: Vintage is just for older people
Because vintage clothing wasn’t made today and includes styles from the ’80s and earlier, it’s falsely assumed that only older people wear it since it was produced during “their era” and not that of the millennial girl.
Vintage is being bought and worn by a younger generation, including celebrity clientele due to its prevalence online.
No matter your age, women of all generations can wear vintage fashion, but thanks to advancements in digital technology a younger generation of fashion lovers are embracing shopping vintage online.
The audience for vintage has also expanded thanks to influences from celebrities like Taylor Swift, Alexa Chung and Chloe Sevigny who are often photographed pairing vintage fashion with their contemporary wardrobes. Taylor Swift has purchased from Etsy shops like Raleigh Vintage and Vera Vague, while I’ve sold vintage firsthand to Alexa Chung at New York City boutique A Little Wicked!
The one-of-a-kind style of vintage helps them to stand out on the red carpet and for editorial photo shoots. When wearing vintage, there’s no chance for “Who wore it better?” photos for these celebs!
But you don’t have to be famous or a millennial to wear vintage. Fast fashion homogenizes the trends, so fashion conscious women differentiate themselves from the crowd with the creative styling vintage offers. If you’re tired of owning the same garments as everyone else, the uniqueness of vintage means you can be the sole owner of a style that everyone can love, but only you can have!
Since a growing number of women are embracing vintage, stores like Violetville Vintage use fresh, vibrant models to showcase their styles and attract the widest audience possible. The best stores curate of-the-moment styles and often style garments on class-A models to give you an idea of how to pair them with your wardrobes.
So whether you’re a teenager or a seasoned vintage lover, these shops offer the most appealing presentation that’s hardly considered “old-fashioned.”
Misconception #2: Vintage is for costume parties…
…or for people just looking to stand out in a crowd.
Vintage clothing is often purchased for disco-themed parties, celebrity costumes and Bettie Page pin-up girl emulations. The people that wear these “WOW!” standout pieces get all the attention and perpetuate the stereotype that vintage is only for creative dressers. Having a unique style myself, I’m guilty as charged of this! But that’s just me – it doesn’t have to be you.
Vintage offers an assortment of everyday staples that won’t draw raised eyebrows.
Vintage fashion offers flattering styles, modern trends and classic staples to suit any woman’s taste. Everyday garments (coats, boots, blazers), collectible accessories (costume jewelry, valuable gems, heirloom pieces) designer collections (Chanel, Pucci, YSL) and of-the-moment trends (often inspiring the runways) are all available vintage.
Allen Vintage, which I refer to as the “J.Crew for vintage” in my book, specializes in offering the classic garments every woman needs in her wardrobe.
Black blazers, leather riding boots and fitted cashmere coats are just some of the functional pieces in vintage shops that can be easily incorporated into your everyday wardrobe since you need not stress how to “style” it.
Misconception #3: Vintage is out of style
Since vintage clothing is technically 20 years or older, it’s “out of style” because these garments were originally popular in the past.
Vintage fashion of yesterday inspires the new styles of today.
So I’m going to let you in on a little secret: The most sought after designers today buy vintage to use as inspiration for their collections, often duplicating a specific aspect of a garment’s pattern, color, shape or decorative embellishment.
For example, this season’s runways were all about ‘60s mod. Designers like Louis Vuitton, Michael Kors and Moschino showed collections of pop art design, color block prints, mini skirts and more as inspired by vintage style from the 1960s.
Aiseirigh Vintage appeals to the contemporary fashionista with mod dresses and denim rompers that you’d see new in the stores this season. Compare this ‘60s-inspired graphic print dress from Jones New York and denim romper from Victoria’s Secret to the styles shown here. See the resemblance?
So don’t let the word “old” fool you. What goes around comes around, and oftentimes you’re buying vintage-inspired garments new in the store anyway. So why not be original and get the real thing?
Misconception #4: Vintage shops are like thrift stores.
Vintage clothing is secondhand, so online vintage shops are set-up like brick-and-mortar thrift stores which sell secondhand clothing in mass quantities at prices far below their original value.
Shopping vintage online is no different than shopping your favorite contemporary brand.
While brick-and-mortar thrift stores offer cheap goods packed tightly on dozens of racks, online vintage shops edit their collections to manageable sizes and professionally present garments as styled on models, mannequins and shot with professional equipment and lighting.
Thrift stores accept donated clothing and sell everything to customers who aren’t afraid to spend hours digging for what they like. Vintage store owners visit multiple sources for the best inventory so that they can thoughtfully curate only garments of top quality and modern appeal for their shops.
Thrift stores don’t merchandise garments to reflect the trends. The best vintage shops present inventory like a mainstream brand would, styling garments on models or mannequins and selling similar styles to what you’d see new in the stores today.
Take American Archive for instance, an eBay shop which curates a focused collection of boho and Southwest American styles for customers who prefer the airy, breezy feel of this fashion genre. Like all shops featured in the 100 Best Vintage Shops Online, American Archive’s inventory is presented with quality photography and thoroughly described by material, design and size. Price and shipping cost is clearly visible, and if you have a question about a garment, store owners are easily accessible via an internal messaging system (on Etsy or eBay) or via e-mail.
Since vintage shops consider themselves mini brands, shopping vintage online is as easy as visiting your favorite e-tailer and clicking “buy.”
Misconception #5: Vintage fashion won’t fit me.
Women have changed in size over the years. Thanks to advancements in health, we’re taller and thanks to influences from fitness fanatics like Jillian Michaels, we’re also stronger! These two variables make it more difficult to shop vintage because in order to know whether a garment truly fits, you need to know your body’s measurements.
Vintage ranges in all shapes and sizes, plus size agnostic items like vintage bags, hats, and jewelry fit every woman no matter her body type.
Knowing whether a garment will fit you is as easy as reading its description. Online sellers measure garments and list their bust, waist, hips and inseam measurements so that you have the most information to determine whether that piece will fit and flatter you.
Since vintage covers all the eras and trends, there’s an even greater universe of clothing to choose from than you may find at a contemporary store. While the styles of the ’40s-’60s (mid-century) tended to be fitted to a woman’s body, beginning in the ’70s, women’s clothing styles became looser and more casual. Some vintage shops, like Twitch Vintage, specialize in ’70s, ’80s and ’90s clothing of more relaxed styles and varied sizes.
So while a fitted ’50s dress may only fit a particular body type, the less body conscious styles of more recent eras from the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s (which tend to carry more mainstream sizes, too) are equally as available and as time progresses, will become an increasingly larger part of the vintage marketplace as older styles become harder and harder to find.
And for women who still struggle to find vintage clothing in their size, the good news is that there’s a huge world of vintage accessories where size is not a requirement to wear! Bags, shoes, jewelry and hats are just a few examples of how every single woman can add a touch of vintage to her wardrobe without fear of proper fit or whether she’s styled it successfully.
Happy vintage shopping!
Buy the book, the 100 Best Vintage Shops Online now!