How to buy vintage clothes and not look like old aunties
Since our childhood, many of us were hopelessly charmed by mum’s closet, which hid treasures like: David Bowie’s style jackets, El Charro belts, Hermes foulards and so much more.
Nothing better than wearing her 50s bon ton heels and with her pearls necklaces trying things on in front of the mirror.
Then, growing up, the “inspiration”, why not deepening our research within the house wardrobes?
In my grandmother’s and my great-aunt’s ones I found whole cleaned up shops. It’s been such a magic!
Crocodile, lizard and snake bags, long leather gloves, lace collars, fur coats, fabric umbrellas, Borsalinos…It wasn’t about being a rich family, but just people who kept collecting “beautiful things” on and on and, well, at 90 years old, that closet was obviously packed.
Since then, my passion for vintage kept growing, going to Brick Lane in London, or to Paris flea markets it’s exciting and wonderful, the colors, the fabrics and the elegance in those clothes’ arrangement… up to Italian local markets, where once I bought in Milan a jacket by Ferré for just 5 euros. I remember paying this red woolen jacket hiding its label, I didn’t want them to find out the huge mistake they were making by selling a 70s Ferré for 5 Euros, five!
After this introduction, it is necessary to understand that there is no vintage shopping’s manual, but we can still give you some tips, only a few but golden rules!
– Play dumb, wherever you go and whoever you are with.
Never show you are an expert, never wear a Hermes foulard in your hair just casually there because you were a bit messy that day, never!
The seller has to ignore you know something about vintage, that you collect, and that you crave the item you’re carelessly asking for the price.
– Avoid shops, the merchandise is cleaner, tidier and sizes are more easily found, that’s true. But, what about the stand’s thrill? Pushing the neighbor who is flattering the same item… What about the bazar effect while bargaining a price?
– Always keep your cash separated, in different places of your bag (by the way, use a sloppy Sunday’s shopping bag) and of your trench, so that everything has to cost a maximum of 20 euros (Is 20 ok? It’s all I’ve got!).
But now let’s talk about the main topic: vintage items.
It is of no use to go out with that cream colored Borsalino panama from the 80s fixed in your mind hoping to find it, chance rules here and you will have to be happy with what you find on that shopping day, be it an iconic or just nice item.
Budget is crucial, remember you are not in a proper shop, which means no certificates, taxes, etc., so, unless it’s that Chanel you have always been looking for, it’s better to get back home satisfied with a cheaper piece than with a pair of Gucci sunglasses from the 70s that costed too much and will probably break the first day you wear them.
Make cautious choices if prices are high, while for low ones, pick something from those big baskets where maybe, among 200 Levi’s 501 you’ll find a Trussardi denim fallen down into the “All for 10” basket.
Girls, for vintage lovers like us, there’s one thing you should never forget. It has to become your mantra after a Sunday around the markets and seeing Transpotting or Back To The Future.We would all love to feel like Marty McFly but please, not all at once.
– Match a crocodile bag with a modern bright and colorful dress, add some Saint Laurent at your feet or sneakers, maybe, and you’ll be perfect.
– Just avoid the “démodé granny” concept, what matters is never being banal,
– “spread” some of your vintage closet on your “these days” closet,
– be original. There’s no need to look like you are coming out of a 70s or 80s film, or straight from Grease!