The huge trend right now is wearing vintage clothing. I love this look because everyone can wear vintage clothes, but still have a completely different style from the next guy. Remember, there were different styles back in the 40’s, 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. My grandpa was different than yours (and most likely more badass). Everyone had their own taste, even back then. The other thing about vintage that allows people today to set themselves apart, are the era’s. The 40’s were all about the post great depression luxuries, and clothes were outfitted with more material, more flair, and more drama; the 50’s were cleaner cut, and narrower such as Don Draper from mad men; the 60’s were the Kennedy’s and the modernists; and the 70’s were, well, the 70’s. In 2011, people who want to look like they just came back from Woodstock can run into someone who looks like they just left a speakeasy. Versatility and uniqueness is what vintage is all about.
Hopefully you paid attention to the schooling I just gave you on wearing good “vintage”, because a lot of people these days seem to get it confused with the other trend out there that I refer to as BTS. BTS is what I call clothes that are Beat To Shit. People can still set themselves apart by wearing shit that’s falling apart, but only in the same way a homeless person sets themselves apart from the rest of humanity. There is a huge difference between vintage and BTS. Vintage has tremendous character. Vintage clothes could even have small rips, tears, or stains that add a certain personality to each garment. BTS also has these characteristics, except they are more extreme, almost unusable, inappropriate, and look like shit.
– How to find the good vintage
Now, I truly believe a wardrobe takes a lifetime to perfect, assembling different pieces here and there. Over time, you develop quite the collection. But, after reading my article, the first thing you want to do is copy me, so you’re going to go out and try to do what I just told you to do. Do yourself a favor and start off thrift shopping. Thrift shops, although known to carry ton’s of BTS gear, are often a great place to find a hidden gem or two. I’d also recommend flea markets (not the cheap ones where every other vendor is a toy stand with cheap plastic army men), but ones that come once or twice a month. There you can find stuff that people actually think is worth the haul and the site fee to sell.
– How do you know the difference?
Just remember, if your local “bag lady” had a boyfriend, ask yourself if what you’re looking at is something he would wear. If it’s not, you might be ok.
– What to look for?
Look for stuff that you like (as long as you have style). Try to be original. Don’t go out and buy a vintage blazer just because it’s vintage and a blazer. Make sure it fits with how you want to present yourself to the world.
– Value of the brand
“Brand whores” miss out on amazing opportunities to step up their style game with lesser known designers, but when it comes to vintage merch, brands play a vital role. There’s a reason those brands have lasted as long as they have. Perseverance. And you don’t persevere by making ugly shit. 99.9% of the time you can’t go wrong with a nice fitting Christian Dior jacket, or distressed Ferragamo loafers. Not saying to only go name brand, but if you come across a well known designer that fits well, chances are it’s a good find.
– Don’t buy BTS
When you go to Nordstrom to find some nice blue jeans, you don’t look for jeans that are falling apart (unless you live way back in 2007). You want clean, crisp, and trig. You need to apply the same concept to finding vintage levi’s or anything else for that matter. Remember, you’re trying to look BETTER.
Bottom line is, buy gear that’s going to class you up. You’re not going to improve your look by buying tattered clothes that don’t fit well. You want the modern day quality with the vintage look.