I thought I would start this second blog post with another pop culture reference by saying “Hello, it’s me…”. Granted, that one is a little bit lazy, but let me know if you know what song it’s from and who sings it in the comments. Hint: she is one of my favourite artists. Today I wanted to talk about a clothing resource that is often forgotten, but is very near and dear to my heart, vintage clothing. Vintage clothing is any garment that is originally made at least 20 years prior to present day. I know what you are thinking, eww, I don’t want to wear old, smelly, previously worn clothing, let alone pay a motza for it! And I hear you, but I am hoping that by the end of this post, you will have a much more favourable view on the subject and might just investigate adding some vintage pieces to your own wardrobe. Fingers crossed!
Let’s start with the pros because I don’t know about you, but I always like to hear the good news first. Vintage clothing is not mass produced, meaning the time was taken to make sure it stands the test of time. Clothing these days, unfortunately, isn’t made like it used to be. We are living in a world of fast fashion, where clothes are made poorly and to be thrown out and replaced after a season or two if you’re lucky. Aussies send a cringe worthy 85% of their textiles to landfill! Wearing vintage is essentially like going green. So, as well as ditching the plastic straws and memorising your recyclables, you can also do your bit for the environment by opting for vintage.
You will also never have to worry about having the awkward “twinning” moment while you are out as your vintage item is a one of a kind, collectable piece. You can even go as far as to say it’s an investment. If kept in good condition, your historical garment will only increase in value. There’s a new excuse you can use to justify your shopping bags to your partner, “What did you do today love?”, “Oh, just some investing”.
Now for the cons. Yes, vintage clothing is more expensive, but you get what you pay for. You are getting a high quality, one of a kind, collectors item that feels a lot more special than the rest of your 21st century wardrobe. I feel like I am in an infomercial and should be adding that if you buy now you can receive a free scrunchie. Get in quick, only the first 100 callers are eligible for this deal! Sorry, where were we…oh vintage cons, but not the Ned Kelly kind.
Vintage clothing can be hard to find. You would be very lucky to find a gem while trawling through the endless racks of the Salvos. Online stores you may have heard of, they’re kind of a big deal, eBay and Etsy, are teeming with vintage pieces. ASOS Marketplace is also great, however if you are local, Wandering Merchants do all the work for you as an independent retro and vintage dealer. Which is where I got my first vintage piece. (I know, what a segue!)
Cue story time with Hayley. Second to fashion is my love of music, especially live music. The cream of the crop is music festivals as it combines unique, individualised fashion with epic music in the one place. My best friend and I were at Yours and Owls music festival in Wollongong last year. We spent the afternoon seeing some amazing bands, however, as the sun started to sink behind the mountains the temperature started to drop so we took refuge in the toast tent. A tee-pee style tent that supplied free toast, personalised poetry, a ball pit and DJ’s, it was as excellent as it sounds.
We stayed until it was time to venture out of our haven for the next live act we wanted to see. The task seemed insurmountable as we were cold and tired and well aware that we had another 6 hours to get through. As we stepped out of the tent, like a mirage in the desert, there was the Wandering Merchant’s stall with racks of jackets which promised the benefits of a star in Mario Kart, invincibility! (I hope at least one person gets that reference). It was only the second jacket I tried on and it was like it was made for me and my current outfit. It’s a 1980’s suede, fringe, Tramway jacket in near perfect condition. It was $265, and I bought it without hesitation, ecstatic to finally own an authentic vintage piece! I know, my friend thought I was crazy too, and you’re not wrong, I drop money on clothes before you have the chance to say, “How are you going to pay your bills?”, but with vintage I am even more justified.
Like I said, at the risk of sounding like a broken record, it’s amazing quality and is going to be in my wardrobe for years, it’s an investment and is only going to increase in value but it’s a collectable that you can wear! And its owning a piece of history that no one else has, and to me, that’s priceless. In case you were wondering, my friend got a jacket as well and we went on to have one of the best nights of our lives!
For the festival, I was wearing a black bodysuit with studded, velvet, bell bottom pants, which I know are a little out there but were perfect for this occasion and I am loving the fact that 70’s fashion is back. I was also rocking my precious baker boy cap that as you know, I am in love with. So, this outfit in particular, was almost crying out for a vintage, suede, fringe jacket. However, you can easily mix and match your vintage clothing with your more modern ones to create a unique and interesting look. I have styled the jacket a second time with a simple gingham dress and black heels to turn a summery dress into a cool evening look.
Vintage clothing is not something to fear, it’s a viable option for the future, especially as fashion always does a 360 and comes back in style again every couple of years anyway. I hope this has given you a new understanding of vintage and I look forward to hearing about you raiding your mum or grandma’s wardrobes and fighting me for a vintage piece at Wandering Merchant’s. Happy vintage hunting and ill see you next week with another blog post.
Love Hayley x
Photographer- Adara Neradil