There are plenty of reasons to justify investments in previously adored merchandise. Fortify your decisions to choose used with these brilliant bits of truth.
1. Be unique.
If you opt to wear vintage, are you ever at risk for cookie-cutter couture? Au contraire, my dear—you demonstrate your independence and flair. You can set yourself apart from the crowd by reaching back in time to reclaim and celebrate fashion, home decor and collectibles of all kinds. When you fill your home with vintage treasures, guests will ooh and aah as they walk down memory lane. You can mix and match centuries while creating a look that's uniquely yours.
2. Get hand-crafted quality.
The term "vintage" covers a lot of turf, but it often spells higher quality. For instance, back in the day, American-made merchandise was prized around the world for its workmanship.
Industrialization meant automated production for many items that were once lovingly made by hand of only the finest materials.
Mass production has diluted quality, as has off-shore manufacturing that takes advantage of cheaper labor and materials.
There's something reassuring about a tag that tells you a human being took care to see that your merchandise was well made.
3. Decrease landfills.
Seriously, people, we have all that we need in this world already. You just have to find it! Whether you're looking for something sick to wear or amazing to adorn your home, it already exists. When you pop for goods that have been around the block but have life left in them, you're doing your part to diminish landfills. Buying used items is the ultimate form of recycling.
4. Claim a piece of history.
There's a lot of good juju in redeeming an item that might otherwise be cast off. It feels good to breathe new life into an object that another person no longer has a use for. And when you buy something that has lived for a while, it has a story to tell. You're connected to another place and time. Damn, that's deep.
5. Support a small business.
Most of us who ply the trade of reselling are small business owners, so your dollars go to support mom and pop shops rather than corporate execs in their corner offices. If you like to contribute to our thriving entrepreneurial society versus the Walmartification of America, then by all means buy vintage. You can find curated treasures from sellers like us online, via our own websites or selling platforms such as eBay and Etsy as well as in brick-and-mortar stores, flea markets, pop-up shops and more.
6. Enjoy the journey.
There’s a vintage crowd in every decade. I was a lone wolf among my peers when I started wearing old beaded sweaters in junior high school in the mid-seventies. I had a decent collection of vintage hats at the time too. Though my wardrobe choices have changed over the years, I’ve never lost my appreciation for vintage swag.
It’s interesting to consider what’s behind the decision to wear vintage clothing. What motivates you to search for an a-line skirt when pencils are all the rage? Or to rock a vintage bowling shirt with someone else’s name embroidered on the pocket?
Here are my thoughts about who embraces vintage style. Can you relate?
You’re an individualist. You don’t need to look like everyone else. In fact, you like assembling one-of-a-kind looks. You enjoy the fashion of another era, regardless of the current fashion trends.
You’re nostalgic. You long for the days when clothes were made with natural fabrics and had a classic formality—pleated, cuffed pants, collars with stays, lined dresses, longer hemlines and blouses with darts. And even though you’re not a stickler for rules, you’re tickled by the notion that, once upon a time, no one would dream of leaving the house without a hat on their head.
You like quality. Vintage fashion can stand the test of time because so many early clothing items were made using the highest quality materials. The Made in USA label is coveted for the quality it represents.
You believe in reincarnation. In your world, clothes are not just inanimate objects. They have a soul and represent a piece of our collective history. In your wardrobe, they get a new life until they are passed on to the next closet.
You have a sensible side. After all, why pay full price when gently pre-owned and aged to perfection will do? In today's world, unless you’re buying couture (and that's hardly sensible if you need to stick to a budget), it can be hard to find well-crafted clothing.
What inspires your vintage style? Please share, then check out the fashion sections in our Cool Vintage Finds Store on eBay. The gender labels provide a general guide to what's inside. Visit Clothes for Her, Belts, Shoes & More for Her, Clothes for Him, Belts, Shoes & More for Him, Primo Handbags & Purses and our Denim Corner. You'll find more recent items mixed in with our vintage selection, just to keep things fresh and unexpected.
Learn about our recent discoveries and what captures our imagination in this blog, then peruse the treasures in our Cool Vintage Finds Store on eBay.
Brought to you by...
... Susan Buie, writer by day, vintage curator and co-proprietor of the Cool Vintage Finds Store on eBay in all the moments in between.