Monday, December 13, 2010

For the Love of Vintage

EVER SINCE my parents taught me the word "discount", I knew I was destined to save and scrimp my pretty pennies. If it were up to her, my mom would never even throw out the expired ketchup packets she swiped from Mickey D's many moons ago. My parents always bought the best for me and my sister, but their garage sale-going ways somehow stuck with me to this very day. Ever the collector, one of my favorite hobbies is estate-examining, Goodwill hunting, and flea-market frequenting.

Centerpiece floral bowl by Haeger, $13.

Tribal purse from India, $10. 
Tooled leather purse from Africa, Brahmin purse, from Momsy.

80's textured turquoise cocktail dress, $35.

70's purple pleated dress, $6.

Reasons to Shop Vintage:
  • Unique! Vintage is a euphemism for OLD, aka not current! Trendsters need not read on; for nonconformists, it means you're way less likely to see anyone else with the same thing.
  • Affordable... most of the time. Most of the time pre-loved items are cheaper because they're secondhand. Some vintage items can be much pricier if they are antiques. I take precautions and wash or dry clean items before wear, and I don't buy things where the ick factor, whether real or imagined, is just too great--like shoes, socks, or lingerie.
  • Reuse, reduce, recycle. Instead of buying something new, why not scour the thrift shops first? Buying secondhand means conserving natural resources used in the production of a new item, like fuel for shipping or energy to produce. Furthermore, pollution (factory emissions, dumping of dyes or chemicals) is not an issue, and you are saving those items from going into a landfill. If you are interested, look into popular stores like Buffalo Exchange or Crossroads Trading Co. that allow you to buy and trade in used clothing.
  • The hunt! I get an adrenaline rush haggling and scoring awesome deals, waiting with baited breath to hear a counteroffer. I also enjoy talking to the seller about the history of the item because it lends a more personal quality to what I'm purchasing.