When I was a kid, the thought of buying clothes, jewelry or accessories that had been previously worn by someone else was a concept reserved for those living in the hardest of circumstances. Think thrift stores and old ladies pushing shopping carts around the streets.
How times have changed. Today, people sport their vintage clothes in the same way that automotive enthusiasts love to be seen out in their vintage cars. And to suggest that there is anything wrong or second rate about the clothes because they are not brand new seems as ludicrous as saying an E-Type Jaguar is substandard because it is 50 years old.
The march of technology
In some ways, technology is responsible for this shift. Internet auction sites make it easier to trade pre loved items than ever before. The obvious example is eBay, where individuals and companies can all trade with one another in the world’s largest sales community, but there are other specialist sites available too.
A case in point is rosss.com, where you can see a huge range of preloved jewelry. Now, this is an area where there are some amazing bargains to be had. The beauty of jewelry is that it is, to a large degree, timeless. So while you can celebrate the “vintage” nature of clothes and their retro look, with a good quality piece of jewelry, there is no way of knowing whether it is new or old. Quality always shines through.
A whole new industry
The online revolution that has sparked such an enthusiasm for all things vintage has spread into the physical world too. Take a look in any town, and you will see shops selling preloved records, games, books, jewelry and, of course, clothes. Lots and lots of clothes.
Choose your era, choose your style
For anyone with a touch of imagination and flair, this spells amazing news. Suddenly, you don’t just have today’s fashions to choose from. You have every moment from the last 50 years or more to draw upon. Classic 50s housewife, 60s flower power, 70s rock chick or 80s big hair and shoulders?
In the 21st century, anything goes, and with such a broad range, you can mix and match to create a look that is uniquely yours.
Buy and sell
The other great thing about the new dynamic in pre loved clothes and accessories is that you are suddenly in a position where you can change whole swathes of your wardrobe every season without causing your spouse or bank manager to drop down with heart failure.
Take a look once or twice a year, and perform a wardrobe cull. You can either post the items you no longer need on eBay or ThredUp, or simply take them to your local vintage clothing store. Once you get known in there, they will probably offer you a good exchange deal.
The vintage clothing boom has made fashion both more exciting and more affordable than ever. Give it a try, you will love it!