Nothing beats the thrill of finding a perfectly tailored polyester dress, sans stains, rips, or missing buttons, and for less than $15. I still wear the same three-quarters length, fur collared, heavy wool coat I found years ago at a thrift store in Phoenix, Arizona, pulled from a "$5 or less" bin with a $3.50 cardboard price tag stapled through the front of it.
While not all of my wardrobe is strictly vintage, it is definitely a major staple (no pun intended) that I incorporate with my clothes from this century, and, as these Polaroid fashionistas will attest, so can you. Vintage fashion can be found on the streets of New York City, as well as a thrift store in Paris, a vintage store in New Orleans, and a second-hand store in Cleveland. Fellow lovers of all things vintage, Unite!
Megan, 25, Ad Promo Assistant
Where'd you get that? I think this dress is probably from a thrift store in Cleveland (second-hand, not specifically vintage). I get my best clothes there when I'm home visiting my family. Cleveland thrift stores are a lot cheaper than New York boutiques, and have so much more variety. I'm sure that this dress cost under $3.00, and it's so well made! The cameo was my grandmother's and I put it on a piece of ribbon.
Why vintage? I used to be pretty fanatical about only wearing clothes that were uniquevintage or homemade. I saw my clothing as part of a costume or theme for the day, and put a lot of effort into the fit of clothes/hair/accessories/makeup. I've gotten a lot more lax, to the point where I can actually leave the house in jeans and a T-shirt, but I still like standing out from the crowd a little.
Is there any nostalgic value in it for you? There is some nostalgia in wearing clothes or accessories that belonged to my mother or grandmother, but beyond that I also like the fact that you can get pretty different cuts of dresses when you go back a few generations. The silhouette of an ideal woman has changed quite a bit over the years, and I think older dresses can be more flattering in a lot of instancesmore allowance for curves. The variety of fabrics, textures, and patterns, in addition to the cut and style of vintage clothes, make them special. I like to feel a little in costume when I go out. It's sad that more men don't wear vintage because there are few things more attractive than a dapper suit that fits.
Does it spill into your home, music, or other lifestyle choices? I guess I've always had a hodgepodge of different eras represented in my décor and musical tastes. I'm definitely no purist. I admire people who can dedicate themselves to a certain decade and stick to itlike those heavily involved in the swing scenebut my tastes are much too varied to pin down. In general, I love 40s fashion and 60s music, and anything with a lot of color or verve. So my décor, etcetera, is an amalgam of modern and vintagejust things I love and want to be surrounded by.
Do you ever get comments, good or bad, on your appearance? I get comments a lot. Almost always positive. I think people are happy to see something a little different, bright, quirky. A dress like this is a little unusual and unexpected, but nothing shocking.
Describe your look, vintage or otherwise, in five words or less. Hopefully: edgy, memorable, droll, eccentric, fun.
Fred, 39, Marketing Director
Where'd you get that? Vintage store, New Orleans. I like to check out Salvation Army shops and tag sales when traveling. They're usually cheaper than New York City.
Why vintage? It prevents me from looking too homogeneous. With the proliferation of Gaps and Banana Republics everyone looks the same.
Is there any nostalgic value in it for you? There is some nostalgia tooI loved the wackiness of fashions in the 70s.
Does it spill into your home, music, or other lifestyle choices? Yes it spills into the home and other aspects of my lifestyle too. My partner and I have an affinity for mid-century modern furniture and knickknacks. We find stuff on the street being thrown out. We recently picked up a cool club chair with nubby orange upholstery. Another great find was a standing ashtray. I collect orange glass from the 50s to the 70s. One of my favorites is an art glass orange cigarette lighter. Since smoking is so unpopular, you can get great ashtrays cheap.
Do you ever get comments, good or bad, on your appearance? People generally compliment me on my clothing choices and ask where I got this or that. They might even say, "I really like that shirt," or sweater.
Describe your look, vintage or otherwise, in five words or less. Stoned professor.
Karen, 28, Musician
Where'd you get that? Thrift store. In Paris.
Why vintage? Is there any nostalgic value in it for you? Definitely! I find the uniqueness and history of vintage clothes exciting. Clothes are little pieces of my identity, they can be very important to me.
Does it spill into your home, music, or other lifestyle choices? Sure. Wacky and random can definitely be applied across the board.
Do you ever get comments, good or bad, on your appearance? Usually, the worse I try to look, the better the comments. If I spend a long time getting all spiffed up, silence... Slightly dirty and moderately unkempt are where it's at, apparently.
Describe your look, vintage or otherwise, in five words or less. Out-of-control meets control freak.