I’ve always been a big vintage lover, but at this time of year, my second-hand wardrobe always enjoys a little renaissance; as the seasons change, so does my style. Yes, I’m dressing for a different temperature but also a different mood. For me, summer conjures up more of a free-spirited energy, one that’s evoked by a calendar filled with holidays, festivals and, therefore, fun and nostalgia. Many of us get a greater urge to travel around now, and for me, this desire for adventure can be seen quite literally in my sense of dress. Where my winter uniform is pared back, every day in summer is an opportunity for expression. One day I may be California Dreaming, wearing of mix of white lace, suede and fringe like a seventies Daisy Jones. Others, I find myself reaching for casual staples like Levi’s jeans and an oversized vintage T-shirt.
Of course, this time of year also brings World earth Day (20th April), which is as good an excuse as any to think about how our fashion choices have an effect on the planet. When it comes to shopping, there’s no denying that buying second hand is the most sustainable. Nowadays, this certainly isn’t limited to car boots sales and eBay (although, for me, there’s really no better to spend a Sunday than rummaging through a car boot or trolling eBay for ’90s Versace, early-00s Prada or Philo-era Celine). We have Vestiaire Collective, which, if you ask any fashion insider, I’m sure they’ll profess just how great it is for luxury finds, and equally good if you’re looking to sell yourself. If you’re a handbag person, The Luxury Closet is the one to head to, with an insane collection of accessories.
Gen-Z’s heightened interest in the planet has caused its own vein of second-hand shopping culture, too. Without any surprise, most of it lives through the eyes of tech and social media–ultimate charity shopping hauls are the source of many TikTok videos, and apps like Depop are the preferred way to shop vintage. FINDS is the latest one, which amalgamates the best part of the likes of Depop with social media. The community-driven digital space allows you to shop an array of second-hand garments as well as handmade pieces from independent sellers, and is a great way to support up-and-coming designers. Once you’ve purchased them, the app encourages you to showcase your ‘finds’ by posting videos of you in them.
As well as the notion that you never know what you might find when hunting for second-hand treasure, the thing I love most about vintage shopping is the storytelling. Not only do most pieces come with a tale on where you found them (usually for me it’s a thrift store I stubbled up on my travels), but their age signifies a history. Sometimes we inherit pieces from family or friends, but other times we buy a piece and will never know its home before ours (and isn’t that magical?!). As a vintage-loving fashion editor, one of the questions I get asked a lot is how to style my favourite pieces.
So, I thought it was time I showed you. Here are some of my best vintage buys, and a lesson in how to style them.
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