As a consumer that consciously seeks to make sustainable lifestyle choices every day, one of the most basic mindsets to stick to, is purchasing deliberately. Purchasing deliberately means buying products that offer some long-term value. It’s about paying for quality and seeing the true value of ‘slow’ products in order to curb and eliminate the “buy-throw-buy” culture. In short, sustainability encourages the purchase of things that stand the test of time.
When it comes to fashion, nothing stands the test of time better than vintage wear. Vintage clothes hold a certain charm that make them timeless pieces everyone should have in their closet. Moreover, vintage clothes are second hand or thrift bought, which means they are slow fashion items. Stylish and sustainable all at once!
What clothes are considered vintage?
Vintage is an unofficial term that generally refers to clothing produced and worn from a previous time or era. Clothes that bear design trends and styles of a previous era, regardless of being actual products produced in said time, are also automatically referred to as vintage.
A lot of fashion enthusiasts, however, caution consumers who wish to practice sustainability in their vintage fashion purchases. A lot of vintage themed-stores sell fast-fashion items guised as vintage clothes. These pieces display vintage styles but instead of being secondhand items, they are mass produced the same way other fast fashion clothes are.
To avoid purchasing these items, here are a few tips:
- Make sure to shop at thrift stores. Smaller vintage stores are more likely to sell authentic vintage pieces.
- Check the stitching and investigate if they were handmade or mass manufactured. Handmade items may have imperfections and irregularities compared to mass manufactured ones.
- Check the design. Does it look vintage or was it designed to incorporate modern trends and newer styles? If it’s the latter, chances are they’re mass produced.
- Check the item quantity. If a certain item comes in a variety of similarly designed pieces, it is highly likely that they are mass produced.
Are vintage clothes slow fashion?
Yes. As long as you are certain that your purchase is authentic vintage, they are very much considered slow fashion.
Since vintage pieces are mostly pre-loved or second hand, they are sustainable and are considered slow fashion items. Handmade vintage clothes from independent sellers like those on Etsy are also considered slow fashion pieces.
What vintage clothes are worth money?
There are a lot of vintage clothes that are sold for cheap at thrift stores, but still offer up surprising quality and usability. While these are considerably rare gems in a heap of varied goods in thrift stores, they surely are the vintage pieces that are worth your time and money.
To be specific, there are certain items that are best bought vintage.
First would be denims. Thrift stores offer up a wide selection of denim items. Authentic vintage denims promise years of use with its good quality material that surely stands the test of time. Fades and rips are not a problem for these denim pieces as some buyers even prefer tattered ones over their polished counterparts. Moreover, denims never go out of style, and this makes your purchase even more worth it.
Second would be footwear. Authentic leather-made footwear is an abundance at most thrift stores. Some do need a little polishing and repair. However, comparing the cost of buying them brand new versus paying for shoe repair, justifies why thrifting them would be the better option. Vintage footwear easily elevates even the most basic of outfits, so make sure to try some shoe shopping at the thrift store nearest you.
How do I find good vintage clothes?
Small, vintage-curated thrift stores would be the best place to find good vintage clothes since these vintage dealers offer handpicked and authentically sourced goods.
These physical thrift stores are not your only options though. Online vintage stores are all over the internet today! Browse through your Instagram and you will be surprised at how many Instagram accounts are dedicated to sourcing and selling vintage items.
What are the best vintage clothing websites?
The best online retailers to shop for vintage clothes would be those that offer great selections whilst maintaining a commitment to be green in their operations.
Here are some of the best websites to shop for vintage clothes:
- Studio Courtenay (https://studiocourtenay.com/)
- thredUP (https://www.thegoodtrade.com/features/affordable-vintage-clothing-online)
- Etsy (https://www.etsy.com/)
- and many more!
Vintage fashion in conclusion
Thrifting and trying out vintage wear do not mean you should completely avoid buying new clothes. There is no harm in buying your clothes brand new. However, it is with a heart for sustainability that we encourage you to buy quality items, that may come in pricier tags, but better promise for long-term usage. Whether by thrifting or by shopping responsibly, you can practice slow fashion observance all the same.
Ready to suit-up in vintage?