Is it just me, or are high street shops sometimes all a bit samey? Don’t get me wrong, I do love finding an amazing bargain from my favourite shops but it’s easier to find yourself losing faith a little bit in the shopping experience when all the shops you go in seem to be churning out the same clothes. Fashion allows us to send a message about the clothes we wear; they say something about our personality, the way we feel and what we value, but it’s hard to express all this wearing the same item that plenty of other people have bought. If all this seems very familiar to you then I propose a solution: turn to vintage.
Vintage shopping can seem rather daunting- something done only by that super trendy friend whose wardrobe we lust after. However, once you get over the fact it just takes a different shopping approach to the one you take on the high street, vintage shopping will open your eyes to a new way to shop which will hopefully ignite your fashion senses once more. The clothes aren’t laid out as clearly as most stores on the high street so it means you have to scour the rails carefully for the stuff that jumps out at you. But that is the fun of it. One of the great things about vintage shopping is that it brings the enjoyment of shopping back; it’s not just about going out, throwing a few items that look half decent over your arm and heading for the till only later to realise you weren’t really crazy about any of stuff you purchased anyway: vintage shopping is about pushing your boundaries and trying anything once. The rule is that if anything catches your eye, whether that is a wacky print, the stylish cut of a dress or some cute detailing on a jumper then try it on! You never know, it might be the best thing you buy.
And that leads me on nicely to my next point: that with vintage shopping the focus of it is not buy now throw away later but spend your money wisely and find a piece you’ll treasure for years. When you invest in something vintage you are buying something that someone else has cared enough about to look after and (hopefully) it will inspire you to do the same. It is all about quality over quantity, a mantra which is great news for your student budget too. Rather than spending your allowance on a load of cheap things from the high street that you’ll be bored of in a terms time spend this same amount on a few pieces you truly, truly love and look amazing in. Yes you do come away with less, which is hard for those of us, like myself, who adore a huge shopping splurge, but it’s far better to come away with one item that you are going to wear again and again than ten items that you’ll wear once.
And if all this isn’t enough to convince you, then remember that vintage clothes can be of a much higher quality and better made than clothes found on the high street. Vintage shopping isn’t the same as getting clothes from your standard second hand shop; yes they both sell preowned items but a vintage shop carefully selects the items it wants to sell meaning only the best pieces are selected. Also, those working in a vintage shops will often have been as a trained seamstresses or tailor, and will probably be more than happy to alter an item of clothing that you find in order to fit you perfectly. Now how many of your favourite high street shops do that?
So why not go ahead and give vintage a go? Here in Nottingham there is plenty of opportunity to lose your vintage virginity. Head down to Lace Market and have a browse through vintage shops such as Cow, Braderie and A Vintage Obsession as well as plenty more. Nottingham also hosts a Vintage Clothes show which is held termly and coincides nicely with the arrival of our student loan, so make sure you head down next year and get picks on the best vintage Nottingham has to offer. In the meantime, get shopping ladies!
Images: elliesfavouritethings.com, fashion-stylist.net, wearecow.blogspot.com, 192.com