Vintage, what does the word mean? Old, antique, used? I guess if you look it up in the dictionary, it refers to the word as the class of a dated object with reference to era of production or use. Pretty elaborate I guess. I wouldn’t have phrased it quite the same though.
To me vintage is a bit more than a small definition in the dictionary. To me vintage is that gorgeous 1970’s DVF wrap dress that hangs in my mothers’ closet; untouched since well, the 70’s. Or the 50’s jewel incrusted Chanel broach that sits beautifully in a glass case at the boutique I work at. It’s art, eternal and undying. To me, it’s a way of life.
Thankfully, I’m not the only one who agrees. With elegant fabrics, classic shapes and impeccable stitching; the vintage movement is more popular than ever. But it’s more than just great quality and pretty silhouettes that’s attracting people. It’s the fact that today, clothes simply aren’t created the way they once were. Sure, you can walk into a Bergdorf’s and purchase an Yves Saint Laurent gown but it’s not quite the same as purchasing an original designed by the actual designer himself, not to mention at half the cost.
I first got into vintage when I was eighteen. I just started college and therefore was on a budget. That meant no more glorious trips to Bloomingdales and Neman’s. My shopping spree days were over.But seeing as how I didn’t want to give up my love affair with clothes just yet, I had to find another way to get my fix. One day while on an errand for school, I stumbled upon a small boutique a few blocks from where I lived. The moment my eyes first rested upon the racks occupied by exquisite designs, I had died and gone to heaven. The cause of death, a cardiac arrest brought on by a fashion overload. Of course moments later I was then revived and hooked onto a new form of shopping.
As I strolled through the small boutique with my hands grazing each item, I felt a bit of hope surge through me. It had seemed that all was not lost for this poor college girl. I had stumbled upon a place where I could not only get my fashion fix at a low cost but add in some mainstream designers as well. It was if I had stumbled down my very own rabbit hole, complete with chiffons and laces.
At Neman’s a Marc Jacobs dress can range anywhere from $450 to $1,500, I got a gorgeous one for a fraction of the cost. But vintage should not only be appreciated for its bargain rates but for its beauty as well. I’m almost certain you’re not going to find a stunning 50’s Hermes scarf anywhere in a department store. Maybe a newer version sure but an actual original; you’re dreaming if you think otherwise.
With websites such as Etsy and Ebay, it’s easier than ever to have your dose of vintage. Not to mention all the amazing boutiques in the D.C area. With gems like these, it’s almost incredibly easy to fall into with the vintage movement. Long story short, vintage is here to stay regardless if you’re in on the craze.
So next time you’re out and about in the city go and check out a couple of boutiques. Odds are you’re bound to find something you’ll love that will not only look amazing but that will transcend the meaning of timeless.