She liked to think of her closet as more of a time capsule. Pieces of lives that she hadn't lived hung on the rack in a variety of colors. Spinning around the room she threw open the doors to the possibilities of who she could be that day.
Oh, how I would love to wake up each morning to a big closet full of pinks, yellows, blues, plenty of old, and just enough new. A collection of endless stories at my my fingertips, and I rummage through to find the perfect one making a mess of colors on my floor and doing pirouettes in front a large gold mirror. I imagine getting dressed is probably something like that for Taylor Swift. For the rest of us, building our dream closet will more than likely be a life long process. If you're anything like me, you're aiming for the perfect combination of vintage and modern, so that you look timeless, but not out of date. While there's no real rules to vintage shopping, or figuring out what pieces are good or bad, I thought I'd share a few of the things that I look for when I've got an Etsy wish list on the rise and some dead presidents in my pocket...err Paypal account.
1. Investigate - Just because you're buying a vintage item doesn't mean that you want it to show all of the years it's seen. Stains, tears, unravelling seams? I say pass. With that said, there are plenty of good vintage items out there that are made a 10 with just a hem or sleeve adjustment, and if that's all the item needs then I give it a thumbs up. Just keep in mind that you shouldn't buy anything that you know you don't have time/won't ever get around to fixing. I recently passed up a pretty little pink lace trimmed dress from the 60's that I had my heart on until I realized that the zipper constantly got stuck and would need to be replaced. Yes, that's an easy task to fix, but I knew I wouldn't have time to do it soon, so I left for the next seamstress looking for a project.
2. Integrate - If you're like me, when you first walk into a vintage/thrift store you become equal parts excited about what you might find and dreading all of the junk you are going to have to search through. Try and remember that what you're looking for are pieces that will fit in rather seamlessly with the clothes that you already own. You want to actually be able to wear the vintage pieces you purchase without thinking they look dingy, old, or costumey. Try the vintage top on you're considering with your jeans and the vintage dress against your modern shoes. If they can't get along, then tell 'em so long. (p.s. I am not saying you can't create a beautiful head to toe vintage outfit, just giving a little general guidance.)
3. Instigate - Chances are you aren't going to just happen upon those vintage gems. If that's how it worked then I'd have so much I'd be working out in vintage Chanel and sleeping in all my 60's minis. Unfortunately, tracking down these "oh my gosh I can't believing I'm holding this in my unworthy hands!" items is ALOT of hard work. That usually means many trips to the thrift/vintage store searching through the racks and often leaving empty handed, or playing mind games with yourself trying to figure out all of the different ways you can search for one thing on Ebay. Like they always say though, persistence pays off and eventually you'll find something that makes it all worth it. Since Chattanooga doesn't have many reliable stores I often have to turn to Nashville, Atlanta, and mostly online. Usually, I just get on Ebay or Etsy and trying searching for terms connected to an item I might be interested in. Also, ShopWhurl is a new app which has made vintage shopping super fun and incredibly easy! As for my favorite online stores, I usually look to Grey Dog Boutique (especially their Instagram), The Fancy Treehouse, and The Loved One (though they are currently taking a break).
Hope this helps! If you know of any bomb vintage stores, or have any other tips you think I should know about, please feel free to send them my way. As always, you can use the comment box below or hit me up on Instagram (@tennesseeroseblog), Twitter (@desfleurae), or even tumblr (sweettennesseerose.tumblr.com).