Shopping, Style and Beauty

5 Reasons To Shop Vintage

Updated: Aug 31, 2011 09:43
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Fabulous Seafoam Green Number from Strim Vintage

1. You can punctuate your wardrobe with interesting pieces.

Every time I wear a vintage piece out, I literally will get at least one comment throughout the day about it. “Wow, that is really cool, where did you get that?!” It  feels nice to say that I not only paid almost nothing for it, but that it is unique and possibly even one-of-a-kind. In the age where everyone owns the same clothes from the same companies, and where couture is far out of reach for 99.8% of the world’s population, owning vintage is an inexpensive way of adding flair to your personal style without breaking the bank.

2. The hunt is fun!

There is something rewarding about digging through piles, racks and shelves full of clothes to find the perfect treasure, and I know that I’m not the only one who thinks so. There is something about really working for your next outfit, and knowing that you’re on the horizon of something special. I was able to find the most amazing things for dirt cheap at the community thrift stores, since old ladies are just looking to empty out their closets full of vintage Yves Saint Laurent and Chanel. It may be hard sometimes to find a gem, but don’t get discouraged! Like cooking your own meals or building your own furniture, it’s all about the journey that gets you there!

3. It’s eco-friendly.

Don’t get me wrong — I love discount fashion as much as the next person. I’m extremely stoked that, if in a crunch and if I need an outfit for a date stat, I can go downtown and get an entire ensemble for less than $150. But the fact of the matter is that companies like Forever 21 or H&M, no matter how eco-friendly they may be, still contribute to the world’s problem of unnecessary consumption. Do you really need 30 $2 tank tops that will all last you three months anyway, only to be thrown out or given away to sit in a landfill somewhere? By buying vintage, you vote with your dollar to put an end to the mass production of clothing that has come to take over labor and resources throughout the last 15 years.

4. It is often times cheaper than going out and buying new clothes.

This doesn’t debunk the last point I made; I really feel as if sometimes, buying vintage or pre-owned clothes can often be cheaper than buying new. Though there are infamous “Vintage Boutiques”, you don’t necessarily need to shop there. I feel as thought these stores somehow give the wrong impression about vintage and pre-owned clothing. It’s not about how much you pay for it, it’s about what you can find. Often times, these stores will search far and wide for the best pieces they can find and that usually takes work, time, effort and some repairs, which is why they are so much money. If you put even just a little of all of those things into your search, you’d be surprised at what you can find! A great tip? Find a friend who is a great tailor and is a whiz at the sewing machine — finding oversized garments and tailoring them to your body is not only flattering, but cost effective!

5. It’s an excuse for a road trip.

In cities like San Francisco and New York, it is extremely easy to get jaded in the vintage game. There are hunters and hoarders that are out on the streets everyday, snatching up all your fashion and bringing you to tears. For the rest of us that have lives, jobs and sanity, going to estate sales seems like a ridiculous waste of time. However, there is a fabulous solution to all of your problems — go on a road trip! Out on the less populated horizon, there are easy, cheap and unbelievable gems just waiting to be discovered. Places like Nashville, Austin, Seattle and Reno are just some examples of fantastic vintage gold mines. Do your research and figure out a route to follow and be prepared for all the rad shit headed your way. You may just have to buy that awesome vintage Samsonite to hold everything in.

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Monica Miller - The Intern

Monica Miller - The Intern

Ms. Miller was born in San Diego, CA to one lesbian mother and one
righteous, cheap father. Currently, she is enrolled at San Francisco
State University for a B.A. in Journalism and the approximate
completion date is around 2015. She has worked for many papers in the
Bay Area, including the Oakland Tribune and the San Mateo Country
Times and is currently the city editor at one of the most
underappreciated publications in SF, the Golden Gate [X]press. Though
she may find bargains aplenty, it only stems from the necessity of
never landing an actual job and working for hacks [like Stuart.] With
intelligence, style, poise, bite, and honesty, she will rip your heart
out; but not before writing some awesome, poignant shit. This year,
she is looking forward to bigger and better things such as: trying to
get paid for a gig, actually finding a date that isn't a loser or
fucking crazy, not calling her parents when hungover and bringing you
the best of the 7x7 everyday of the week. [By the way, I wasn't
kidding about the date thing; if you love food, booze and shoegaze,
get at me.]


  1. daniel
    October 5, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    I would add Milwaukee to the road trip list too … some great vintage stuff on the “Lower East Side” there, and elsewhere…

  2. Heather
    October 5, 2010 at 9:18 pm

    1 Reason Not To Shop Vintage:

    It’s even harder to find cute plus sized clothes than it is at new clothing stores.

    The only thing I miss about being skinny is finding used clothes that actually fit. I wish I could go back in time and force feed women hormone laden butter and chocolate cookies.