If you want to shop and dress more sustainably, vintage is a great place to start. Rocking vintage is the ultimate form of recycling! You reclaim and reuse clothes that might otherwise have lived out their days in a Goodwill bin or, worse, a landfill. (People throw away almost 100 pounds of clothes every year.) But vintage can be a bit intimidating if you haven’t gone there before.. Eco-friendly expert (you know I love an expert!) Jessica Alba suggests:
Start with Jewelry. This is the best entry point for anyone new to vintage. It doesn’t smell, there are few size issues, and it’s almost always fabulous. In fact, most new jewelry today is a reinterpretation of older styles–so why not go with the originals? In particular, silver pieces age better than some other types of metals.
Then move to Purses. Bags, and other accessories like scarves and hats, are another not-so-scary way in to vintage. You don’t have to use vintage every day, but you can find something great for evenings out or for retro flair on your beach trip.
Always shop with a Purpose. Flea markets and thrift stores can be overwhelming and chaotic. If you have a goal in mind (“beaded cardigans” or “Pucci scarves”), it’s a lot easier to wade through racks and bins and zero in on the good stuff.
Shop Online. There are no awkward in-person haggling sessions or musty dressing rooms to contend with on eBay or Etsy Vintage. The downside is you can’t inspect the goods in person before you buy–so always check a seller’s ratings and feedback to make sure he or she seems legit. Bonus: You’ll avoid the extra price markup of the retail store.
Make friends with your Tailor. That frees you up to consider purchasing anything a size or two too big–especially if it’s a deal. Having the garment altered will add to the total cost, but you’ll end up with a one-of-a-kind piece.
What I love most about wearing vintage is you never have to worry about showing up in the same dress as someone else!