Become a Vintage Fashionista: Why You Should Wear Vintage Clothing

Vintage Clothing.

You read about it in just about every fashion magazine these days. You see photographs of celebrities wearing it. What is all this fuss about vintage clothing?

Vintage clothing is the perfect way to add a boost to your wardrobe inexpensively. Sure there’s collectible vintage clothes selling for thousands of dollars at upscale boutiques and auction houses. But there’s also lots of high-quality vintage clothing, often without designer labels, readily available on eBay, websites (like, vintage clothing boutiques, and for the really adventurous, in thrift stores and at garage and estate sales.

Vintage clothing, at one time, was worn primarily by the financially bereft, but it has now become totally mainstream and hip. So why should you embrace wearing someone’s old clothes?

1. Outstanding Quality

Once you’ve examined a quality piece of vintage clothing you will readily see that it just can’t compare to one of today’s contemporary garments at a similar price. It’s actually possible to wear couture-quality garments for the price of ready-to-wear! Vintage clothing was often lovingly sewed by talented home seamstresses or made by designers who put extra-loving care into each garment–and it shows.

The fabrics, many times, are unbelievable. A similar item in the same fabric today could conceivably put it out of your price range. Outstanding silks, cashmere, wools, leathers and furs are available at prices that pale in comparison to walking into a boutique and purchasing a similar item today.

2. Unique Details

Hand embroidery, unique buttons (many collectible on their own), outstanding beading (sometimes glass), blazers with printed silk linings. The kind of detail that today is often found in only the high-end designer or couture garments is available on many vintage clothing pieces of yesteryear.

3. Individuality

You can be assured that if you are wearing a vintage clothing item, you will not have to worry about another woman walking in the door with the same dress, blouse, or handbag. The confident vintage fashionista knows that she can wear her beautiful hand-embroidered tulle blouse even when lavish embellishments aren’t the “Season’s Trend.” These vintage clothing pieces turn heads because of their uniqueness. If you aren’t a cookie-cutter personality, then vintage clothing is for you. Vintage allows you to have what no one else can have—let them drool over your one-of-a-kind pony skin handbag! You can look fantastic without looking like anyone else.

4. Financial Freedom

Okay, quick quiz question: Which would you choose? A new Chanel suit or Gucci handbag from the current season or two (or three or four) fabulous similarly-styled garments from a decade ago? Buying vintage clothes, especially non-sought-after labels or individually tailored pieces, makes you clothing budget go a lot further. For the same amount of your hard-earned cash, you can compile an outstanding wardrobe by buying vintage clothing and accessories. Talk to anyone who is a vintage-aholic and you’ll hear the stories: an authentic Christian Dior handbag purchased for $1, a fox fur stole for $15, a no-name wool suit with black fur collar for $35. Now these are the extreme vintage bargains that make a gal jump up and down with glee, yes, but purchasing that handbag for $100, the fur stole for $125 and the suit for $150 is entirely possible using eBay or a quality vintage clothing website or boutique. Or maybe you’d rather blow your entire yearly wardrobe on just one of these trendy pieces? No, I didn’t think so.

5. Environmental Contribution

According to the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency, over 4 million tons of textiles are sent to landfills each year. Recycling these beautiful pieces of vintage clothing means one less piece of clothing left in our landfills. It also honors the designers who created them, the seamstresses who poured hours into their creation and the women who initially owned and loved them. Also, most of today’s textiles require petroleum in their manufacture, so wearing vintage clothes also helps with our fossil fuel concerns.

Whatever reason makes sense to you, I guarantee that once you catch the vintage clothing bug, you will never again be able to walk into a department store and spend hundreds of dollars on an ill-made garment. And, as you gain confidence in who you are and what you like, your closet will start to take on your own unique personality. You’ll have become a Vintage Fashionista!

Mary Kincaid has been buying, wearing, and collecting vintage clothing for over a decade. Visit her website at to shop in her online vintage clothing boutique and join the Vintage Crusaders, an online community of vintage clothing lovers

Copyright 2005-2009, Mary Kincaid. May be reprinted in its entirety with full credit given to Mary Kincaid and a link to

One Response to Become a Vintage Fashionista: Why You Should Wear Vintage Clothing
  1. Ethical Ladies Sunglasses
    June 5, 2010 | 7:40 pm

    Slightly off the subject maybe, but a request for people to think about the ethics of buying fashion clothes or sunglasses. Do try and think about, for example, the materials your sunglasses or clothes are made with, the human rights of the factories where they’re made and the green credentials of the clothes retailer. Oh, and endeavour to share, rather than throwing away. Thanks!!!!

© Mary Kincaid 2006-2009