Hi Skint pals,
Has vintage clothing become too popular? Has the whole vintage boom gone too far? Today, I’ve paired up with some vintage clothing experts to bring you their views.
When I started getting into vintage clothing aged around 15, it was a clandestine, underground thing. It involved me ducking into charity shop doorways so my friends wouldn’t spot me doing it– these days of course, I’m out and proud.
Indeed, these days, rightly, there’s no shame in buying secondhand – there’s nothing more fashionable, dahling. Everywhere we turn now, the word ‘vintage’ is being bandied about, often to refer just to oldish junk, or by big brands selling new, cheap clothes and branding them as ‘vintage style.’
When a shop recently opened near me, based on buying vintage by weight, I started to wonder if vintage was becoming too commodified. On the vintage-by-weight model, you load up your basket, get it weighed at the till and pay by the kilo.
When I saw this at first, I baulked – it seemed too mass-market, a pile-em-high sell-em-cheap mentality that we’d associate more with cheap fashion stores. To me vintage is all about quality, not buying by quantity.
And, I thought, if stores make their buying choices on this basis aren’t they less likely to buy in all the lovely lightweight items like silk scarves that vintage fans love so much? Under the weight model is there more profit to be had from stocking Arran jumpers and cord trousers?
But, what do I know? And so I decided to ask three folks who make vintage their passion and their living what they feel about both the vintage boom and buy-by-weight.
A View from the US Vintage Scene
Sammy Davis is a big force in the US vintage scene, the country where pay-by-weight is big business. Sammy’s a vintage style blogger, who believes that all modern women can incorporate vintage fashion into their contemporary lives. Here’s what she thinks of the pay by weight industry:
“The proliferation of vintage sellers has changed the way customers shop. Ten years ago, vintage lovers sought out collector’s pieces for their wardrobes – the Pagonne dresses, the Pucci prints, the out-of-production designers. But today, the “vintage lover” isn’t a collector. They’re simply a well-dressed girl or guy who knows how to wear vintage in a way that’s modern and sleek. Now, there’s nothing wrong with purchasing lower-quality vintage garments – I’d much rather see a garment be brought back to life than dead and rotting in a landfill.
Pay-By-Weight Vintage: The Case For
‘Our new store, (in Finnieston, Glasgow), is going to have one floor dedicated to the kilo store and one dedicated to a designer vintage concession – We Love to Boogie – for hand edited, very select pieces so we can offer both ends of the vintage shopping spectrum.’
Maybe that’s the way to do it, Skint pals. A bit of quality designer stuff, mixed in with the thrift model. It’s how many of us dress in 2013 after all – mixing designer and thrift store finds.
What do you think pals? Do you shop pay-by-weight?? And has vintage in your opinion become too commodified? Answers on the back on a vintage powder compact please – or you could just leave them below.
Like this post? Then you might like ones these:
My best, most bargainous, vintage finds – and how much they cost
Photo credit: california pixie