I blame my love of vintage on my mother. She held on to all of her gorgeous ‘70s goods, and I inherited them as soon as I was old enough to slide into those high-waisted Jordache jeans.
This admiration of retro has stayed with me ever since, and I continue to sweep thrift and vintage stores in every city I visit.
I think what I love most about vintage is its history. Every garment tells a unique story, and for a brief period of time, I get to be a part of that story. It connects us to one another. Instead of buying a mass-produced garment from a box store, we’re sharing a piece of art with those before us, and then passing it on.
For those who aren’t as overly romantic as me, the practical realities of buying vintage are also a major plus. Recycled clothing is an affordable way to be fashionable. Instead of spending $20 on a shirt that won’t make it past its second wash, you’re investing in a garment that’s already held its shape for several decades.
Vintage pieces are also a fun way to develop or maintain unique, personal style. You never risk owning the same things as hundreds of others. There’s likely only one of that item — much like there’s only one you.
Lastly, vintage is one of the best ways to be environmentally responsible. Even if you’re not buying a piece from the ‘50s, just participating in clothing swaps or shopping/donating at thrift stores is a great way to eliminate unnecessary waste.
When we support thrift, vintage or up-cycled clothing stores, we’re choosing to be a part of something bigger.
Here are just a few of my favorite vintage stores in some of my favorite cities! Next time you’re in town, try and hit these places up and start growing your recycled style.
Louisville, KY — The Nitty Gritty
Nashville, TN — Hip Zipper
Williamsburg, Brooklyn — L Train Vintage
Los Angeles, CA — The Way We Wore
Portland, OR — Living Threads Vintage
Seattle, WA — Pretty Parlor
Chicago, IL — Kokorokoko
Chicago, IL — Seek Vintage
New Orleans, LA — Funky Monkey
Frederick, MD — Venus On The Half Shell
Multiple Cities: Buffalo Exchange