Colourful Styling contributed by Clara from WOM
Vintage fashion lover, Clara, thinks mixing new and old together is never dull. Here’s why!
I’m sure some of you have got style heroes. So do I. I really like Miroslava Duma for her edgy choices that also come with sensibility. And I adore, adore Phoebe Philo.
But the mother of all inspiration, for me, started with Carrie. Yes, whose last name is Bradshaw. I know, I know. Thanks for reminding me that she isn’t a real person. She is Patricia Field’s projection of fashion onto Sarah Jessica’s body. But that styling ignites imagination and a lifestyle that makes one want to believe that Carrie exists.
Carrie has what I would coin in my head – colourful styling.
Colourful not in terms of simply playing of colours. Rather, it’s about mixing things up in all levels. Mixture of prints, mixture of eras, mixture of high fashion and street. And mixture of characters. So even if you’re wearing top to toe of the same colour today, the fact that you do that so differently from that clash of prints you wore yesterday, you’ve got a colourful style.
I believe, Carrie’s secret weapon to achieve colourful styling is vintage.
Vintage is amazing in the sense that
#1. No one within 100km would have the same piece that you have.
#2. These pieces come in random fleets. And you pick them randomly. There is no pre-conception or structure in which you are able to pick them from. The random-ness is the beauty. That’s how you get eclectic.
#3. Every piece has a story behind it, that unleashes your imagination. (Alright, sounds a little trippy. This is optional.)
#4. You don’t need to break into a bank to achieve that level of style
Some people are a little afraid to try vintage for some reasons.
Too much to handle. Too old. No idea how to find them or curate them. The person who wore it before had died. Allow me to walk you through each of these valid, but overcome-able concerns. Too much to handleComfort level is priority. We are on your side on that. And styling does not mean turning into someone you are not. That’s usually where people over do it, and then people around them are not convinced that what they wear is who they are. That’s costume-wearing - and only actresses and trick-or-treaters do that. Know who you are, and what suits you. My tip for beginners is to start from small vintage pieces – a top, a skirt, a little dress. And the rule is - pair it with modern items. Let them assimilate into your wardrobe. Soon, you’d start getting comfortable with more pairings, and awesome clashes. It’s one item at a time.
Too old. Old is gold. Old indirectly filters the durable. Most importantly, old sees that your vintage piece is limited in quantity in this whole wide world. But, I’d definitely skip those that look absolutely worn out, smell strange, and have substantial stains. If not, the others can easily be clean and sterilised with laundry or get professional cleaning for peace of mind. However, small stains are usually inevitable – some of them not even notice-able. Hence, don’t split hairs over it.
No idea how to find them or curate them. Some people enjoy the hunt – like I do. I would set parameters on the style or shape, or mood and then hunt down based on that. And, I would travel to hunt them down. However, some prefer to just hit a pool of items that are already well-curated, quality-checked, cleaned and well-presented. It’s just more efficient and pleasurable that way. That’s where you can go to a vintage dealer shop. And you will notice that different vintage shops have their own way of curation – the full-on retro type, the designer-brands type, the lolita type, etc. For me, my curation is a little looser – a smorgasbord of pieces that are fun, edgy, and ironically, modern in spirit. I’ve an obsession with seeing runway trends that could be achieved with vintage or echoes the styles of the past. As we know, fashion is cyclical. An additional tip is, it really doesn’t hurt to get acquainted with the vintage buyer. I’ve got customers who emailed me on the styles they are looking for. And when I’m doing my sourcing rounds, I particularly look out for these pieces.
The person who wore it before had died. I won’t even try to make you believe otherwise on this one. People die, in general. But come on, the hospital clothing would have a higher chance of being worn by that person on the deathbed than that sundress you are looking at right now. Also, do know that a portion of these vintage clothing could also be deadstock, which means inventory that were not sold to anyone before but had laid dormant in a warehouse for a long while.
Alright, so are you going to visit a vintage store soon? I hope you do, because you are going to have so much fun.
The owner of WOM-SHOP.COM, Clara is the buyer and curator of vintage apparel and enjoys mixing vintage with modern pieces. She hunts down unique vintage pieces from USA, Europe and Japan.