Old School: Consignment and Vintage Style
|Photography by Kirsten Beeksma Morse|
Dressing in head to toe designer label clothing has never been appealing to me. It just isn’t that interesting of a way to dress; it seems more like a billboard than a statement. However, investing in really well great pieces is always a good idea, because beautifully made things never go out of style. That doesn’t mean we can’t have a little fun with fashion, especially when you add vintage or consignment pieces to the mix.
Varsity and bomber jackets have been quite the thing for the last two years, so having a vintage one was a real find. You can pair a varsity jacket over a sweater or with your favorite pair of jeans but why not wear them with a leather skirt or over your shoulders with a dress? No one is going to care if you didn’t actually letter in swimming in the 90s and you get to have a unique piece that makes a real statement.
Consignment shopping has totally changed my closet as well. It is the little secret-not-so-secret of every stylishly dressed woman I know. Some people I know do not get this, and I am not sure why. I think they look down their nose a little at consignment, as "used clothing". It is too bad, because they are missing out on the greatest thing to ever hit a fabulous closet. Vintage and consignment shopping are great ways to find covetable designer goods, some still with the tags, and the latest looks straight from the likes of the Barneys NY windows. Who doesn't love luxury goods at a fraction of the cost? Check out a couple of my favorites: MB’s Finds, Sell Your Sole, and Show Pony, which carry everything from Chanel to Gucci, to Elizabeth and James and Vince. Over time I have found many lovely consignment pieces that I added to my closet, including Chloe Suzanna boots, a Stella McCartney Falabella bag, an Alexander Wang Rocco Bag, and a Balanciaga fur collar coat. It is stylish recycling--beautiful things finding new life in a new closet.
Recently I wrote an article for Vanguard Seattle, an online arts and culture magazine that I am the style and fashion writer for, about the effects of fast fashion. I had been invited to view Andrew Morgan’s film, “The True Cost” which shows the tragic human factor in the world of cheap clothing and it’s impact on the environment, talented businesses and designers, and most of all, its immense impact on the garment workers. It was a very moving experience for me and has made me think very deeply about the idea of fast fashion and about choices that impact the world we live in. While I can't say for certain that I will never shop at Zara again, I know that there has to be a better way to high/low dressing than buying something that causes harm to the very person that made it.
Last week my daughter Gracie and I did the photo story together for this post and it was very fun to have her with Photographer Krissi and I on the shoot. Although nothing reminds you that your are clearly NOT in high school than looking into the young, wrinkle free face of a 15 year old. Luckily, it was the face of my beautiful daughter, so I felt only love.
The blog posts I write and the photo stories that my friend Krissi creates tell a new story each week that I hope will inspire you. It has been harder than I expected to put myself out there in pictures. In the photos I can see the flaws, the curves, the way I really look, not just the way I wish I did. I want to accept myself with all my imperfections, and no matter my age, or size, to know that being beautiful and stylish has nothing to do with numbers. And that is the point of this blog: to celebrate style and the beauty and art of fashion, no matter how many candles are on one's birthday cake.