Go to a museum. There you will discover that your hairstyles are years old and that your costumes or your dress are right out of history. Mark Thackeray, played by Sidney Poitier – To Sir, With Love*
I love the cyclical nature of fashion. What goes around does in fact come around, usually better than the last time thanks to old-fashioned experience and new-fashioned innovation. One of the best things about getting older in terms of fashion is we have probably already worn some version of the latest trend and, if you are like me, still have it hanging in your closet. Better yet we already know if something works for us, or more importantly, if it doesn’t – I am looking at you, low-rise jeans.
Knowing if you should just skip the latest fashion trend help keeps your closet free from items that you don’t wear and your wallet free to spend money on items you will. Lastly, midlife women have experience wearing whatever is being marketed as “new” and can rock it with the aplomb that comes from wisdom and age.
This is one of the many reasons why I love the secondary market so much, whether vintage, thrift, or designer consignment. If you take your time to find the right pieces, they somehow remain both timeless and trendy. And when you do wear a more current piece, as we have always said on this blog, the vintage modern mix is one of the best ways to hone your personal style. It is a lot of fun to wear something that, for all intents and purposes, is one-of-a-kind, knowing you won’t run into anyone wearing the same thing as you.
One of the unexpected perks of quarantine was rediscovering the joy of getting dressed (despite having nowhere to go), as well as finding new inspiration from what I already own. With physical stores closed, I also rediscovered the fun of challenging myself to recreate the latest trend as found on the ‘gram or in a pin using what is hanging in my closet. Most importantly, it helped me discover something about my consumption aka shopping problem discussed in this post. Quarantine made me realize to what extent I find fast fashion rather hollow and that led to my buying more than normal – it doesn’t excite me the way a vintage item can (the history, the quality, the details!) or finally scoring that designer piece at a great price after years of searching (the hunt, the victory, the savings!). Slow fashion is where I find my sartorial happiness.
A few of these looks have already appeared on our Instagram, so I have added more details and my thought process behind the look. A few of these are new photos I have yet to share, but first my inspiration:
The Isabel Marant jumpsuit was the easiest to recreate with the original, 1980s version of what it is clearly based on. Why pay $500 for the new when you can spend $20 on the original. That is exactly what I thought when this pin came across my feed. I purchased the jumpsuit from one of my favorite Etsy stores, Vagabondia Vintage. I bought it because fashions of this era were coming back, anit looks exactly like a jumpsuit I owned back in high school (a piece I wish I never parted with). I paired my nostalgia purchase with a pair of my trusted Ganni boots to achieve the same vibe.
The green dress, lavender boots outfit made me gasp out loud when I saw it (but not as loud as when I saw their prices……). While the outfit I can up with is nowhere near as close a match as the jumpsuit, sometimes just hitting the overall vibe or even just interpreting the color combo is enough. And from the number of people who have told me they like my outfit more than the inspiration photo, it is better! The boots are a Vince Camuto purchase from a few seasons ago and the dress is another Etsy find from Mezcal+Leather.
Recreating Isabel Marant again with vintage 80s jeans found at Goodwill many years ago. The Ganni blouse is about a year old, and while I love the Sea blouse of the original (so much so that I am stalking it and it is 60% off at Net-a-Porter as I type this. You are welcome.), my blouse is SO MUCH FUN TO STYLE. The long tie can be worn a myriad of ways, and while I vacillate on which way I like better, my current favorite is with the bow in the back. The jeans on the photo are on sale too, but originally this outfit would have cost over $700 not counting the boots. My version came in at about $150, most of which was taken up by the blouse (a piece that was worth the investment).
Will crochet every go out of style? I really hope not. I won’t stop buying it regardless, but thankfully Gucci seems to love it as well. I have had this crochet vest for so long, I have no idea where it came from and I am glad I have kept it as it keeps coming back in style. While I plan on recreating more of an exact Gucci look when the weather cools down, I decided to wear it as a shirt while it is still sweltering outside. Because Gucci is all about more is more, I paired the vest with my patchwork jeans from Pistola, one of the most underrated denim brands in my book. Fendi heels purchased on consignment and a thrifted linen blazer from Savers completes the look.
My goal is to continue posting more sustainable style that features recreating current trends with thrift finds, recreating new looks with items I already own, and even some thrift flips to keep vintage pieces looking fresh. I look forward to challenging myself to continue to be inspired by my own closet, with the help from some social media inspo, of course. If there are any specific looks or styles you would like me to tackle, please let us know in the comments.
Thrift shopping is one of my first loves and after over 35 years together we are still going strong. Besides everything mentioned earlier, I love supporting small, independent businesses (usually women-owned) rather than large corporations while saving treasures from the landfill. Every vintage, thrift, consigned item purchased has been searched for, considered, evaluated, and ultimately loved, or else I would not have added it to my closet.
Tl;dr – it feeds my soul.
*To Sir, With Love is one of the most underrated movies in terms of its fashion and is just one of the best movies made!
Images by Breezy Ritter