I cannot believe we are already three weeks into Thrift Month, but it has been such a great experience so far, and I hope you’ve enjoyed following along!
As you may have read from the previous weeks it has been filled with lots of highs in week 1 and lots of learning experiences in week 2, both of which were good in my book because I started this month with the mission to be good with the process and not worry about the outcome. Something I’m not always good at.
You with me?!
Jumping into this week though, we are focusing on getting creative exploring the world of vintage with an incredible woman and dear friend of mine Caroline Joy.
Caroline has a fashion blog that has been a source of inspiration and breath of fresh air to myself and many many people over the years! And today she is going to be diving into her story, where her blog is at now, her experiences with vintage fashion, and all of her tips for how to go about incorporating vintage.
She’s one of the coolest, kindest hearted people I know, and I’m so excited to share her perspective on le vintage.
Are you ready to do this?! Let’s go!
Tell me a little bit about yourself and what you are doing now?
Well, my husband and I moved to Dallas, Texas about a year ago, and we’re loving it! I’m still blogging over at unfancy.com and celebrated 5 years of blogging this past March.
Things have changed a lot since I started blogging — for the first few years it was a minimalist fashion blog, but over the past couple of years, I’ve shifted away from that. As much as I love exploring things like minimalism and capsule wardrobes, I don’t think of myself as a minimalist these days. When I went through a season of depression in 2017, minimalism started feeling like another measuring stick for perfection, so I kindly released it, with gratitude for all it had taught me, and an invitation to come back any time.
Currently, my blog is my creative play space, particularly for fashion and interiors. It feels wonderful to lighten up, step outside of my old identity, and just let my creative instincts take me along for the ride.
How did you get into vintage shopping?
When I was little, my dad used to take me to antique stores on the weekends. It was special “us” time, and my dad’s endless fascination and knowledge about “old stuff” helped me develop a love and appreciation for all things antique and vintage.
Not surprisingly, this influenced my aesthetic. Later on in life, when I got my first place, I furnished it almost exclusively with antiques. Eventually, that love for vintage things made it into my wardrobe, and now it’s one of the most fun aspects of my wardrobe building process.
What do you do to incorporate your vintage pieces into your current wardrobe?
Color: I feel most “me” when I’m wearing neutral colors, so if I’m considering buying a vintage item, I first make sure it’ll work with my beloved neutral palette.
Mixing styles: I like to pair vintage items with modern pieces to create contrast. I find that the half/half approach works for me — one outfit, half vintage, half modern.
Tailoring: I usually end up taking my vintage finds to a tailor because they often don’t fit properly at first. This, in my opinion, is what really helps people pull off a vintage piece — fit is everything.
What is your game plan for finding vintage items when you are at the store?
Since I have such a strong neutral aesthetic, this is easy for me. Rather than rifling through every single piece on a rack, I step back and scan for the neutrals. That’s it! I pretty much just go for the neutrals, and everything else is invisible to me. I think of it as a color filter I can toggle on and off — it makes large, overwhelming shops easier to navigate. I know that approach isn’t for everyone, but for me, it keeps the process fun and easy.
And then, of course, I try everything on to asses how I feel in it, the quality of the fabric, if it needs to be tailored, the price, etc. And if it passes on all of those fronts, it’s a keeper!
What are some of your favorite vintage-inspired outfit recipes? Do have any suggestions for finding your own?
- High-rise pleated 80’s pants with a modern tee (tucked in) and minimalist flat sandals
- Vintage 70’s inspired dress with a slouchy leather tote and flat sandals
- Baggy 90’s Levi’s jeans (tucked in and belted) with a silk tank and a flat sandal or a heel
*Try pairing something unexpected together. For example, it’s common to pair vintage jeans with a simple tee, so instead, I put it with a silk tank to get a different look.
*Look at the outfit formula’s that you are already wearing with your current clothes and try to transfer formula into vintage pieces instead.
What would you say about the process of finding a good location?
To find a good vintage shop, I do a little bit of it all — I look for reviews online, I search for vintage shops/sellers on Instagram, I ask people in my community for recommendations, etc.
I think it’s important to note that, when I started wanting to shop vintage, I lived in a small town and didn’t have access to many vintage clothing shops. That was a little frustrating, especially because, at the time, I felt pressure to shop vintage for the sake of my blog. But it was so much healthier for me to just accept where I was at the time. During that time, I got my vintage shopping fix when we would travel, plus I started honing my online vintage shopping skills.
For those of us wanting a more curated online alternative, are there any shops you would recommend?
- Tailoring your thrift/vintage hunt through a lense of color
- Looking for outfits you are already wearing now to transfer into vintage