Saturday, July 27, 2013

Vintage Clothing FAQ: You Have Questions, I Have Answers

As someone who collects and sells vintage clothing, I am often asked a slew of questions regarding this topic by family, friends, and buyers. For most people, shopping is an activity that they dislike, so the idea of putting this much effort into OLD clothing can be shocking for some people. Today I am going to answer some of the questions that I am asked on a regular basis.

1. Why do you like vintage clothing so much?

Why does anyone like anything so much? For me, its a passion. I love learning about fashion and I also enjoy history so it makes sense to me that I like vintage clothing. I would often accompany my mom on her Saturday trips to the market when I was younger, making a side stop at the Salvation Army. While most people in there were buying newer, gently used clothing, I was digging for the OLD stuff. I wanted to look different and have something that no one else did. I guess that is where it all started for me.

See, I have always had a flair for dressing a little funky.
From my Instagram (@otherpeoplestrash)

2. Isn't vintage clothing dirty and smelly?

Not really. I try my best to launder every object that I purchase. Sometimes the clothes have a faint musty smell but it is not anything that is going to make you sick from smelling it. Nothing a trip to the dry cleaners couldn't fix. For accessories, I like to wipe them down depending on the fabric. For shoes, I spray some Lysol on a towel and clean out the inside.

3. Can I go by the size on the tag inside a piece of vintage clothing?

My best advice on this one - try it on. Sizing has changed throughout the years so the tag is not the best thing to judge your purchase on. Take it to the dressing room and try it on. If you don't want to try something on for sanitary reasons, buy the item and have it altered to fit you. If you are really looking to be accurate, take a measuring ribbon with you to get the flat measurements of the item but keep in mind that they are FLAT measurements. This is especially important if you have curves.

4. Should I buy vintage fur or exotic skins?

Only after careful inspection. Be sure to check the pelt of a fur for signs of ripping or dry rot. This happens quite often, especially if a fur is not properly stored away each season. Also check for signs of shedding, as this can create a mess on its own. As for exotic skins, check for scratches and nicks. If you are really into a specific item made from an exotic skin, check with your local leathersmith to see if they can help condition the item or alter it to your liking (i.e. belts).

5. I don't like a small part of an item, can I change it?

I don't really like shoulder pads, so I often cut them out. Sometimes buttons are missing, so I will remove all the buttons and start with something new. If there is a small part of an item that you don't like, fix it! This is where you really have to get creative with vintage clothing and see it for not only what it is, but what it could be.

6. How do I know if an item is really vintage?

The first thing I look at is the tag. So much can be learned from this little piece of information. I could go on and on about what to look for but the Vintage Fashion Guild has already done a pretty good job at creating a database of vintage clothing tags to get you started. Another sign that points to vintage is the fabric quality. Today's clothing can be so cheap and chintzy that when running your hand along a rack of clothing, one can automatically be drawn to a vintage piece just from the feel of the fabric.

An example of an tag from a vintage Gucci skirt for sale in my shop.

7. Can I look trendy while wearing vintage clothing?

Absolutely! Want to look like a woman from Mad Men or a flapper from the Great Gatsby? No problem! A lot of popular TV series and movies are based in a time other than the present, making vintage clothing the perfect choice for your trendy look. Why buy modern day replicas when you can have a quality piece from the past?

8. How do I care for my vintage clothing?

A lot of pieces are dry clean only and this may scare someone on a budget. I was spending a fortune on dry cleaning but did some research and was able to find someone much more affordable. My cleaner charges $1.99 per item and does a really great job. If the item is extra special I make sure to note that before leaving, and they are very good about listening to my instructions. A lot of cleaners also offer special days where services are 20-30% off. For any items that say hand wash, it is always a safe bet to have them dry cleaned just in case. For anything that says spot clean only, try your best not to spill.

9. I am too impatient to look for vintage clothing, how can I find vintage clothing without hunting for hours?

Buy your clothing from a dealer like me who has already done the work for you! Check out my Etsy shop, Other People's Trash for vintage clothing from the 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, and early 1990s! I offer clothing for all sizes!

10. Aren't you afraid that you will bring home a ghost with your clothing?

I have been asked this question believe it or not. My answer is this simple: I have been in my apartment for 2.5 years and can tell you that it is not haunted. Believe me, I think I would know. But if I am going to inherit a ghost, I would love a fashionable one.

Have other questions about vintage clothing? Please leave them in the comment area below! You never know, you might be featured in a post on my blog!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Sunday Funday: Vintage Nicole Miller

There comes a point in every vintage dealer's life when one must decide, do I sell it or do I keep it? For me, the items in this post were all no brainers. Some are old, some are new, but they are all very special to me.

Hat - Vintage
Shirt (Worn as dress) - Vintage Limited Edition Nicole Miller
Belt- Vintage
Wedges - Target
Bag - Vintage
Necklace - Vintage
Sunglasses - ?

Finding a piece such as this vintage Nicole Miller top is always a great feeling and is what keeps me coming back for more. This is the perfect example of how you can buy something in a bigger size and make it work for you. 

This is a SUPER cool brass necklace that I recently found in a dark jewelry counter window at a thrift shop. It has hinged pieces versus a continuous neck. 

Are we seeing a hinged pattern here? I am... I knew when I saw this belt that it would be mine. 

This purse reminds me of Cleobella bags, but it is just a little $10 purchase from a thrift shop. 

I just can't with this hat. I just can't. It astounds me at the stuff that people give away sometimes. The band of the hat is real leather. Such amazing quality that one does not often find today. 

Lipstick: Maybelline Vivid Collection in Hot Plum

Una sonrisa porque la vida es fabulosa. 

Monday, July 15, 2013

New Vintage Clothing and Accessories in my Shop!

I am back on Etsy and have been listing like crazy. See some of my newest pieces below!

If you have any questions about any of the above items or any items in my store, send me an email! 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Cruel Summer: A Great Outfit to Beat the Heat

Temperatures in Pennsylvania have been in the high 80s/low 90s for some time now and I do not think we are going to get a break anytime soon. With those temperatures comes high humidity and constant thunderstorms. My outfit below is my way of cooling off, a long COTTON maxi skirt and a COTTON crop top. I cannot stress enough the importance of this fabric on a hot day. I feel that wearing a crop top with a long skirt makes it more acceptable as my legs are covered, keeping things balanced. 

I topped off this day by having some frozen sangria at a local Mexican restaurant with my boyfriend. Now that my friends is the PERFECT accessory on a hot day! 

Sunglasses - H&M
Top - Thrifted
Necklace - Thrifted 
Skirt - Express
Wedges - Target
Purse - Purchased during a trip to Italy
Bracelets - BCBG and some random jewelry shop on Cape Cod 

You can barely see what is left of my American flag manicure, check me out on Instagram to see it! @Bridget Marowski 

This necklace was really a great find, $1.00 at a thrift shop! You cannot beat that. There is something about fun gold costume jewelry that I absolutely love. 

Follow me on Twitter and Instagram! @BridgetMarowski
Like my shop's Facebook page!