The Aude Couture Series:

So let’s face it: it takes a certain amount of bravado to enter a vintage store. Most commonly known shops are the Salvation Army, Value Village and Renaissance. Upon entering such stores one must enter the mind frame of Rambo, ready to enter in the depths of the jungle to find its treasures.

So let’s face it: it takes a certain amount of bravado to enter a vintage store.
Most commonly known shops are the Salvation Army, Value Village and Renaissance.
Upon entering such stores one must enter the mind frame of Rambo, ready to enter in the depths of the jungle to find its treasures.
The trick is to breathe and push the front door.

Rule #1- Be patient:
At first glance, vintage stores can be pretty overwhelming.
There are clothes everywhere and finding a starting point is quasi impossible. The first option available to the vintage hunter is to ask him/herself, ‘What do I need most?’
If you are dying to find a vintage Ralph Lauren blouse, then head over to that section.
Having a precise goal will also keep you motivated.
The second option is to start with something easier like accessories or shoes. Vintage stores often have a major selection of scarves, purses and belts.
Here is an important piece of advice. Unless you want to spend the whole day there, stick to a portion of the store.
For example, check out all the women’s dresses, blazers, blouses, outerwear and shirts.
Breaking it down is the key to insure you don’t overdose on vintage.
Once you have started your shopping it will be probably be hard for you to stop.
If you don’t plan on spending half the day in the store, just scan the racks quickly. Let the clothes attract your attention.
If you look at a specific area and can’t seem to find anything that catches your eye, move along.
Also, hang all your items of clothing nicely in your cart. That way, you will just have to take the items directly into the cabins instead of rummaging through piles of clothing. You’ll also be able to envision outfits better that way.
Go to the dressing room and prepare yourself for a tedious session of trial and error.

Rule #2- Be fearless:
Consider a vintage store much like a costume store. Some things look so extravagant on the hanger. They look like they could belong to Cindy Lauper when her “Girls Just Wanna have Fun” song was released. Try it on and you might be surprised by the result.
Vintage shopping is the time to be more daring than usual. Since the clothes cost next to nothing, you can go ahead and buy the lame tube top you’ll wear once in your life without feeling guilty.
But always keep in mind this vital question: ‘Am I going to wear it?’ Some people go crazy in vintage stores because the cost of the merchandise is so little.
Still, if you spend $150 for 300 pieces of clothing and yet, never wear any of them, then it is still waste of your money.

Rule #3- Be imaginative:
This quality is going to be important in the trying process.
Mentally mix and match pieces you already own with your vintage finds.
Be creative. Could a missing button be sewed? Could the sole of these amazing shoes be replaced? Can you alter the length of it?
Be crafty but always ask yourself if the additional time and money you’ll invest on a piece is worth it.
At the end of your shopping trip, you are most likely to come out of the store with at least one piece of clothing you’ll really like.
And you will have found your treasure.
Rambo is smiling at you from his jungle.

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