I am in awe at how women have been able to turn vintage bargain hunting into an art. Women seem to inherently know how to pop in and out of vintage stores, dig around, and scoop up clothing and accessories that add the right punch to their outfits. Don’t believe me? Just watch Tammy Emma Pepin as she zips through Montreal. Many guys on the other hand, seem to lack the mental wardrobe visualization power that the opposite sex has seemed to mastered and tend to shy away from vintage shopping. Maybe you don’t know where to start, feel too embarrassed to go in, or just aren’t knowledgeable enough to make the trip on your own.
Vintage fashion should be considered an important part of any man’s wardrobe. Purchasing vintage clothes a) saves you money, b) enhances your wardrobe with articles that are unique, and c) is green (reduce, reuse, recycle). Many international vintage outlets such as the Salvation Army, also use sales to fund charitable programs. Another bonus. The idea of course, is not to buy all of your clothes at a thrift shop. The aim should be to add the odd vintage pieces here and there, that will work well with your own personal style.
You owe it to yourself to give vintage a try. The first step is to find out where the vintage clothing stores in your area are. A simple Google web search should give you this information as well as informative reviews and websites. Jargol has a great US-Canada directory of their top picks that you can check out here. Cities such as Toronto for example, have a designated vintage shopping area called Kensington Market, while others have their stores spread out. New York City hosts weekend vintage flea markets, like the Annex/Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market. Big cities also have specialized vintage high fashion clothing stores like One of a Kind in Notting Hill, London. You can find vintage couture labels like Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, and Dolce & Gabbana – but they won’t be cheap. If your city does not have decent vintage stores, or if the selections are limited, you can try an online store such as www.vintagetrends.com.
Next, take a look at at my post Men’s Fall/Winter 2010 Essentials. There are several items on that list that can be purchased brand new, but also discovered in vintage stores. After you’ve found a few good places, put together a list of FW10 items that include any or all of the following: black leather biker jacket, vest, plaid or gingham dress shirt, graphic knit cardigan or sweater, and tweed jacket.
Get out there, look for, and purchase at least one of the aforementioned items at a vintage clothing store near you. Submit pics of your buys with details on where you found them and for how much on the It’s All Style To Me Facebook Page. Now I’ve been able to find each of these items at vintage stores in Toronto and I’m a size 46 chest (XL-XXL). Good luck!