By Charles Dion Springfield
For many of us, having hand-me downs or shopping in second-hand stores was much more of a necessity than a desire to prove a point or make a personal/fashion statement.
It was basically engrained in many of our lives whether we liked it or not. As a youngster it definitely wasn’t en vogue to wear your thrift-store threads to the classroom, let alone the playground. You’d be met with tons of teasing and ridicule.
But as we became adults and became increasingly fascinated with eras gone by, are unsatisfied with the new designs sprouting up in our local retailers or just want to maximize our wardrobe budget, we looked to thrift stores, second-hand boutiques and vintage shops for style, quality and affordability.
It takes an adventurous, or shall I state “envelope-pushing” individual, to purchase and successfully rock old-school/vintage garments. Therefore, it’s not much of a surprise to realize that vintage/second-hand shoppers were also early adapters to what we now know as the national movement to become more “environmentally responsible.”
It wasn’t until recently when I started to learn about the need to be environmentally friendly, that I started to make a conscious effort to investigate this situation a bit more – from a fashion perspective.
It turns out that every time a person buys or wears vintage clothing instead of newly manufactured clothing, that person is recycling. That clothing is being saved from local landfills which is great because according to various sources, an average of 11.8 million tons of clothing is thrown away each year. Learning about statistics like this forced me to think about how I can avoid adding my estimated individual 68 pound contribution to that number.
Light to Medium Green are ideal shades for Vintage Fashion
Thanks to my Mom, who was a some-time model and one of my biggest style icons during my childhood, introduced me to what I will from here on out refer to vintage fashion. And the rest is history. I won’t dredge out the ugly moments from when my vintage stories went from frightening to fierce or dreadful to disgusting (in a Tyra Banks way). I’ll let your imagination fill in the color of those details. But I eventually ended up becoming somewhat of a vintage fashion expert, sought out for advice on how to put looks together in a stylish manner.
My underlining personal style is all about a classic, sophisticated look. But I tend to show my rebellious side by infusing something “odd” for a modern, edgy look. And vintage shopping is perfect for that. I would, however, never wear or recommend that anyone wear 100 percent vintage or go Dark Green on the environmentally friendly scale with his or her fashion.
To me, vintage fashion has to fall in the Light Green to Medium green spectrum in order to stay current and fashionable. I recommend infusing it into one’s wardrobe in small doses. Learn to mix and match the old with the new – that’s when you create something exciting, personal and fashion forward. I mean, really, do you really want to wear someone’s used undergarments? You have to draw a line somewhere.