Sunday, September 1, 2013

On Style

Two cuffs: “fearless” on the pink, “tough” on the Kelly green.  The wrong colors for a fall moto-jacket.  I wear them anyways. 
For now I still hear “how cute!”  Because, now they clutter counters of Macy’s. They are “knocked-off” in tarnished metals by Target. They subject filtered photographs on the instigram of the girl Mulberry named its latest bag after.   For now, they are trendy.  Now I am “in.”
But long past the mark down tags, the trading in the halls of middle schools. Long past the celebrity who dropped hers one day and decided it no longer important to look for. I feel them on my wrist. 
And though they are long past complimented and copied, I still have style.
Styling transforms the inward’s image out.  An image adorned with trends and fads, with classics or pieces that were never called “cool.” With what does not matter.  So long as what expresses who.  When we dress, when we style, we become.
I walk past a mirror catching the two cuff’s reflection. The sun spotlights each letter of each word.  “Fearless” and “tough.” I style myself with adjectives of my mind’s image.  For today, it is the woman I will be. 
My style is a string tied around a finger; another post-it on my planner. Every time my mind’s drawing bounces off the mirror’s glass it reminds me of what I need to do. So one day the drawing will be a photograph.  So one day they will call me these things. 
I could hang on the every trend.  I could make a dollar leaving the cuffs on a rack at Plato’s closet.  But for now I slip them on my wrist before every breakfast. I dress for my style. I dress for the person I am.  I am fearless.  I am tough.  I am pushing the button…
The camera clicks.
See that photograph?  It’s timeless. And between its framing, I will always be “in.”

Friday, March 18, 2011

How to shop vintage

If you go to a vintage store:
1. Know what you like.  Do research on the Internet before so you know if you are more a 1920's or 1940's girl.  Look for clothes in the store that resemble the ones you liked online.  Make sure to ask if the store goes through a vintage certification process.  If it does, keep reading.  If not, treat it like a thrift store and follow the tips for shopping vintage in a thrift store that I have added below.
2.  Try it on and pay attention to the measurements.  Vintage sizes run different then sizes today.  Some stores will include measurements, so know yours before you go in.  Otherwise, just try it on.  Remember that you can hem up, let out, and take in anything you need to with a sewing machine at home.
3.  check for imperfections or tears.  If you find some yet still want to buy the item, ask the sales associate for a discount, normally they will give you one.  Mend any small imperfections at home.
If you are buying at a thrift store or on
1. Follow all the tips above
2. When buying through a store that does not go through a vintage certification process look for these easy details to insure that you are buying real vintage clothing :
The tags:
vintage tags look much different than ours do today.   Here is what to look for-
(on the left) size tags (this one from the 1940's) are normally a small loop of fabric.  Look for a number, rather then size letter (XS, S, M, L)
(in the middle) Most vintage tags will no look like the long loop tags that decorate modern clothing.  Up until around the 1950's they were mostly rectangles or squares sometimes with beveled edges.  In the late fifties to early sixties (on right) they began to more commonly stitched to the garment on the sides of the tag.  Vintage tags will normally have a face with just the brand name and where it is made.  These tags normally feel more like fabric then the papery tags we are used to.  The brand names are normally creatively embroidered to match the brand's label and sometimes the stitching is colorful. 
Vintage zippers are traditionally a flat piece of metal, most commonly in a rectangle shape.  They normally have a cutout in the center and it is not unusual to find the brand name etched into them.  If you find an item with a tiny oval zipper which looks like a grain of rice or one where the cutout is really small and close to the bottom, you know it is not a vintage item.

How to shop thrift stores

Yes, it is a verb, and it is taking over the fashion world. THRIFTING. So all you label whores, put down your designer duds. The new look is cheap, unique, and a style you make your own. You can find it at a thrift store near you.

Tips for thrifting:
1.  Thrift stores can be overwhelming: with all the cheap prices, it is easy to go crazy.  Take some time to think about your style before you enter.  What is your favorite silhouette? Color? Are you bohemian or Preppy? And stick to it.  There is no use in buying clothes you will never wear.
2. Know your budget. Thrifting is all about being cost efficient, so figure out how much you can spend before you walk into the store.  Be reasonable to what is in your checking account, and don't compromise (unless you find that perfect dress).
3. Ask how the store is organized.  Go to the sales counter and ask a representative, it will cut down on time.  Most are usually organized by either size, date in time, color, or brand.  Then eliminate.  If you know you will never wear something blue, don't shop in the blue section.  If your a size small, don't get your heart broken by looking at the dresses hanging on the large rack.
4. Check for imperfections.  hold it in light to make sure there are no stains.  Pay special attention to the seams and hem of the item to make sure there are no broken hems or tears.  If there is a small imperfection that you notice, but still want to buy, point it out to the sales associate, in most cases you will get a discount.  Plus, most minor tears can be easily mended at home.
5. Try it on.  Used clothes have been shrunk, stretched, and put through lots of wear.  The size on the label is just a guide, you should try everything on.
6. When it is time to buy, trade in your own clothes if you have any to lower the bill.  Otherwise, just enjoy the smile that spreads across your face when you see the price.
7. Refashion (my favorite)! If something does not fit quite right, or you think that your new dress and sweater would be way cuter as a romper and scarf, break out your sewing machine and get to work.  You can make virtually any item of clothing work for you with a bobbin and needle. :)

Happy Thrifting!
All my love
Ashley Marie

About Me

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Fashion and Brand-Communications student. Crazy Dreamer. My yellow-brick road ends in New York City.