Allow me to introduce you to my newest vintage find: a roomy Forenza jacket with a classic 90s silhouette, drawstring waist, and an oversized hood.
Some of the boldest pieces I own, whether for color or silhouette, are vintage. This particular jacket also sparked a new kind of passion in me, beyond acquiring gems for my own closet.
I want to convince you to shop vintage, too.
Adding vintage and second-hand clothing to your wardrobe is beneficial in so many ways. It’s both an eco-friendly alternative to fast fashion and a more creative, satisfying way to create your personal style.
Rather than just post photos of myself in my new favorite jacket (which I’m also doing, because… joy sparked!), I’ll break down some of my top reasons for adding vintage to my year-round wardrobe.
If any of them resonate with you, comment below!
Here are 5 undeniably good reasons to buy vintage clothes.
Reason #1: It’s (ridiculously) fun to treasure hunt.
One of my favorite parts about vintage shopping is the experience of exploring.
Going through piles of clothing and jewelry at estate sales, wandering buzzing flea markets, digging through previously loved pieces at yard sales…
All of these activities make me feel like a real-life treasure hunter. Vintage wares are often curated at the whim of the vendor, rather than by trend. 90s windbreakers are presented as viable options alongside 1960s cocktail dresses.
You literally never know what you’ll find!
Sure, it’s more time-consuming than clicking over to a fast fashion retailer, where merchants seduce you into buying crap you’ll discard in a month…
But finding the right vintage piece comes with a sense of accomplishment and meant-to-be-ness that you won’t get from a $9 Forever 21 dress.
A $5 silk blouse I found on a recent vintage hunt in Brooklyn!
Reason #2: Clothing karma is real.
You know that scene in movies where someone finds a magical book or enchanted piece of jewelry and they know they’ve found something special? I’ve felt that before while shopping for vintage clothing, and I think it’s because of something I call “clothing karma”.
Whether or not you believe in the idea of karma, you’ve probably picked up a piece of clothing or an old antique item and felt that it had a story behind it.
In fact, physical items do carry energy. Thanks to science class, we know that virtually all objects have kinetic and potential energies—and many spiritual guides also believe inanimate items carry energy from previous lifetimes or uses.
That’s right. I’m saying clothing liiiives!
This “life” is made up of fibers and materials and the energy of the people who made it, paired with all of the times it has been worn.
Marie Kondo briefly touches on this during her Netflix show when she asks one homeowner to thank her clothing for being in her life and gently place it aside, as opposed to chucking it in the donation bin. In traditional Shinto religion, it is believed that everything has a soul—even inanimate objects.
(I know “karma” has nothing to do with Shinto—two separate ideas going at the same time here.)
Anyway, here’s the bottom line:
An object as intimate as a piece of clothing almost certainly carries the energy of the past with it. I believe this is true because I can feel that satisfying shift of a new cycle beginning for the piece I’m wearing. It’s the start of a new life.
See if you can feel it next time you try on a vintage piece you love. ✌️
Reason #3: Today’s trends come from the past.
You know that pair of neon spandex biker shorts you have? How about that teddy-textured fuzzy fleece jacket? Or the retro scarf you have tied in your hair?
They’ve all been done before.
Veeeery often, when you’re getting hyped on a trend, you can uncover that same trend in the past—and then shop vintage pieces to recreate it.
From winter’s explosive puffer coat and teddy jacket trends to the neon and fair isle aesthetic (which I was pretty into this year, tbh), you’ll always find a piece of authentic vintage clothing to complete the look.
If you don’t believe me, give it a shot right now. Go to Etsy and type in a keyword of a trend you love right now. Be sure to filter down to vintage and choose a category for accurate results. You’ll be amazed at what pops up!
Reason #4: It’s a unique way to build your personal style.
Your ~aesthetic~ or personal style is something you develop over time. It evolves, ebbs, and flow with trends, iconic style moments, and experiences you have in life.
At least, that’s what it should be.
But when’s the last time you really put thought into your personal style? When’s the last time you picked out a special piece and knew you would be the only one wearing it?
Many of us are trapped in a bland cycle, playing lemming-consumer to pre-determined trends. We order the same sneakers, style the same looks, and prance around the city looking like cute carbon copies.
Fun fact: When I saw this meme I was wearing Adidas kicks and black leggings. #Attacked
So how do you get beyond the status quo and develop a look that’s your own? How do you seek out wildly original looks without dropping extravagant figures on designer clothing?
Yep, you guessed it! Vintage.
Vintage is sold pretty randomly, as we covered above. You never know what you’ll find. You do know, however, that you’ll find something unique from decades past that
When you wear vintage, you usually end up wearing pieces that no one else is going to show up to the party wearing—whether that party is your morning commute or, you know, an actual party!
What better way to spice up your personal style than with
Reason #5: It’s better for the planet.
Let’s wrap up with the biggest point. Fashion is wasteful. Clothing is being produced, marketed, and sold every day that will simply end up in landfills.
Check out this disturbing quote from Fast Company:
“New Yorkers throw 200 million pounds of clothing into the trash every year. That’s the equivalent of 440 Statues of Liberty. Those clothes end up in landfills, where they will sit for at least 200 years.”
We have to do better than that, and it starts with rejecting disposable clothing in the first place.
Buying fast fashion is a nasty habit for many reasons, but the worst is how it’s impacting our planet.
Our collective choices add up to our global reality. Buying vintage and second hand—and ignoring brands that are actively destroying the environment—is just one small way we can make a change.
I’ve ranted about how the fashion industry feels like a gross in the midst of climate change reports and the unthinkable conditions some factory workers endure. But rather than get angry or feel helpless, I decided to focus on promoting vintage shopping whenever possible.
Alright, I’ll hop off of my soapbox for now.
I hope this post has convinced you of the many reasons it’s satisfying to find a special vintage piece you love. It’s a meaningful (as opposed to mindless) way to bring new material items into your life. It’s creative, fun, exciting, unpredictable, and sustainable.
I mean, how awesome is that?!
Now, you have some homework to do. Go forth and buy vintage!
…and stop at my vintage shop while you’re at it. 😉
P.S. Want vintage inspiration beyond your wardrobe? Check out some of the quirkiest and cutest vintage mugs I found on Etsy and spice up those kitchen cabinets!