Hand Me Those Hand Me Downs

Me being me, I’m completely intrigued by anything that is a little bit different. I love clothing that many people wouldn’t really pick up if they saw it in a store. But what I love even more than the designer stores and the high street (hand me a fur coat and call me Macklemore) are thrift shops because they are absolutely full of pieces no one would dare to wear anymore. Dig past the junk and you will be sure to find pieces that you never thought you would own. Proper vintage stores are the best options because they have authentic stuff, I always think the 90s were filled with some of the coolest clothes. Everyone looked like they were so put together, even in their neon workout gear. But sometimes the best vintage stuff is under the same roof as you (sorry mum). A couple of weeks ago my mum found this pair of Celine sunglasses she had from years and years ago, I obviously claimed them within seconds and have been in love with them ever since. There is something about the small frames sitting on the tip of my nose that make me feel like I just know wassup. That’s my favourite kind of look. After being obsessed with those babies for a while I was then introduced to my second pair of little sunglasses: my vintage Gucci sunglasses. Once again I was obsessed and couldn’t get enough.


Though you can be lucky enough to get vintage designer pieces, there are also high street pieces that have made their way into my closet from a thrift store. One piece which I purchased in a vintage shop in New Zealand was a Topshop coat. Though Topshop is a high-street store, the coat dates back a good twenty/ thirty years. The quality of the coat is crazy in comparison to what is being sold nowadays, most of which is lucky to make it past the season (I’m not dissing. New clothes every year? Yes puh-lease). Just like trends come and go, it’s quite nice to freshen up your closet with new pieces. However, with the lowered quality, it’s becoming harder to put these clothes anywhere but the bin because by the time you are done with them, they are done with being worn. Though the high street is perfect if you don’t want to put a dent in your bank account, the saying that ‘you pay for what you get’ couldn’t be more accurate in a lot of shops. But thrift stores often have the opposite approach, you pay less and get more, yeah it may have been worn a couple of times but sometimes, if you're really lucky, the piece still has the price tag on it and is going for less than a quarter of the price. 


But I’m definitely not the only one that has a love for vintage clothing and ridiculous designer discounts. In fact, thrifted attire has become a trend in itself. So trendy that some stores such as Urban Outfitters have completely ruined the whole principle of it. ‘Urban Renewal’ is Urban Outfitters ‘in-store thrift shop’ in which they sell recycled clothing (applause for the fact that they aren’t letting clothing go to waste) BUT they are selling the pieces for double or triple the original price (did I mention these pieces have been worn?!). I mean kudos to them for making a huge profit (can’t really tell if I’m jealous I didn’t come up with this concept or angry), but personally I think it ruins the experience. It ruins what thrift shopping is. Vintage clothing is one of my favourite things because it lives on, I don’t know how to say this without making me sound weird af, but you know how a lot of families pass things down through generations. For example, watches that get passed through generations and generations or wedding rings that make their appearance at more than one ‘I do’. Even though the moments and people pass, the memories and stories live in the piece forever. I seem to take this idea to new extremes considering I have McDonalds receipts from 2015 that I can’t seem to part with because ‘that was such a good day’. 


But when you thrift a piece of vintage clothing, the stories and memories are left to the imagination because you have no idea where the piece came from. Maybe my little blue Topshop coat belonged to a London school girl who came to New Zealand and fell in love with the kiwi fashion and traded in her preppy blue coat for something no one back in London would have. Or maybe it belonged to a crackhead who liked blue. Either way, there’s a story, a story I get to wear and add myself to. And on top of that it’s cheap. Even though there is something special when you buy a piece that is brand new from a shop and you know you are the only person that has ever owned the piece, a vintage piece offers more than just a look. Personally, I prefer pieces that are from a different eras because they allow you to mix different times together. Stylish pieces will never not be trendy, regardless of when you wear them.