Something you probably won’t know about me; a few years ago it wasn’t unusual for me to spend evenings trawling ebay for vintage clothes and accessories, and still have a few of said pieces knocking about now (I used one of my vintage bags in this post).
One of my most sought after items was a pair of vintage Levi shorts, but buying those online can be tricky, guys, especially when you are a cheapskate who doesn’t want to spend actual money on them, and instead I ended up with what appeared to be an enormous denim nappy. The tragic thing is that I used to actually wear said denim nappy, held up with one of those weird thin plastic belts that came free around Primark shirt dresses. I also sometimes used to wear them with LEGGINGS underneath. This is all too painful. Why are today’s 19 and 20 year olds so stylish?
Digression complete, and what I’m trying to say is that I used to really love vintage shops, charity shops, thrift stores, ebay and the like, but in the past few years I seem to have shopped in them less and less. I don’t know if this is perhaps something to do with the fact that when I lived in London there were a lot more vintage stores to choose from, or I had more time, or something else, but I always assumed that at some point I would bring some vintage loving to the blog.
Recently the kind people at Rokit asked if I’d like to choose some things from their site. I said yes I would very much like that, and the rest, as they say, is history, because it really reminded me of how much I used to love this sort of thing, and myself and the items are now in a loving relationship.
In an effort to show just how easy it is to incorporate vintage pieces into a modern wardrobe, I chose what I consider to be key easy-to-wear items. These are things that are particularly fuss-free; pick them up and they’ll slot seamlessly into outfits with staples you already own and brand new trend-led pieces alike, as well as being relatively easy on the sizing front. To prove it, I’ve put together a lookbook of sorts (still don’t know what that actually means but hey lets roll with it) around some of my easy-to-wear vintage staples.
The vintage blouse or shirt
A vintage blouse or shirt is nearly always a winner; they tend to be either very pretty or very cool, and are fairly easy to just take off the hanger, pop on with a pair of jeans, and go. Blouses work beautifully tucked into skirts or jeans, and shirts can either be tucked in or worn oversized with jeans and converse; both the sort of looks that just ooze effortless cool on Insta-stars, but that doesn’t mean us mere mortals can’t go for it too.
Because I already have a couple of vintage shirts, I went for this beautiful green paisley 70s blouse. There’s something a bit Zara/Mango about it and something a bit Gucci-esque about it too. I wore this with a very much vintage-inspired but very much current season pair of wide leg cropped jeans, my little buckle up red shoes and an embroidered bag, and it is a work, lunch or coffee date dream. It is not, unfortunately, a wind or freezing temperatures dream, so I’m only sorry that the gale seems to have blown everything I’m wearing flush to my body in an extremely unattractive way, meaning these photos don’t quite show off the gorgeous shape of the clothes quite so well as I had hoped.
Blouse – C/O Rokit | Jeans – River Island | Shoes – River Island | Bag – New Look
The vintage jumper
Oh look, it’s me in a high necked jumper – quelle surprise, so shocking, how unusual. Yes, this little baby looks very much like the other jumpers I’ve been living in this winter, but I didn’t have a yellow one, so here we are. Jumpers were one of my very favourite things to pick up in vintage stores, apart from denim nappies, purely because they were so easy to style. They also waive some of the general problems that come with sizing when shopping vintage; tight jumpers, baggy jumpers and everything in between are fairly easy to wear, so unless it’s restricting your breathing or dragging along the floor, you’re pretty much good to go.
I paired my new favourite jumper with pleather trousers, a little pair of pink flatform trainers I picked up in the sales recently, and my baker boy hat. Weekend, I am ready.
The vintage denim jacket
Throughout my time spent trawling ebay in a previous life, another item that I was always looking for was a denim jacket. I won an ebay auction for one of these once, but once again when it arrived it was about 5 sizes too big, and I promptly sold it again because although some people might be able to rock seriously oversized denim, I am not one of those people, and the nappy incident had proven it.
I should stress that the main reason I didn’t end up with a suitable denim jacket on that occasion is that I was trying to spend about £2 on one; they’re actually one of the easiest things to find and style. There’s a denim jacket in every vintage or thrift shop I’ve ever been in and they really have never gone out of fashion.
I love the boxy shape of the one I chose, which allows it to be a bit oversized without drowning me, and it’s my ideal wash too. I paired it with a this hanky hem skirt from Topshop, velvet biker boots, bright accessories, and layered a simple sweatshirt underneath. My favourite outfit I’ve worn in a while, and you can bet that this jacket will appear a lot with tea dresses and basket bags when Spring decides to grace us with its presence.
Denim jacket – C/O Rokit | Jumper – Primark | Skirt – Topshop | Bag – Zara | Boots – Primark | Earrings – H&M
Which brings me to the end of my little vintage lookbook, and I feel very much reminded of how many vintage gems are out there waiting for a new home (I also now have a bit of a Rokit wishlist as I saw SO many other beautiful things when selecting these). What are your thoughts on shopping vintage? Is it something you do/have done, or something you don’t know where to start with?
Photography: Rob Poor