Monday, April 23, 2012

Why Vintage: Our Earth Day Rant Part Deux

So this is the second part of what started out as a simple nod to Earth Day.  What I thought would be a quick post turned into a two part-er and I have now realized that it could really be a chapter in book.  Yesterday I told you all of the environmentally friendly reasons you should buy vintage.  Today, I will tell you all of the practical reasons, i.e., why you will look good, feel good, and save money.

When you mention the word "vintage" so many people have such negative associations with the word.  Images of rumaging through piles of dirty clothes at yard sales and thoughts of musty mothball smelling dresses from your grandmothers attic.  The list goes on and on.  I remember watching an episode on Season 4 of The Real Housewives of Atlanta (Yep, totally embarrassed to admit watching that one) where NeNe Leakes was, as usual, expressing that she was too good for something.  This episode it was "vintage".  She said "Vintage clothes are clothes that people have had on their bodies before....." with a smug look and a twitch of that horribly done new nose.  Well, duh.  But the level of her ignorance truly floored me.  Now every time I get an uneducated smug look or a "Oh, it's vintage" comment with a smirk, I think "Come on now, girl.  I know you must be more intelligent than NeNe Leakes.  Or at least I though so".  Since when did we all strive to have the same level of values as an uneducated ex-stripper?

At the end of the day, I am usually the one with the smirk on my face.  Most all of the outfits that I get the biggest response to are vintage.  And the responses are overwhelmingly positive.  My clothes don't typically come from yard sales and anyone who knows me, knows that much to my husband's chagrin, I don't pay a dollar for anything.  I will, however, wear that awesome vintage maxi dress that I scored for $22 and smile like hell when I accept all 15 compliments that I get on it in two hours.  I will now get down off my soapbox and get on to the actual reason for this post.

Some of the many reasons to purchase vintage clothing:

1.  Everyone knows that like history, fashion repeats itself.  What is old always becomes new again, the key is how you style it.  Vintage is the true source of inspiration for many of today's fashion designers.  They often buy vintage pieces, create patterns from those pieces, and reproduce it to sell under their own label.  I know, I've worked for them.  If you buy vintage, you will have the original.

2.  Vintage always stresses quality over quantity.  Vintage pieces are often times made by hand.  Better materials and techniques were used in addition to specialized details, buttons and finishes.  These hand sewn pieces were made to last.  Vintage pieces have survived decades.  How many wears did you get out of that $15  top from the mall?  How quickly did those $10 earrings manufactured in China fall apart?  Hmm....

3.  Purchasing vintage pieces not only allows you to save a garment from the landfill, it also provides you with a unique one-of-a kind garment or accessory.  You will never have to worry about "seeing yourself" at the party in a mass produced garment.  Vintage pieces add true individuality to your style.

4.  Vintage clothing is an investment.  Unless you are spending loads of cash on haute couture, clothing is much like a car.  Just as a car decreases in value when you drive it off the lot, your clothing loses value the moment you cut off the tags.  Collectible vintage only becomes more and more valuable as it gets harder to find.  You will never loose money on that Bill Blass dress from yesteryear.

5.  Sources of vintage clothing often benefit great causes.  Goodwill Industries and the Salvation Army function to help those in need.  There are many local thrift stores that use their proceeds to support various shelters.  Are you likely to find a vintage Pucci dress at your local donation center? Not a chance but you when you drop off that donation box of your own you may want to take the time to look around.  You never know what unique pieces you may find.

By now I am sure I have bored you with all of my "text" so I will finish up with a little visual impact.  Here are pics and a little info on a few of today's celebrity vintage aficionados.  How can all of these gorgeous women be wrong?

Pictured in 2007 at her A Mighty Heart premiere not in couture but wearing a $26 dress from LA Boutique, Wasteland.
Photo courtesy of Access Hollywood.

In a May 2009 interview with Elle magazine, lifetime vintage shopper Sevigny said "It's not what you spend but how you wear it that counts".  How true.

Kate is a true purveyor of vintage- wearing it, using it as inspiration for design, even smelling like it.  In 2009 Kate launched a fragrance called "Vintage" that was a fruity floriental fragrance, meant to be a scented capsulation of her love of vintage clothes.  Kate has been quoted as saying "I am fascinated by vintage pieces because they not only have remarkable beauty but also an innate sense of history.  I love that each object has its own story to tell".  

Courtesy of

Richie, a long time fan and wearer of vintage debuted her own vintage inspired clothing line, Winter Kate in Spring of 2010.  From the mouth of the girl who started the huge sunglasses craze, "The beauty of anything vintage is that you're not going to see lots of other people in the same thing.  I like to be different".  

The former MTV host and hipster muse of Karl Lagerfeld is touted by many as the Kate Moss of this generation.  She made the cut on British Vogue's Best Dressed List for 2010 and was once in talks to develop a show called "Thrift America" where she unearthed treasures from her favorite vintage shops.

Photo courtesy of Peter Roberts

Kate along with her longtime stylist, Cher Coulter, created the monthly "fix" for their jewelry obsession.  JewelMint sends you monthly recommendations for pieces based on your style profile and pieces that are inspired by what else....vintage.  

Photo courtesy of Nylon 

Deyn is known mostly as a fashion chameleon with her mish-mosh of punk, rockabilly, and Hollywood starlet style- all with a little tomboy thrown in for good measure.  I mean who else can dress like Michael Jackson and look so phenomenal?

Photo Courtesy of Harpers Bazaar

The power duo created a fashion capsule of their clothing line Elizabeth and James exclusively for Barney's this spring.  The inspiration for the fab floral print- vintage wallpaper.  

Photo Courtesy of Barneys

Oh, my.  And here we saved the best for last.  Rachel Zoe has become a household name in the last two years.  Everyone who has ever seen a pic of her or watched 5 minutes of The Rachel Zoe Project knows that she is a vintage hound.  Did Zoe, however, take her "vin-spiration" a little too far when she  replicated a vintage dress from a styling segment for Teen Vogue in October 2007?  Or did she just get busted doing what every other designer does?

Photo courtesy of

We hope you have enjoyed our very lengthy presentation on the value of vintage clothing.  We thank you for allowing us to beat you up and bash you repeatedly over the head with VINTAGE, VINTAGE, VINTAGE.  Now please -go and buy some vintage.

Till Next Time,
Tricia and Jennings

Why Vintage? Our Earth Day Rant

One of the most frequent questions that we get about our business is "Why vintage?".  Jennings and I both have extensive backgrounds in the clothing industry and have had the opportunity to work with and meet some of its top designers.  So when we decided to start our own business, many people wondered why we didn't just open a boutique featuring all of the newly manufactured clothing designers that we have worked with for years.  To be honest that would have been much easier.  But anyone who knows us knows that we never typically choose to do things the easy way.

We had waited a very long time to venture out on our own and felt that our business should be a direct reflection of who we are.  We wanted our business to have a purpose other than being just another outpost for women to indulge their shopping habits. We wanted to help women find their voice in fashion and express their individuality.  We wanted to contribute to local charities.  We both, along with our husbands, are very passionate about recycling and upcycling.  We wanted to do even the smallest positive thing for our environment.  Rogue Vintage  has given us the opportunity to do all of the above and more.

As everyone well knows, or at least should, yesterday was Earth Day.  Many people don't really think about the negative impact that the clothing industry has on our eco system.  It goes well beyond the energy expended producing the clothing, the amount of water used in dyeing garments and then the run off into our rivers and sewers, even the negative effects of the transportation of goods during distribution.  Having been in the fashion business I have seen first hand the tremendous amount of waste that goes into the packaging of new apparel.  Every single garment is shipped on a plastic hanger and wrapped in an individual plastic bags that are not recyclable. Look at the average amount of clothing in a boutique or clothing store, imagine each piece being individually wrapped, and then picture the piles of plastic associated with it.  Better yet, take the time to visit a dumpster out back at your favorite store and see what they contributed to your local landfill that day.  It's not quite the same pretty picture as your frilly new dress on a delicate padded hanger.

Packaging is oddly not even the most frightening of the issues.  Did you know that polyester is made from petroleum?  That the manufacturing of nylon emits nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas with a carbon footprint 310 times that of carbon dioxide?  That it takes almost 1/3 a pound of pesticides to manufacture the cotton for a single t-shirt?  Better yet, that all "easy care" and "permanent press" garments are treated with formaldehyde.  All of those facts are pretty grim realities associated with the fashion industry.

We certainly don't think we know it all so to better educate yourself on the topic visit Earth911 or take a look at some of the shopping tips from the EPA.  Additionally, we don't in any way shape or form pretend that we don't indulge in new things ourselves.  We are just saying that it wouldn't hurt to make a few "educated" purchases now and then.  The average American throws out 68 pounds of clothing and textiles per person per year.  In return, the average American only purchases about 10 pounds of recycled clothing per year.  This year, try to make sure you are balancing out that ratio and purchase recycled or upcycled goods.

For more reasons to purchase vintage clothing, see our next blog post: Why Vintage? Our Earth Day Rant Part Deux.  We promise that there will be lots of  pictures of hot chicks!

Till Next Time,
Tricia and Jennings

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Aries Style: Atypical

This month's Aries is not afraid to flaunt a low-cut top or flash a little leg. Born March 21st to April 19th, this sign is always number one.  As the zodiac's trailblazer, Aries will try any trend and is usually the person starting them. She is a fearless fashionista who lives by her own rules.  The most important thing for Lady Aries is to be original- never wanting to blend into the crowd.

GEMSTONE:  Diamond
LOOK:  Innocent Vixen
BEST COLORS:  Red and gold
FABRICS:  Cotton
STYLE STAPLES:  A strong detail (like a bow on the shoulder), chandelier earrings, vintage status bags, tiny dresses that show off those legs
STEP IT UP:  Wild hats, sequins, sexy twists on little-girl looks, unexpected accents
DIAL IT DOWN:  Anything too conservative or matchy-matchy, dull colors, plaids

*For more on your zodiac style visit My Lifetime.

We cannot think of a better representation of Aries than the ever phenomenal Sarah Jessica Parker.  Her role as Carrie Bradshaw on Sex And The City changed the face of fashion forever.  When searching for images for this post we took a stroll down memory lane and relived some of Carrie's top trends.  Damn, we miss that show!

Speaking of a sexy twist on a little-girl look- tutu anyone?

Carrie always knew how to rock a strong detail.  We love her signature flower and how it just got bigger and bigger culminating in the gigantic white flower dress by Patricia Field in Sex And The City-The Movie.

And the jewelry- where do we start!?!  From the vintage costume necklace layered with pearls to the horseshoe to the nameplate.....we love and STILL have them all.

Her trailblazing didn't just extend into the apparel and accessories frontier.  The top bun that EVERYONE has been yapping about all season was rocked by SJP years ago.

Enough of our forever style crush.  Here are a few Carrie, we mean Aries, inspired pieces.

Kenneth Jay Lane Vintage Ram Necklace

K.J.L Ram Clamper Bracelet

Azalea Festival kicks off this weekend in Wilmington.  We hope everyone has a great time enjoying the gardens, music, food and fun.  Have a great weekend!

Till Next Time,
Tricia and Jennings