Though it’s hard to pinpoint when vintage officially made an entrance into the mainstream world of fashion, designers and style icons have always been inspired by their predecessors. Think about brands’ recent return to the archives, and the constant trend cycles of the runways. Wearing vintage is more than a trend, though — it’s a lifestyle, a movement and a way of appreciating pieces and styles from bygone eras.
And we’re all about “era-fluid fashion” — the method of seamlessly blending pieces from decades past with those from the present. Our most stylish coworkers around the office know a thing or two about vintage, so we caught up with them to see how they find the best vintage on the site, and how they style those pieces into their day-to-day wardrobes.
Do your research before shopping.
When it comes to searching for vintage, have a game plan and a general idea of what you’re looking for. “Do your research,” advises Kaila Abruzzo, Writer & Editor. “There are so many amazing resources out there, and the more familiar you are with brands, styles and materials, the better you’ll be at making a solid investment. I follow Instagram accounts like @simplicitycity and @idea.ltd for inspiration, plus @chloessevigny‘s account because she’s always mixing vintage with new. It’s part of my job to stay ahead of handbag trends, but I’ve found that knowing which styles are coming back helps me narrow my searches. With Daniel Lee, the former director of ready-to-wear at Celine, currently reviving Bottega Veneta, I definitely think Intrecciato bags are going to come back.”
Chloé 2018 Sonnie Sneakers; Vintage Cartier Santos Watch; Vintage Gucci Camera Bag
When it comes to styling, Abruzzo likes to bee-line for top designers. “I’m always amazed at how much vintage Gucci, Fendi and Prada we have,” she says. “It’s an exciting puzzle to see how you can make it work with all your other buys. I like to subdue a bold ’80s dress with a classic trench, or pair vintage denim with a blazer to polish it up.”
Let our “Vintage” and “Editors’ Picks” filters help you out.
If you’re looking for a little shortcut, the “Vintage” filter on our site will help refine your search. And if you want recommendations straight from our experts in style, just toggle the “Editors’ Picks” filter as well. “We get a lot of one-of-a-kind vintage and the filters are great for finding the best pieces across all categories,” says Lindsey Taft, Merchandise Manager, Fine Jewelry. “My favorite part about vintage is the rush of finding that unique piece you know no one else has. I recently scored a Tiffany & Co. Teardrop ring with a vintage-inspired design. Elsa Peretti designed the original Teardrop collection in the late ‘70s to early ‘80s.”
Don’t be afraid to mix it up.
If you haven’t yet experimented sartorially by mixing high with low, or vintage with new — like vintage heritage pieces with of-the-moment streetwear — it’s time to take the plunge. “Incorporating vintage pieces into my wardrobe is one of my favorite things to do, and I actively mix high-end pieces with more affordably priced finds,” says Lex Valle, Authentication and Brand Compliance Lead. “My first purchase at The RealReal was a pair of vintage Gucci oxfords, and recently I’ve been throwing them on with thrifted cargo pants and my Raf Simons Brooke Shields T-shirt.”
Balenciaga 2019 BB Boots; Vintage Cartier Constellation Trinity Ring; Vintage Hermès Brise de Charm Silk Scarf
Valle also likes to keep his options open when searching the site. “When it comes to finding good pieces, I love both slim fits and oversized looks,” he says, “so shopping all sizes works best for me. And I’ve surprisingly lucked out finding larger pieces in the kids’ section. Leave no stone unturned!”
Go with your instincts.
Everyone has their own opinion when it comes to vintage, but at the end of the day, you’re the one wearing it. When you fall in love with a piece, don’t second guess yourself. “When I shop for vintage clothing, it’s more about having an emotional reaction to a piece,” says Kaitlin Kivetz, Retail Image Manager. “At the moment I’m gravitating towards ‘80s and ‘90s pieces. It was all about the fabric in the ‘90s. When I shop for vintage jewelry, I tend to go for pieces from the Victorian and Edwardian eras. I love the ornate details of this time and the use of gold. When styling a look, I tend to dress fairly minimal, then at the last minute grab a vintage piece to complete the outfit. I need that statement piece — whether it be a killer coat, blazer, vintage Cartier Classic Tank watch or stack of jewelry — to tell a story. And that finishing touch should 100% come from your own intuitive love for something.”