April 9th, 2010

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Russ Martin is an amazing person, great journalist and always manages to entertain. So I was very excited when he said he would fill out my vintage questionnaire. Below you will find his hilarious and interesting accounts with vintage clothing including his fascination with Chloe Sevigny and her overalls. Get a regular dose of Russ’s personality at his site, Close Your Eyes.

What draws you to shop for Vintage?

Growing up in southern Manitoba, shopping vintage was a necessity, not a hobby. It was either the MCC thrift shop across from the grocery store, or the Gap. Back then we still called clothing “used”, thinking vintage was a word our parents used to describe wine. Years later sifting through second hand shops is still cheaper, easier, and more fun than boutiques or the mall. You never end up in that same sweater everyone has from H&M.

When did you first shop in a vintage store? Do you remember your first buy?

See above. Don’t remember the first—something in grade school my mom picked up at Value Village for me, I’m sure.

What is your best Vintage find?

A 1980s Harley Davidson motorcycle jacket (pictured above), which I wear through warm weather, rain or shine. Leather jackets are easy to find at thrift shops, but to find a biker jacket in my small size you usually have to look at vintage boutiques. I found this one at Hooper’s in Winnipeg while I was home for Christmas vacation last year. It fits like a glove when I wear it I can’t help feeling a bit like a Ramone.

Everyone seems to be addicted to certain vintage accessories or garments? What vintage items are you obsessed with?

High-waisted men’s trousers. These are easy to find and simple to work into a wardrobe—I have a pair in almost every colour. My standard uniform right now is a pair of vintage trousers matched with a fast-fashion printed dress shirt, buttoned to the neck.

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Right now, what era does your style fit into? What are your favourite trends from this time?

Last autumn I joked my style for the season was 1950s academia, which meant lots of sweater-vests and an occasional argyle or houndstooth print. Lately I’d say I look like the only gay banker in small-town-somewhere, circa 1963.

Is there a vintage accessory or garment that you crave/are looking for?

Right now I have my eye out for the perfect pair of sweats. Usually I steal the ones my dad buys out of the Sears catalogue, but after seeing so many sweats on the runway this season, I’m looking for a pair made of an interesting, comfortable material I can have a friend re-work to a more tightly tailored harem. Too much?

When you go vintage shopping do you have a vintage buddy or prefer shopping alone? What is your vintage shopping process?

The cardinal rule is: go together, shop alone. Two sets of eyes are better than one, but hit the racks alone so you never have to argue over an item. I have a set of vintage buddies and we all are always on the hunt for stuff in each other’s style. The best vintage pieces I own weren’t my own finding, they all come from friends who saw the clothes and thought of me.

If you could steal anyone’s style from the past whose would it be?

Chloe Sevigny back before Kids in the early nineties, when she was a Sassy intern and the coolest girl in the rave scene in Manhattan. For years now I’ve been trying to convince my friends to let me wear overalls, just like Chloe did.

Was there a tv show or celebrity/musician from your childhood who influenced your early style?

When I was a teenager I fell hard for Conor Oberst and wore striped sweaters for an entire year.

Do you own anything that you want to pass down?

Not yet—but I did recently rescue a pair of my mum’s tights from the eighties from my parents’ house. They are loud, bright, and busy, kind of like a print by Jeremy Scott.

Is there anything that you have inherited from a family member?

My grandfather—Russel Morden—passed a whole pile of clothes to me (along with a name). Luckily we’re almost the same size, so I’ve got some great suits along with my favourite pair of well-worn Wranglers, which I’m told qualify as “boyfriend jeans”.

Do you have a favourite vintage store? If you shop online where do shop for vintage?

Hands down Double Take. I’m convinced there is someone who lives in Cabbagetown who shares my size and style. I’ve found racks full of similarly sized and styled garments all in a single run. It’s my dream to catch him as he’s dropping off a bag and offer cash for everything he tosses out—if all those size 28” pants do belong to him, I want each and every pair.

What is your most memorable vintage item/story?

In my senior year of high school I worked at Value Village. We had a handful of regulars who would wait for the doors to open each morning and spend the day making the rounds. But my favourite was a silver-haired elderly woman we called Armani Lady. She’s the best vintage shopper I’ve ever met and would comb through every item in the store repeatedly until she found some sort of designer good.

Thanks Russ!

Do you know someone else that has great vintage stories and would like to be featured? Email me at kaitlin@myvintagesecret.com

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March 22nd, 2010

Every time I find an online vintage store, whether independent, on Etsy, or from Ebay I write it down (ie. copy and paste the link – who writes things down anymore? Although I do miss post-its…) I’ve accumulated so many I thought I would share some with you. Take a break to check out these amazing shops found at your fingertips.

Independent

Spanish Moss Vintage


Pure Awesomeness. Spanish Moss has much to offer from vintage to new items and their super cool blog. This classic Rolling Stones Tee is just a sample of their hot collection of vintage.


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Rolling Stone Tee

Shop

Bleubird Vintage


Bleubird Vintage is fun for the whole family! This shop carries clothing and accessories for “Lady Bird”, “Mister Bird” and “Little Bird” like the adorable skates below!


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Skates

Shop

Etsy

James Rowland


Best vintage shoes ever. That’s all you need to know.


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Shoes 

Shop


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March 16th, 2010

In our final year at Ryerson, Fashion Communication students have to do a self-directed capstone project. The subject is of your choosing and it can be absolutely anything and not necessarily fashion-related. In our program we focus on visual communication through design with courses like graphic design, typography, illustration, photography, etc so our projects are going to be very broad from paintings, events, brand books, websites, etc. My project relates to My Vintage Secret. As you know, I shop mostly in thrift stores and re-use a lot of clothing. I wanted my project to reflect this idea of clothing as valuable and recyclable in a time that promotes “fast fashion” so I constructed a clothing sculpture. Below, is a piece that I made with donations (thanks to everyone who donated!) which I manipulated into what I hope is seen as something beautiful. In the middle is a white space (white clothing) for my do-it-yourself stop motion videos to be projected onto. After spending four straight days finalizing the sculpture I am 98% done! I just handed in these photos to my prof to mark and the next step is installing it at the exhibition which starts April 7th and continues until the 10th. Without further ado, here is my ultimate DIY.


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March 12th, 2010

I love vintage (surprise!) and when I tell others about My Vintage Secret it prompts them to share their amazing finds and stories (Yaay!). Since I enjoy hearing vintage love so much I thought you would too so I’ve decided to start posting mini vintage interviews! I have asked one of my favourite people, Breanna Hughes from one of my favourite blogs, Unbrelievable, to tell me some of her vintage secrets. Enjoy!

What draws you to vintage?

Honestly, I’m new to vintage shopping. I am a tech nerd, so I feel I lack the creative eye, but I started getting a bit more brave and trying new things and now I’m hooked! I like how you know you’ll walk into a party and not be wearing the same thing as someone else. Plus, it’s hard work, so you feel like you’ve earned your outfit.

When did you first shop in a vintage store? Do you remember your first purchase?

My first vintage shop was my moms closet. She was a huge hippie, and has amazing style so I love going through her closet and her old clothes. My favourite and first item was this bag, and I wear it ALL the time.

bag mom

What is your best Vintage find?

The aforementioned bag, or this amazing necklace my grandmother brought back from India and gave it to my mom when she was still just dating my dad. It has since been passed on to me, and it means even more since my grandmother has passed.

Everyone seems to be addicted to certain vintage accessories or garments? (For me it’s belts) What vintage items are you obsessed with?

At first it was purses, since I have a hard time finding clothes that fit me right (and I’m an awful sewer). Then it was shoes, but now it’s BELTS GALORE. I just bought 5 from 69 Vintage the other week.

Right now, what era does your style fit into? What are your favourite trends from this time?

My style fits into nothing. It’s so different day to day. Sometimes I wear expensive, more put together outfits. Sometimes I wear jeans and a tee. In the summer, it’s all about comfort and I love my little hippie style. I’m loving the 90s Party of Five style right now. I just bought a few pairs of brogues and a pair of oxfords. I’ve been finding a lot of vintage floral dresses that I SWEAR Neve Campbell wore.

Is there a vintage accessory or garment that you crave?

I have been on the hunt for the perfect fur shawl, and I’m just not happy with what I’ve found. (I’m sorry PETA!)

When you go vintage shopping do you have a vintage buddy or prefer shopping alone? What is your vintage shopping process?

Since I’m still just learning, I like to have a buddy with me who knows better than me and can tell me what looks bad or not. It’s so easy to walk away with the entire store when everything is so cheap. I always say “but it’s only $2.99″, but you need that conscience reminding you that you will never wear it. And that closet real estate is hard to come by.

My process is definitely shoes and accessories first. I feel that the good ones will get snapped up quickly, so I always am in a bigger rush to go for them.

If you could steal anyone’s style from the past whose would it be?

I think all fashion is pretty much stolen from the past, no? I love Katherine Hepburns menswear for woman style. I have to have a wardrobe that I can also wear to work, so I love wearing oversized collared shirts and baggier slacks.

Was there a TV show or celebrity/musician from your childhood who influenced your early style?

I think I speak for most girls of my generation when I say Drew Barrymore. I will never forget her daisy pictures and dark lips. I used to wear dark lipstick all the time. I also had a, yup, “Rachel” haircut.

Do you own anything that you want to pass down?

For my university graduation, I received a VERY beautiful pearl necklace from my grandfather. That will go down the family tree most definitely.

Do you have a favourite vintage store? If you shop online where do shop for vintage?

Etsy is great for vintage and it’s honestly where I do most of my shopping. Ebay is more risky I find. I love public butter, because I find they don’t jack up the prices too much. I also love bungalow, because they mix old and new, which is very much my style. San Francisco has AMAZING vintage shopping in the Mission. I brought most my items back from there.

What is your most memorable vintage item/story?

I bought a vintage dress with a bit of what I thought was shoulder padding. I washed it by hand, dried it, and put it on for the day. Throughout the day, I kept noticing a yellow powder on my dress and i had no idea where it was coming from. We went on a wild goose chase looking for where the yellow was coming from. Turns out there were two yellow chalk like tablets in my shoulders, it wasn’t padding at all. I think they might have been mothballs? Gross.

Thanks Bre!

Do you know someone else that has great vintage stories and would like to be featured? Email me at kaitlin@myvintagesecret.com

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March 1st, 2010

In a Poll I asked you “What Vintage Accessory do you own the most of?”  Here are the results:

30% Jewelry
27% Shoes
25% Purses
9% Belts
9% Scarves
0% Hats

First of all, thanks for participating! I really love that there are so many vintage jewelry and shoes running around out there! I am surprised however, that more people didn’t have vintage belts – there are so many amazing ones out there! Obviously, this is the accessory I have to most of. I have over 40 and I have to stop myself from purchasing them now. Here’s my collection:

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Most Interesting Belt:

One of these belts… Keep on Reading »

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February 21st, 2010
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I broke a rule. It’s a girl rule AND a fashion rule so it’s pretty important. I bought the same thing as a friend. Before you gasp and point your fingers yelling, “shame” let me explain. I work with this cute, stylish girl who loves vintage shopping so whenever we work together we talk about our latest finds, stores we plan to visit, etc. She owns these amazing brown lace-up boots and I have been obsessed with them forever. On Friday, I was in the Queen East Area (Riverdale) and I had to visit Common Sort, a great consignment/thrift store that I never get the chance to visit as often as I would like. I have found some great boots before and was hoping to score again. I saw these suede beauties and instantly fell in love! Keep on Reading »

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February 19th, 2010

The Problem


A common problem people face who shop at thrift stores and something that prevents people from purchasing thrift store items is odour. That mothball smell that reminds us of our grandmother’s attics is not attractive and makes or breaks a purchase especially if the items are not washable. Enter my green leather jacket, and lace cardigan. This jacket is amazing but smelly and after letting it “air out” for a few days it remained smelly. This lace cardigan has been washed but still smells like an attic. I love these two garments so to save them and to help you shop thrift(!) I went looking for a (cheap) home solution.


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February 5th, 2010

The lovely Renee from Eat Live Shop tagged me to participate in a “10 Things That Make Me Happy” challenge. But I’ve decided to twist it around a bit and post my favourite things about vintage (which inevitably leads to my happiness).

My Favourite Find


I’m happiest when I walk out of vintage and thrift stores with shoes, so it’s a toss-up between my Aigle riding boots that I got from a garage sale for $10 (best rain boots ever), my Brown’s combat boots I found at Goodwill (St. Clair) for $13 or my black (Jeffrey Campbell-ish) shoes I got at Value Village in Regina, SK.


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January 1st, 2010

Happy New Year! Inevitably on January 1st a lot of people like to start fresh and make resolutions and I’m one of them. Along with a few personal ones (including the usual, “get fit” resolution) I have made some fashion-related goals for 2010.

1. Take more fashion risks


This includes wearing more colour and trying some trends that I have liked but thought were a bit too crazy.

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ellen claesson: Knightcat


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December 31st, 2009

continued…

6. The Wolf Shirt

“Pros: Fits my girthy frame, has wolves on it, attracts women 
Cons: Only 3 wolves (could probably use a few more on the ‘guns’), cannot see wolves when sitting with arms crossed, wolves would have been better if they glowed in the dark.”

This is just one of the many hilarious reviews the Three Wolf Moon Shirt received inspiring a trend phenomenon. Rather than becoming popular the conventional way, from the runway or as street-style, the wolf shirt started as a popular internet joke that spread quickly. To be a part of the joke, people purchased the shirt, which boosted sales of The Three Wolf Moon up 2,300%.


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