Monday, May 12, 2008

Savvy Shopping - Vintage Estate versus Costume Jewelry

With the countless number of existing clothing and accessories lines and new brands appearing everyday why would anyone choose to purchase Vintage clothes and accessories?
Mary Kincaid of gives us 5 reasons to shop Vintage.

1. Outstanding Quality

Once you've examined a quality piece of vintage clothing you will readily see that it just can't compare to one of today's contemporary garments at a similar price. It's actually possible to wear couture-quality garments for the price of ready-to-wear! Vintage clothing was often lovingly sewed by talented home seamstresses or made by designers who put extra-loving care into each garment--and it shows.The fabrics, many times, are unbelievable. A similar item in the same fabric today could conceivably put it out of your price range. Outstanding silks, cashmeres, wools, leathers and furs are available at prices that pale in comparison to walking into a boutique and purchasing a similar item today.

2. Unique Details

Hand embroidery, unique buttons (many collectible on their own), outstanding beading (sometimes glass), blazers with printed silk linings. The kind of detail that today is often found in only the high-end designer or couture garments is available on many vintage clothing pieces of yesteryear.

3. Individuality

You can be assured that if you are wearing a vintage clothing item, you will not have to worry about another woman walking in the door with the same dress, blouse, or handbag. The confident vintage fashionista knows that she can wear her beautiful hand-embroidered tulle blouse even when lavish embellishments aren't the "Season's Trend." These vintage clothing pieces turn heads because of their uniqueness. If you aren't a cookie-cutter personality, then vintage clothing is for you. Vintage allows you to have what no one else can have-let them drool over your one-of-a-kind pony skin handbag! You can look fantastic without looking like anyone else.

4. Financial Freedom

Okay, quick quiz question: Which would you choose? A new Chanel suit or Gucci handbag from the current season or 2 Chanel suits or Gucci handbags from a decade ago? Buying vintage clothes, especially non-sought-after labels or individually tailored pieces, makes you clothing budget go a lot further. For the same amount of your hard-earned cash, you can compile an outstanding wardrobe by buying vintage clothing and accessories. Talk to anyone who is a vintage-aholic and you'll hear the stories: an authentic Christian Dior handbag purchased for $1, a fox fur stole for $15, a no-name wool suit with black fur collar for $35. Now these are the extreme vintage bargains that make one jump up and down with glee, yes, but purchasing that handbag for $100, the fur stole for $125 and the suit for $150 is entirely possible using eBay or a quality vintage clothing website or boutique. Or maybe you'd rather blow your entire yearly wardrobe on just one of these trendy pieces? I didn't think so.

5. Environmental Contribution

According to the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency, over 4 million tons of textiles are sent to landfills each year. Recycling these beautiful pieces of vintage clothing means one less piece of clothing left in our landfills. It also honors the designers who created them, the seamstresses who poured hours into their creation and the women who initially owned and loved them. Also, most of today's textiles requite petroleum in their manufacture, so wearing vintage clothes also helps with our fossil fuel concerns.

For fashion magazines Harper's Bazaar has always been one of my favorites. But I'm blown away with the 3 page article titled The Return of Costume Jewelry from the May print issue. This article actually states
Best Investments From CHIC chokers to key cuffs, here are all the season's MUST-HAVES for accessories while recommending a Balenciaga crystal necklace for $9,875 and other items priced well over $1,000. Are they insane?

Costume jewelry (like the Balenciaga necklace pictured above) is a total waste of money. Even before it goes out to fashion it tends to falls apart. And... if it manages to stay intact, it has no lasting monetary value. You can't break it down to its intrinsic worth of metal and gemstones.

"It" bags and "It" shoes are over. Jewelry is the accessory to wear this season and the next. Just make sure that you wear fine jewelry, and if you want value at at reasonable price, buy Vintgage Estate Jewelry and spend less than what you would pay for designer costume jewelry.
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