Fact: My girls wear a lot of vintage clothing.
I am innately nostalgic and have been seeking out good vintage finds at thrift stores & estate sales across the country for my own wardrobe since I was in middle school. It was a hobby & love of mine that, as an added bonus, happened to become a huge modern trend.
Vintage stores have since popped up left, right, and online, meaning these treasures are no longer so easily found in a box at Goodwill. On the plus side, though, I no longer have to do the picking over myself. I can sit down at my computer and click buttons to make a darling 80’s romper or 50’s day dress magically appear in a matter of days.
And now, when it comes to clothes shopping for my kids, going old-school truly is the natural place for me to start.
Here’s why going vintage just makes plain sense:
Wearing vintage is the most economical way to shop.
This may may seem surprising, because just as quickly as the popularity of yesteryear’s looks have risen, so have many of the prices. But when it comes to vintage kids’ clothes (especially through online vendors like Etsy, or pop-up shops on Instagram), prices can easily be found from $6-$12 per piece. Even at face value, these price points are comparable to (or even cheaper than) modern shops like Target or Carters.
Furthermore, vintage clothing easily holds 100% of it’s resale value. There is no other form of kids’ clothes shopping I am aware of that you can make your money back in full like this. You may be able to sell back nice modern pieces online or to a consignment store for a fraction of what you paid. Or, if your child has worn them at all and they no longer look new, you may only be able to get back a fraction of a fraction of what you paid.
Vintage clothing doesn’t work like that. Unless there is a huge tear or massive stain, the “worn” look is still cool, and if you are patient, someone will buy it back from you online for what you paid.
Wearing vintage Recycles, Reduces, & Reuses.
The more “junk” we can see as treasure and up-cycle or reuse, the better off we all are. Not only does it make less waste, but it teaches us to work with what we’ve got, to be creative and problem solve, and to see the valuable truth that things aren’t useless just because they are used.
Vintage clothing is well made.
Many old pieces were handmade with skill and love (probably by doting mamas and grandmas). In this modern age of DIY and Pinterest, handmade clothes may not seem like that big of a deal. Thanks to all of the tutorials online, we have become creative chameleons and can fake our way through many projects. It wasn’t like that 50 years ago. These mamas grew up sewing with their mamas. It was a true skill; it was survival, not just a hobby. What that means is that these pieces were made well and crafted with care to last.
Some vintage pieces may not be handmade, but I believe they were still better made than much of what is available in stores now. Fabrics were also much more durable than today’s ever popular jersey knit. The sky-high quality is proven by great conditioned items that have held up well to this day. Meanwhile, many of my “current” pieces have threaded and frayed; one of my would-have-been favorite pieces literally fell apart on its first trip through a gentle-cycle wash.
Wearing vintage is nostalgic… and a great conversation starter.
There is something incredibly fun about dressing your child in something that you might have worn as a kid. Plus points if what they are wearing actually did belong to you.
The older we get, the quicker life seems to rush forward. Seeing “old” stuff subconsciously helps us to slow down and remember. Not only will vintage pieces be nostalgic to you, but they will be to others too, young and old. I can’t tell you how many people from older generations than me compliment the girls’ outfits. It is special to see the memories and laughs it instills in others.
Wearing vintage helps to turn off the “NOW” mentality of instagram and facebook that races through our minds causing us to think about what is going on THIS SECOND, and to enjoy that there was a before too.
Vintage is “cool.”
It is cool to be cool, so by all means live it up while the trend is hot. But to me this “perk” has to remain at the bottom of the list. Who knows what “cool” will continue to look like or evolve into? I believe that styling your kids doesn’t require “cool” clothes, but rather a bit of creativity, courage to mix and match, and willingness to work with what you’ve got.