Today I wanted to talk a bit about style and the practice of editing when it relates to collecting, buying and selling vintage fashion. There is a LOT of competition out there these days for selling vintage. It can be very hard to stand out because of this, and it's easy to confuse your need for frequent updates of fresh stock with keeping your product selection strong. When buying for your shop (or for your own closet) you have to go with what you love. That means picking what you would wear, truly dig and what meets the style standard your customers expect from you. This will definitely mean passing up saleable pieces. But, it will also give you the ability to stand out as a buyer who can be trusted to provide their customers with consistent options that fit the overall vibe of the collection.
Being a selective buyer is so much easier said than done, especially when you have a dry spell like I did this week. So, when this pretty wicked little mod dress emerged through a purple haze of shopping desperation - I bit. Now, I do dig this piece actually. Just like I think girls look cute in 50's dresses and bows and get why they like it, but I'd never go that direction myself, or how I have no inclination to see Breakfast at Tiffany's, but love watching Easy Rider more each time. I ask myself often when deciding if an item is a go or a no - "Is this foxy?" or "Is this cute?". I've developed my own set of questions such as "What girl would wear this?" to help me make quick decisions in all aspects of Lune. We guide students through this concept in Indie Business: Compass and how it will become one of the many essential tools to help you run your own product or service based indie business.
Back to the purple dress. I fell for this piece because it hit both marks equally. "Foxy" because it's a micro little go-go get-up with a low slung hip belt, and "Cute" because of the peter pan collar & vivid purple hue. What I failed to do was to ask myself one of my favorite questions, "What girl would wear this?". Now that's the trick. In the 1960's, that girl would probably be a wild child, party chick with thigh high boots, flowing hair and hips that never stopped swinging. In a modern world, this dress would make more sense in a sweeter context, styled with an high messy bun, patterned tights and a pair of closed toe clogs. It would look so great on some of my friends who prefer that style. But, is it foxy in a modern context? No, at least not rock n roll, free spirited, 70's child way. So, it's not for Lune and belongs with someone else.
On Mixing Eras...
I hope I've given you a little help on how to keep yourself on track, whatever your own vintage vibe may be. Does this idea mean you can't mix eras in your collection? No way! I personally love how the feathered fascinators, loose flowing chiffon and dropped waists of 20's flapper fashion blends seamlessly with bell sleeved crochet dresses from the late 60's. In a similar way, 90's grunge recalls the iconic fashion statements of the late 60's punk scene. Style goes in cycles, so look for common elements that fit your own vibe, and make a mix of your own! It's a sure way to stand out in the crowd.
Did you like this article? Tweet it out with the tag #indie-compass.