I think we are all trying to find a way to make the holidays still feel special this year. Nothing is very normal during this time of quarantines and crazy politics. But, in some ways, this wild experience can be seen as an opportunity. A chance to slow down and re-think about how we do the holidays -- specifically, how we shop.
Holiday shopping can be a frenzied, daunting, impersonal experience. Finding a way to make it a more thoughtful, deliberate process can make it feel more meaningful both to the giver and the receiver.
Katie and I are passionate about selling vintage for many reasons, one of which stems from our core belief that there is already too much stuff in the world. Buying things that have been previously owned causes no harm to humans, animals, or the planet. It's the most sustainable, ethical shopping option available.
We also sell vintage is because we are obsessed with quality made things! Those things are getting harder and harder to find. Try searching for "Silk blouse" and you will discover that most of the blouses that show up aren't actually silk. They might be part silk or very thin silk or polyester that looks like silk.
Somehow, while we were weren't paying attention, someone played a dirty trick on us and changed the rules of fashion. Evidently, you can call something "silk" if it feels silky. You can also spend $500 for a skirt and it might very well be polyester. High end clothing brands are no longer synonymous with the finest fabrics, and clothing is not longer made to last.
The same quality issue can be found when shopping for furniture, linens, dishes, glassware, flatware, children's toys, tools, appliances, and even things we normally don't pay much attention to like dustpans and brooms. The once high quality, long lasting materials used for decades have been traded for cheap imitations that almost look the same - on the outside. So, when you buy a vintage gift, you are usually able to give a much higher quality item for the price of a cheaper made modern piece.
Another reason we love what we do is because we love seeing our customers embrace originality and define their own unique style. Modig means brave in Swedish, and we believe that fashion should be a brave experiment for everyone. One in which they discover what makes them feel empowered and confident. People should always decide what is fashionable, not designers.
Buying vintage can be overwhelming if you don't know where to start, so we put together a few tips to help make the experience easier for you!
1. Condition Condition Condition!
Like location in the real estate world, condition is essential when buying vintage. Make sure the piece you are buying doesn't have major issues. Not all vintage pieces will be in "as new" condition, but the flaws and or signs of wear should never detract from the piece.
2. Choose Reputable Dealers
Don't be afraid to ask the dealer lots of questions, especially when buying vintage online. Email and ask for a confirmation of the condition, make sure you know their return policy, etc. Reputable dealers do their best to mention all flaws and they guarantee authenticity.
3. Look for Quality
Buy well made gifts that reflect high quality and will last! Buy the best quality you can afford. The better brands in every century were always made well and will last longer than their mass produced counterparts. Even the ready-made no-name wool skirt suits we have from the 1940's are better made than the fast fashion we see today! Make sure to pay attention to the fabric or material content and even where the piece was made.
4. Buy Things that will Bring your Loved Ones Joy!
Shopping has become nearly impossible to navigate and we want to help you find the joy in gift giving again. We personally think that vintage accessories make some of the best gifts! From scarves and gloves to bags and belts, you can find something that suits the unique person you are buying for!
Our personal pledge is to only give local, vintage, or homemade gifts this year. This means that there will be smaller gifts under the tree, but we know that this year it is more important than ever to vote with our dollar. We are wanting to support small businesses and those trying to reduce waste, because we know the impact even one small sale can make.
If you are wanting ideas for a vintage gift, we have put together a huge gift guide over the first 12 days of December, each day revealing a new category of wonderful accessories, jewelry, menswear and things for the home!
For information on small local businesses in Portland, OR, visit pdxsos.com