Take Your Vintage Fashion Game to The Next Level With This Unique Twist
This New year I’ve decided to go with the old. Old clothes, old attitudes, old everything. In our consumerist culture, the word “old” gets a bad wrap. Of course it does, if you’re satisfied with the old you won’t spend money on the new. This need to always have the newest and the latest has left me feeling plain tuckered out. Are you as exhausted as I am trying to keep up with trends?
Lately, I’ve found myself shying away from the new in favor of the old. There’s something so special to me about a piece of clothing that has withstood the test of time. There’s history there. I look at a frayed edge and I don’t see a flaw, I see a story. Who wore it before me and what did they do? A spot is not a stain, it’s a world of possibility. How did it get there?
It’s not only old clothes I’m embracing, it’s old attitudes towards my clothes. Back in the day when something broke, you fixed it. We’ve lost a lot of our skills, but that doesn’t mean we have to throw it away. Tailors are still a thing and not just for rich people. (I don’t know why I always thought tailors were crazy expensive, but I digress) Turns out there’s a killer tailor down the street from me and his prices are much cheaper than buying something new. Whether it’s fixing a hem, or retailoring a vintage pair of pants that are three sizes too large, this man can do it all. It would be ridiculous to someone from the 20’s, but I was floored the first time he fixed a broken zipper. I thought I would never get to wear my favorite jeans again. I was already dreading the long grueling process of finding a pair of jeans that would fit my short waist/long-legged combo that no one seems to design for. And then viola! $17 dollars later and my favorite jeans are back.
The biggest change though is how I relate to clothes at all. Clothes used to be special. Did you know in 1937 the average working woman had 8 dresses in her entire wardrobe?? With only one new sweater purchased every other year. I pack more than that for a weekend trip! With so few items every piece counted. You didn’t get rid of something just because it was out of style, you updated it. You took what you had and made it into something new.
If you’ve read any Jane Austen you know what I’m talking about. At some point in all her novels the women sit around re-fashioning their hats. I never really thought about what that meant until I watched the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice. In one scene the women are chatting as they take apart their hats and futz around with the feathers and laces until they have a new style. Refashion literally means RE-FASHION creating a new fashion. WUT. It’s so obvious and yet because I come from a world where people throw away an old style when it’s time to get a new one, it never occurred to me. You can change up the style of a garment you already have instead of buying something new.
Well, actually I can’t, because the sewing machine and I are not on speaking terms, but that’s why I’ve started shopping at Neo Threads. Neo Threads is an online boutique that takes vintage clothing and reimages them for the modern world. Armed with just some needle and thread owner Sarah Gonzales takes an old article and breathes new life into it. Looking at her clothes feels like catching a bit of magic. A special touch of alchemy that transforms junk into treasure.
Each piece is loving transformed one at a time, meaning each piece is completely one of a kind. You can’t buy that kind that kind of style in a mall. I’m the proud owner of a couple pieces from her shop now, but my favorite is this vintage coverall.
I’d been on the hunt for a denim coverall for over a year when I stumbled across this baby on Neo Threads. I swear to the fashion gods I gasped out loud. It was perfect. Not only was it a denim coverall, not only did it have paint perfectly splattered on the legs, but it was hand embroidered with a motto to live by. Starry Eyed. In a world of cynics, that’s the kind of person I want to be. The one with stars in her eyes who looks for the beauty in everything.
I love Neo Threads because it’s everything all at once. Old, but new. Masculine and yet feminine. Familiar but fresh. That’s the real genius behind Neo Threads, they way they balance contradictions within one beautiful package.
Kind of sounds like being human, huh? Not bad for a piece of clothing.
Photos: Anais Ganouna
Coverall: Neo Threads