How Do You Know You're a Vintage Clothing Fanatic?

Written By Arman Zulhajar on Saturday, July 28, 2012 | 3:39 AM

Vintage clothing: timeless, unique, beautiful, quirky... ask a true Vintage Fanatic and the list of adjectives will go on and on. How do you know when it gets serious? Are you just a mere vintage appreciator, or a hard as nails true vintage fanatic?  Read on to learn the signs.

Sign number one: You love the smell of vintage clothes. When you walk into a thrift store, or up into a dreamy sunny attic, you stop and inhale the scent. That lovely musty, dusty smell might seem stale to some, but to you it is a sweet and mysterious smell that brings to mind vivid images of the past, and maybe some of your favorite vintage touched memories. In fact, you may even secretly dislike the smell of fresh, dry cleaned vintage because it just somehow doesn't seem as 'real' to you. If you find yourself smelling your vintage blouses when no one is looking, you have just exhibited sign number one of being a Vintage Fanatic.

Sign number two: You know how to sew and repair clothing like a pro. When people pick up a shirt in a store, point out a small hole and cast it aside, you are bewildered by their un-thriftiness. You can repair split seams, sew on buttons, make invisible stitches, and embroider like a pro. This has come from a long time of trial and error, buying, restoring, and embellishing your own beautiful and unique pieces of vintage clothing. Although you smirk at those who cast aside slightly damaged goods, inside you are secretly rejoicing because you have the skills to make that sale item look like new.


Sign number three: The inside of your closet looks like a vintage clothing store. When friends come over and they catch a glimpse of your closet (your secret museum), they gasp in amazement and exclaim how lucky you are to have such a great collection of interesting clothes (to which you often reply "Meh..." because you are thinking of all the other great vintage you would like to be buying right now). Getting ready for the day involves leafing through beautiful maxi gowns (that you scored for only a few dollars at your local thrift store), curve hugging 1940s style dresses, polka dots galore, and Your Royal Collection of the Most Unique Kitschy Prints Ever. You often have to check yourself before going out for a night on the town, to assess whether you look like you are wearing a period costume piece, or just sporting some vintage flair.

Sign number four: Every time you pass a thrift or vintage store, you have to fight the urge to enter. Many people pass by their favorite stores, give a bit of a longing look, and then keep going. A true vintage fanatic has to have the mental skills of a Buddhist monk to keep themselves from entering. At times, it's like your legs have a mind of their own. You will be saying to yourself "I'm not going to go clothes shopping today." (you are walking toward the store)  "There probably isn't anything good there today anyway." (you continue walking, and are now staring right at the door) "My *insert significant other/parent/etc. here* will kill me!" (by this time you are somehow already inside the store and saying a jolly hello to the owner who you now know on a first name basis). Part of the reason why vintage shopping is so hard to resist, is because you believe that you are actually doing the world a favor by collecting, restoring, and displaying these treasures. And it doesn't help that thrift or vintage stores often get new items daily or weekly. You never know when *that perfect thing* will appear!

So, vintage fanatics, I ask you-- is there hope for us? Are we doing the world a favor by collecting and appreciating these tangible pieces of history? Will we just keep buying and buying vintage until we eventually become owners of our own vintage stores? Vintage clothing is beautiful, timeless, unique, and quirky. Being a vintage fanatic is like being an archeologist. We categorize, save, restore, and appreciate. Keep collecting!  Without us, the world would have a lot less color.

Vivian Vassar (aka Hey Viv!) has been wearing and selling vintage clothing for over 25 years. She is the owner of Hey Viv ! an online vintage clothing store that specializes in 50's style retro and vintage clothing.

Special thanks to Amanda Curtis, vintage fashion fan and fanatic, for inspiring this article. Her input is invaluable.

Satisfy your craving. Find an array of vintage clothing, especially dresses, at Hey Viv!

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