It’s always great to have things that nobody else has because making people feel less cool than you is part of the criteria for having good self esteem. Let’s be honest, we get a little high every time someone asks us where we got something and we get to say, “Oh this old thing? Its vintage/thrifted/I always dumpster dive when I’m in Paris.”
An easy and cheap way to achieve this feeling is to visit your grandmother for once and ask her if you could rummage through her closet. There’s a good chance she’s been wearing the same 3 outfits for the past 20 years and is sitting on a veritable treasure trove of vintage fashion that hasn’t seen the light of day since before the dodo went extinct.
I was raised by my grandmother and her closet has always been open to me, so I have a lifetime of experience in turning forgotten clothing into contemporary fashion. What looks matronly on a 90-year-old frame can only look bold and chic on your spring chicken body. And remember, trends are a thing of the past, so go nuts! The world is your sartorial oyster!
If you’re still hesitant, here are 10 items you should have no problem incorporating into your wardrobe:
1. Costume jewelry. You should have at least one piece of statement jewelry in your collection, like some gaudy bangles a la Iris Apfel.
2. Big granny sunglasses. Have you been in a Chico’s lately? Their glasses game is on point. Or more likely, have you seen Dita Von Teese’s new line? It’s kinda fabulous.
3. Sturdy old lady bags. Grandmas are apt to carrying stylishly simple, yet spacious purses perfect for the modern woman and her many necessities. Besides, the lining is already coated with layers of spilled foundation and melted lipstick, so you don’t have to worry about ever ruining it yourself and you always have a convenient little stash should you ever find yourself barefaced (JK don’t put that shit on your face, its 40 years old and I think that’s where asbestos comes from).
4. Babushkas. Now you have a scarf, hairwrap, turban, beach coverup, or a babushka if you’re really committed to Granny Style.
5. Classy heels. If, like me, you’re sick of all the plastic platform stripper pumps flooding the market these days, finding a pair of elegant leather kitten heels feels like Aphrodite took a break from her usual boning to bless your tired feet.
6. Belts. I’ve taken intricate high waist belts from grandmother whose exact twins can be found in boutiques today, so this less unique find and more “free belt!”
7. Clothes. Vintage dresses, coats, or other garments that have stood the test of time in your grandmother’s closet are definitely worth a little bit of tailoring for the quality, unique items you’d be adding to your wardrobe. People drop mad Benjamins at vintage stores to get clothes like that.
8. Hats. A great ’70s beret or sunhat can add drama to an otherwise plain outfit.
9. A cane. This is only for the extremely confident among us; bedazzle away and rival only Prince in fabulosity (goes well with cape and Tolkien obsession).
10. That oversized 90s sweatshirt with the sequined tulips she always wore when babysitting you. Admit it, you want that shirt.