The Psychology of Vintage
An Interview with Bianca Turetsky, Author of The Time-Traveling Fashionista
In a world of high volume low quality clothing items, the search for something better may lead us to vintage dress. Vintage clothing, as defined by Wikipedia, is a new or second hand garment originating from a previous era. Clothing that exceeds one hundred years graduates from vintage to antique. The interest in vintage pieces has grown considerably since there has been increased exposure and accessibility to the items. Witnessing a celebrity wearing a vintage piece on the Red Carpet, watching a show about the culling of second hand items, or following a blog on flea market hauls may spark a desire in the consumer to find her own perfect piece. With the advent of online sites and local neighborhood stores, this desire to buy is easily satiated with a purchase, and the quest for vintage is reinforced.
So why buy vintage? The psychology of the vintage purchase is multilayered. Often the impetus is fueled by the excitement of the hunt. It is easy to find current pieces in your local mall or online site, but shopping for vintage is an unparalleled treasure hunt. And the beauty of the process is that you will never know what you will find or learn. The second reason for our vintage preference is participating in the history of the garment. Our modern items are tabula rasas upon which we write, our vintage pieces are already written on. The mark of age and time has been made and we want to add to it. Third, to quote my grandma "They don't make stuff the way they used to." The quality, including materials, embellishments, and craftsmanship, in older pieces makes it purchase worthy. Fourth, in a world of mass production, seeing yourself "coming and going" is an inevitability. Wearing vintage ensures originality and one-of-a-kindness that you cannot find on the factory line! Finally, the love for nostalgia and sentiment may prompt us to buy the representation of it, as the vintage piece becomes the embodiment of a bygone era