7 Reasons Vintage Fashion is Your Best Friend in College
Welcome to college! New friends, no parents, and the opportunity to redefine yourself. You’ve reached an age where you are entirely in charge of your meals, curfew, and attire. Days of being dressed by mom are no more, and it’s your chance to hone your style.
College also comes with its own woes, though. Most students are riding on a tight budget, so being fashion forward becomes a matter of strategic online shopping and sales racks. But, there’s another option that’s affordable, eclectic, and fully customizable: vintage.
With the development of the internet, anything is possible when it comes to assembling unique vintage getups. Sites like Etsy and Ebay have reinvented the shopping experience and now offer untouched realms of accessories and clothing. That belt that would absolutely pull your outfit together? Yeah, it’s probably on the internet, ready for you to snag. Anyways, here are some reasons vintage fashion should be your go-to when you’re in college.
1. It’s Like, Really Affordable
Whether you’re lurking on the internet for some hot deals or bopping around town searching for a sale, shop vintage. Some folks may think it’s trash, others may not be quite certain on how to price their old goodies. You’re sure to find hot deals at second-hand shops, or for a bit more money, try a specialty vintage shop. Check Yelp beforehand to ensure you’re hitting up affordable vintage stores. Some speciality shops only carry high-end vintage wear, and you’ll end up trying on a $600 original designer dress rather than something more budget-friendly.
Better yet, hit up the internet for a sure-fire deal. You can customize your budget on popular shopping sites, and you get a congregation of sellers from across the globe. On that note…
2. Pro Tip: Hack Ebay
Well, don’t hack hack, but set your settings to show “Ending Soonest” and set your price range to something like $5 or $10. Auctions ending soon are your best friend. This will ensure you’re seeing stuff that’s about to be off the table, some of which may have not been bid on. You can swoop in at the last minute and score big. Broaden your search term to ensure you’re seeing more obscure stuff.
Another Ebay tip is to search popular terms that may have been misspelled. This is also a great way to find vintage wear from sloppy sellers, who are more likely to dish out a good deal. Try this trick on Etsy, too. Instead of searching brown leather jacket, try something like “brown leater jacket” or “brown leather jaket.” Simple typos can save you lots of money.
3. Looking for a Particular Era?
Maybe you were inspired by Grease, or maybe you’ve always had an affinity for Dazed and Confused bell bottoms, but one thing is certain: you wear your nostalgia. Vintage fashion allows the wearer to express what parts of culture interest them – and often, showing your favorite era’s influence can help you find link minded folks to be friends with… and show off your style. To achieve a particular era’s aesthetic, a good starting point is the graphic tee. Sporting a brand can provide a great base layer for your accessories and other essentials to work from.
Try pairing your vintage tee with a classic leather jacket for a grungy look. Or, opt for a retro satin bomber jacket. Add a “Pink Ladies” twist to your bomber jacket for an ironic fashion statement. Skinny jeans dress this look down, while some bells may take your graphic tee to the next level in vintage style.
4. Costume Party? No Problem.
By shopping vintage, you’re essentially assembling a wardrobe ready for a themed party. Costume pieces are cheap and easy to rock as an everyday accessorize, as long as they’re carefully woven into modern outfits. Cat eye sunglasses work great for keeping the sun out of your eyes during the day, and also happen to be the perfect accessory for a librarian costume on Halloween. My fraternities and sororities have theme parties, too. ‘70s hippies will be easy to don, as well as a ‘50s darling or disco diva. All it takes is knowing how much vintage to wear at once. A good rule of thumb is to always pair your vintage statement pieces with modern clothing, so it’s a subtle edge, rather than a costume during the day. At your theme parties, though, go all in!
5. Hang on to a Piece Long Enough And You Might Have A Gem
Whether it’s a cousin’s hand me down or your dad’s old concert tee, the vintage wear you score now will only get more valuable. T-shirts that your parents hoarded from various event now have a class-cool appeal, and now is your chance to capitalize on it. Cherish the vintage fashion you’ve assembled from family members who lived it. Think you have something that’s worth a pretty penny? Give it a search online and you’re liable to find it’s worth more than you thought. But! Don’t go selling some of your cool vintage. Save it… it could be worth more later, and the sentiment is what makes the piece!
If you find that you’ve hoarded a bit, don’t hesitate to start up your own little shop online. Clothing swaps on Facebook are also very popular, and some colleges will host clothing swaps that benefit campus organizations.
6. Finding Friends is Easier When You’re Fashionable
That’s the power of a graphic tee, baby. Sporting brands and musicians on your clothes can tell a lot about what you listen to, believe, and smoke. Maybe it’s a particular beer brand you dig or a psychedelic band you’ve been listening to a lot lately – if it’s on your shirt, it’s sure to attract other folks that like the same things as you. Lucky for you, vintage graphic tee shirts are plentiful online. Just think of all the shirts you’ve acquired just from High School – old track competition tees, friend’s bands’ shirts, and commemorative travel tee shirts have a new hope. To get a tee to look a little more worn, distress the tee by running it through the washer with some sodium carbonate washing soda and some salt.
7. Get the Vintage Appeal With Less
Wanting to look especially retro, but don’t have the budget to get all the necessary details to achieve an era-specific look? Fear not. Even simple color schemes can score vintage appeal. Oranges and browns are great for ‘70s. Try some neon details for ‘80s. If you’re looking for some ‘60s duds, consider some soft natural tones.