Something Old, Something New – Vintage Thrifting

Craig Lomas
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Anxiously awaiting payday, I have images of a stress free shopping spree, filling my life with beautiful things that, let’s face it, I don’t need, I WANT! It’s time to hit the shops.

The night before feels like Christmas Eve. The countdown to retail heaven has begun. After a laboured night, day has arrived. I find myself trawling through the local shopping centre and finding very little inspiration or originality. ‘Ok, this is fine give it another hour’ I tell myself ‘you will find something’ I say reassuringly.

Needless to say an hour later my hands were empty and my morale was low. This venture has gone down like a lead balloon. I ask myself why this is the case? And my only answer is that some of the high street is over saturated with the same designs thrice over. The devil is in the detail. Everything looks so uniform these days.

In a huff I take myself to the city centre. ‘Oh I won’t find anything here, it’s hardly worth the mileage’ I tell myself. No sooner had I stepped foot into a vintage store was I bombarded with a fusion of prints and texture. I finally felt inspired. It had been quite some years since I had last shopped in a vintage store, but I was getting my fashion wood back.

There’s something exciting not knowing where the clothes have come from, the story behind them. Trying on a battered leather biker, my mind is blown with possible looks. The message here is, try and fuse together, high street and vintage. There is no harm in mixing the two to get a cohesive look. Clever styling will keep you ahead of the fashion game. I would however steer clear of head to toe vintage. Let’s face it, nobody wants to look like they have just tripped and nosedived into the window display of a charity shop. Let’s leave that for Dot Cotton shall we?

The trend for vintage clothes shopping has hit an all-time high in places such as America and it has taken on the name ‘thrifting’.

Now this is something I have been championing for years, so more likely than not the trend will take over with everyone and their mothers now, and push prices up, making it even more cut throat when finding those coveted pieces. This is why you have to be savvy about where you shop and what you buy.

The Mickey Mouse t-shirt might seem ‘cool’ and ‘quirky’, but that deal needs leaving in the early 90s with jelly shoes. Really thought-out pieces will last much longer and create fashion envy among your friends. One store I really love is Rokit, and with plenty of stand-alone stores and an online site, it’s ever so easy to pick up something unusual (

A few items I believe any true vintage lover should pick up are:

Biker Leather Jacket: Classic piece of design that will add instant grunge appeal to an outfit. Team with an oversize graphic tee, drainpipe skinnies and battered converse. Will say ‘effortless cool’.

Velvet Blazer: The definition of suave and understated elegance. This can be paired with cigarette fit trousers, a pair of brogues and topped off with a man clutch.

1970s Levi Jeans: The acid wash and slouchy fit will merge well with a pair of Dr Martens, an oversized jumper and statement gold chain. A very easy thrown together outfit that will turn heads.

Dungarees: A slight nod to the innocence of our youth re-invented in a more fashionable concept. Wear with a checked lumberjack shirt, desert boots and finished off with an oversized beanie.

With so much choice out there, and a plethora of magazines suggesting the same stores to go to, it’s very appealing to take the easy option and follow suit. With so many vintage stores out there however, let’s bring back the excitement of getting ourselves a genuine ‘one off’ by supporting our local ‘thrift’ stores. Happy hunting!

About Craig Lomas

Well where do I start? At the very beginning, like Julie Andrews taught me.I graduated with a degree in Fashion Design in 2009 and have since set up my own bespoke clothing label.Currently working full time as a costume designer.My main passion is buying things I don't need... I WANT!