Every now and then we like to update our wardrobe with some fun thrift store finds from the local vintage shop. From classic designer dresses to wacky sunglasses, vintage shopping offers a more sustainable way to looking dangerously fabulous.
Story by Rumnique Nannar
When I’m looking for style inspiration, I love watching Bollywood films from the 60s and 70s for the paisley gogo dresses and garishly brilliant prints. For better or worse, I watch Purab aur Pachhim, that amazingly stylish film from 1970 that features a stunning Saira Banu in sky-high eyeliner, lace dresses and the most funkadelic outfits. This spawned my interest in vintage clothing and adding my own spin to classic dresses and coats while being comfortable in the brightest outfit in a room.
Vintage clothing and thrifting is a great way to put recycled items to good use in a sustainable way. With vintage, you can always buy something a bit snug in places and do some adjustments to make it fit just right. Another great thing about shopping vintage is you can temper a bright, psychedelic printed dress by throwing on a solid coloured blazer, moto jacket or sweater. It’s like wearing a new Pucci or Marni dress without the visa bill attached.
Herewith, our favourite vintage shops in Vancouver:
I Found Gallery – 4578 Main Street
This great store has bundles of stock from their own collection and some from True Value Vintage’s now closed shop on Granville Street. The True Value Vintage stock is on the cheaper side, with satin nighties, skirts and dresses ranging from $20-$50. The more swoon-worthy and elaborate evening dresses mean more moolah, but nothing is too outrageously priced. The ‘I Found Gallery’ also offers a wicked collection of beads, necklaces and jewelry to complement an outfit. They strive to be more eco-friendly by bringing in vintage stock that is made in Canada and the US, which helps ease the conscience as well. You’ll find anything and everything here at a reasonable price and with enough room in all of the clothes to do some adjustments if necessary.
Used House of Vintage #1 – 831 Granville Street
With True Value Vintage now closed, Used is now my second favourite spot in the city to find a dandy pair of sunglasses and accessories. This adorable place has so much on offer: there are shift dresses from the 50s, whacky moomoos that you’re mother might have worn, and even the token band t-shirts from the 80s. The men’s clothins are quite sharp, with tailored suits and gritty leather jackets, including studded ones that former punks have handed over to the next generation. The store opened in 2007, and has continued to grow across the country in Toronto and Calgary for vintage-aholics everywhere.
Used House of Vintage #2 – Robson Street
Used‘s other location claims to be the largest vintage store in Canada with 5,000 square feet of Halloween costumes, bulky coats and a polar bear rug greeting you at the door. This shop feels like quite a cavalcade of colours and sections, including a space-age pod that doubles as a dressing room. Used stocks contemporary vintage wear like band and logo shirts, a great pile of cowichan jumpers, and has a Bang On! counter near the back of the store for graphic tees to complement bell-bottoms or tailored poodle skirts. However, it’s the accessories that are the main attraction here, since owner Craig has a collection of classic Chanel handbags (swoon), Prada clutches and pop art earrings.
Woo Vintage – 4393 Main Street
This store is the hidden gem of Main Street. Woo Vintage has a very cute layout in its small location, but it’s a carefully curated collection of homegrown pieces from across Canada and the US. Prices are on the steeper side, but you won’t be disappointed when everyone compliments your Broussac dress! The store has a wonderful cultural history, which was named after Mrs. Woo, the business maven of C&C Trading Co Ltd, who donated some of her clothes for a special collection. Each item is listed by its exact hip, bust and waist measurements, which is helpful when finding the a dress that might fit like a glove or that might need some alterations.
Story and Photographs By: Rumnique Nannar