What to Know When Shopping Vintage

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"Who are you wearing?!"
"Vintage!" is the answer heard from your favorite celebs at star studded red carpet events.
But, uh wait just one minute! Does that mean I can wear my prom dress to an event and look just like Reese or Renee? This got us at iMag thinking … what makes something old and what makes something vintage!
We spoke to the expert, Frock shop owner and clothier to the stars, Evan Ross, for the answers. Shoppers at Frock include Iman, Lucy Liu, Sarah Jessica Parker, Chloe Sevigny and Nelly Furtado!
ANSWER: Lineage — who it was made by (designer), where, when, and what period. Vintage is clothing that harks back to a specific era and that is of a certain quality.
The difference between vintage clothing and OLD clothing is that vintage clothing has a certain history, made in small quantities and is unique. Mass produced clothing of low quality fabrics that don't “say” anything special would just be old.
ANSWER: When looking for clothing for the store I look for specific designers and preferably pieces from a period when they were actually designing. If they were not designing then it should be a person of note who took over the “reigns” , preferably from a main line rather than a secondary clothing line. Perfect condition is a must.
Pieces are selected according to style, fabric and prints and if they are indicative of a certain period and reflect that particular designer's style. Additionally here at Frock, it is preferable to have clothing that is wearable and not too period specific looking. It can indicate a period but at the same time should be timeless.
ANSWER: Yes, although there are a few pieces with no designer label that were just too spectacular to pass up. Good quality design cannot be overlooked.
The value of the vintage pieces sold at Frock is determined by style, period, who the designer is, material, print, condition and overall desirability.
ANSWER: Look for how and where something is made — the condition, the material and the label. Often times designers license their names and pieces so one might think something they bought is designer or couture when in fact it is actually not.
• Click over for more information on Frock and don't forget to check out our interview with Project Runway winner, Jeffrey Sebelia on why he loves vintage at fncimag.com!