A new way of shopping that was introduced to me for the first time when I moved from Aruba to Amsterdam, was vintage (or secondhand) clothing shops. Warehouses and stores scattered through the city, where you can browse through overflowing piles and racks of clothing. You never know what you'll find, but that distinct vintage smell will always be there.
I've learned to really appreciate shopping and scavenging through these shops, it almost feels like a game sometimes. When you find that perfect piece in your size, it feels like you've hit the jackpot! And usually for a pretty good price too 😉
Additionally, vintage shopping isn't only good for your wallet, it's also good for the environment. I think vintage shopping is becoming more popular, because this generation is slowly becoming more aware of the environmental effects of the (fast) fashion world. We're also part of a generation that is constantly seeking a sense of individuality. Wearing vintage items that no one else owns, will give you this feeling. I've been looking into writing a more in-depth article about this aspect of the fashion world. Let me know in the comments if you would be interested in reading more about this.
Besides vintage shopping, I've also learned to really appreciate pieces that have been passed down to me by my mom, grandma or even (future) mother in law.
These items have a story. They have been used and loved, and consciously taken care of by these women before me. Especially the items that my mom left behind are so meaningful to me, since I only got to know her until I was 10 years old. I don't really have very clear memory of her as a person, let alone her personal style. Now that I am growing up I'm learning not only about her timeless style, but that this has subconsciously also become my own! I love that I am able to wear her pieces (we are almost the same size in most clothing items) and embrace the beauty she felt while wearing these items.
With this little look book, I captured some key pieces that I have collected in the past years, all with their own little stories.
Jacket Stella McCartney
Jacket - Stella McCartney (vintage - Bidonville Vintage) Earrings - Belonged to my mom
Johnathan and I always joke about how he is my personal stylist. More often than not he will be the one that points out the most interesting pieces in vintage stores and says 'Hey, why don't you give this one a try?' That's exactly how we found this stunning Stella McCartney jacket! We found it during our past trip to Puglia in the small town of Bari. It was during our last day, we were wandering around the city and had checked out of our airbnb early in the morning. Our flight was at 9pm, so that meant we still had the whole day to 'explore' Bari. It was then that we found out that Bari did not have much to offer for tourists and was more of a working city. We hopped from restaurant to restaurant, waiting for the day to pass so we could start heading to the airport. At the end of the afternoon, we stumbled upon a vintage clothing store called Bidonville Vintage. We found so many gems in this store, we felt like little kids running around a candy shop. From this jacket, to a leather Fiorucci coat and even a classic Burberry trench. These were items that would be gone in an instant in cities like Amsterdam or Paris, but Bari was our little treasure cove.
To continue my story, this was my next find in this little store in Bari. Already planning how I was going to fit the previous coat into my already full carry-on, I knew this coat was coming back with me to Amsterdam - one way or the other. I was stumbling around the store with the Stella jacket in one hand, the Burberry coat in the other while wearing this Fiorucci coat. All timeless and such good quality pieces, for a pinch of the price they used to be. This floor-length coat is definitely a piece that felt so outside of my comfort zone, but has quickly grown to be my favourite piece in my closet. I feel so edgy, cool and empowered when I wear it! We spoke to the store owner, Nicola, and he shared the same excitement we had for these pieces. 'The people that live in Bari don't get this excited about finds like this, I'm so happy that you will have so much joy wearing these pieces!' He told us that he travels around the world, from LA to Amsterdam and even within Italy, to personally collect these items. And to finish my story - I made Johnathan wear the Burberry coat, and I wore the Stella under this Fiorucci coat in order to get it all back to Amsterdam! 😜
Bag - Prada (vintage - Almost Not Done) Dress - Belonged to my mom
On my 21st birthday, Johnathan surprised me with the most beautiful birthday gift! He found this vintage Prada bag at Almost Not Done in Amsterdam. This is a store that, next to their seasonal collections, also sells hand-selected new and pre-owned designer pieces. I love this bag so much because I have never seen anything like it and because it's such a timeless piece. I hope to get lots of use out of it, but also eventually pass it on to my future daughter (fingers crossed, haha!).
Dress - Unknown (Belonged to my mom)
The dress in the previous pictures was one that my mom wore during special occasions, like going out for dinner or to a classical concert. It's a beautiful white dress that hugs your body in all the right places, and looks chique doing so. I always feel beautiful when I wear this dress and really see my mom in myself when I'm wearing it (especially now with my hair at this length!).
Structured Jacket Zipper Vintage
Zipper Vintage is one of my go-to vintage stores in Amsterdam. I've found one of my favourite vintage Levi's here and a handful of winter goodies as well. Multiple times a year they organise a warehouse sale, where they open up the doors of their warehouse in Amsterdam-Noord to the public. If I'm not mistaken, Zipper Vintage is a family owned business and they usually get most of their items from LA. I found this gorgeous beige structured jacket during one of their sales and I'm totally in love with it! I would definitely recommend to keep an eye on their Instagram page to see when the next sale will be. But until then, stop by their store for your favourite vintage goodies.
Silk Floral men's shirt
I also found this shirt at the Zipper Vintage warehouse sale. This is actually a men's shirt from Zara! Technically, probably not 'vintage', but second hand. Buying fast fashion is something I don't support anymore, but that doesn't mean I'm going to throw out all of my Zara and H&M items all at once. Being conscious with fashion means making items last as long as possible, getting the most wear out of them as you can. And if that means buying them second hand, I'm totally down! This fabric is perfect for travelling, because it just doesn't wrinkle. I threw this in my carry on when I travelled to Colombia and didn't have time to pack it properly. Upon arrival, I pulled this shirt out of my suitcase and it was completely wrinkle free (after being jumbled up for 12+ hours!).
Dress Filippa K
I bought this Filippa K dress three years ago when I just moved to Amsterdam. I bought it at a random pop-up store, so I'm not sure what the store was called anymore. But at the time it was reduced to 20% of the price, so I thought 'why not?'. This dress has been hanging in my closet for the past three years, and I haven't worn it a single time because I just 'didn't feel ready for it'. But I'm glad I never got rid of it, because this year I'm totally feeling it! Sometimes you need to declutter, but sometimes you should also hold on to certain items if your gut tells you to (even if you never wear it).
Thanks so much for reading! I couldn't wait to share these pictures with you, this is a little project that I was so excited to work on together with Johnathan. We are so proud of the way these shots turned out and had so much fun putting it all together.
Let me know what your favourite piece from this post is, or what vintage gem you have hanging in your closet!
Until next time,