“I Only Wore Vintage Items For A Week — And Here Are 5 Things I Learnt”
By Danielle Weakley
You know how you stand in front of your open cupboard every morning praying for divine intervention?
Black Friday. Le sigh… It got our WH fashion editor, Anja Joubert so incensed that she called a moratorium on all fast fashion and insisted she was only wearing local or vintage. And then two of us – being the competitive sort and not prone to the epic bouts of office lycra that afflict most of Team WH – decided to challenge her to it. Leigh Cann and I –being old enough to actually own vintage lite – set to the task with enthusiasm.
Day one dawned and Leigh and I came in swinging with finds circa 2005. Every personal shopper worth their salt will probably tell you not to hold onto pieces for an entire decade, but as Leigh and I both prove, if it still fits and you still love it, just keep rolling. And Anja took to her best local design in a pair of navy trousers and linen shirt. Although, in her words, she lost points for not being as tall as us in the debut pic…
What we learnt: Invest in the basics – an LBD, a well-cut pair of trousers, a blazer and a good white shirt are all timeless winners.
You know how you stand in front of your open cupboard every morning praying for divine intervention? No? Oh, we do! This challenge meant we had to take a moment to see everything in our wardrobe, not just our current favourites. I pulled out a little black number that I hadn’t worn in forevaaah thanks to the neckline embellishment – thank you Aztec trend of the Noughties. Leigh pulled out her military jacket. Ditto. With a bit of mixing ‘n matching, we made old forgotten numbers work.
What we learnt: Rethink your pile of wardrobe staples. There are easy ways of reinventing old items – just accessorising differently can mean an instant update.
It’s usually by hump day that these challenges start feeling a leeeetle desperate. And The Week Of Vintage Lite was no different. Leigh uncovered a fabulous aquamarine and emerald kaftan from the beaches of Portugal that got matched up with her fave jeans, and I settled for my one true love – A Dress With Pockets. Although in my case this was the original Dress With Pockets, the dress that ruined me for all others, bought on a trip to London many long years ago.
What we learnt: Know your style. Hell, yes, it’s great to experiment with new trends, but when you know what suits you and what looks best for your body shape, own that.
Ha! This brought its own challenges. Day Four also meant our staff holiday party and the theme was cowboy dress-up. Yep, for reals. I think it’s fair to say that if you were a small-town girl livin’ in a lonely world, you would have loved the three of us. My cowboy boots were the purchase of a lifetime and have been lovingly waxed and polished and buffed for more than a decade. Leigh’s denims and waistcoat were both circa 2006 and Anja’s cowboy hat was pure Tex Mex revival.
What we learnt: On this day, I think it’s fair to say all we learnt was that you shouldn’t drink tequila in cowboy boots and hats, unless you really are a cowboy.
Day Five, otherwise known as End Of The Month Salticrax for our fashion week. But Leigh brought all the vintage vibes with a white linen top from Buenos Aires; Anja rocked her sister’s printed linens; and I fell back on one of my old favourites – a gold-tabbed olive green bomber that I found in France.
What we learnt: To be honest, if there’s one thing I learnt it’s that the only things I’ve really kept or invested in have been dresses and jackets… It makes for a limited addition to my wardrobe, but it does mean that both are easily updated and made contemporary with very little effort, so I’m able to wear them endlessly. Leigh realised that she’s always been someone who buys what she likes rather than what is in fashion, so she was super pleased with her results. And Anja has promised herself that she will continue to support local design rather than falling into the trap of seasonality. Watch this space…