Update Your Wardrobe

Written by NY Press on . Posted in News Our Town, News Our Town Downtown, News West Side Spirit, Our Town, Our Town Downtown, West Side Spirit.


Style experts explain how to usher in a year of clothing bliss

By Sharon Feiereisen

We’re constantly bombarded with news of the latest trends and wardrobe must-haves, but what are small things we can do that can have a major impact as we usher in this new year? The answer may very well reside in methodically shopping vintage.

Jennifer Collins, the founder of Pink Clouds—a highly editorialized online retailer that specializes in designer vintage garments—explains that vintage shopping is all about finding that one-of-a-kind standout item or a conversation piece that will completely revitalize your wardrobe. The key, she says, is to strike a balance between vintage and your modern go-to staples.

“Throw on a vintage coat or statement jewelry and you can totally revamp your look,” Collins said. “I am a slave to leather leggings, but I then mix it up with a vintage Celine or Yves Saint Laurent blouse.”

Jennifer Collins is an expert at finding conversation pieces. Photo courtesy of Pink Clouds

It’s important to remember that vintage is archival fashion, so don’t be intimidated by fit issues.
“Sometimes you’ll need to put a little love into an item and get it tweaked for the perfect fit,” Collins said. “Most vintage pieces come with some wear, which is a built-in part of their charm. However, experience has taught me to carefully inspect items before purchase.”

For example, when buying vintage fur, Collins advises looking closely at the pellets and feeling for overly dry skin; if it’s dry and cracking, the fur will tear easily and will be hard to repair. She also recommends keeping an eye out for water stains, as they are often hard to remove.

“What’s most important is that the piece has good bones. You can always nip and tuck and take up a hemline or two.”

Because fashion is cyclical, vintage shopping is a great way to discover the origin of a trend or design concept.

“And better yet, a great way to individualize trends with items that are reminiscent of runway pieces, but are ultimately one-of-a-kind,” Collins said.

She singles out the heavy influence of the 1960s on the Spring 2013 runways (think Marc Jacobs), and says that if you loved those looks, “look no further than genuine mod pieces inspired by Op Art and reminiscent of Edie Sedgwick to revamp your wardrobe.”

In keeping with what trends to invest in, lifestyle expert Robert Verdi advises that if you’re going to update your closet, it should include something graphic: black-and-white prints or an Asian-influenced jacket or wrap.

“In a new year, you should always try something new,” Verdi said. “I believe that people don’t wear enough pattern, so add any item with a bold pattern to you wardrobe. The easiest place to start is a blouse or a scarf—but don’t forget that when you find something you like, search for the best value online; people get too used to buying things from one site.”

As we start 2013, arguably the most important thing to remember is that sometimes it’s not about more—but rather less.

“Detox,” says Stylecaster’s Meghan Cross.

“I think the best way to revamp your wardrobe is by de-cluttering your closet. I have so much more fun getting dressed when I can actually fit my arm in my armoire.”

Here’s to a clutter-free 2013 filled with just the right amount of graphic mod and Asian-inspired looks.

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