Is Vintage shopping the best shopping?

Generally speaking an item is vintage if it is is no older than an antique (i.e. 100 years) but not less than 20 years. Fun fact: the term vintage relates primarily to wine and is an altered form of the French word vendage, meaning “the grapes picked during a season.”

Not to get confused with retro: Retro style is the imitation of a certain trend/style from the past, but it can be created with brand new items.

I absolutely adore a good bargain, and again who doesn't? I finally had a chance to visit Portobello Road and the famous Notting Hill market- when I was working shifts in hospital, it was very difficult to have week-ends off. And even when you did, you were too tired to do anything!

I must say, working in an office is life-changing- not that I completely love it, but God, do I enjoy the weekends! The planning, the certainty of knowing that you will be off and that you will never have to do a night shift. Have you read "The Dread" by Kirsty Brewerton, Clinical sister in a busy NHS hospital?

"The dread,

legs of lead,

palms of sweat,

in the car I get: Autopilot.

Muscle memory of the journey,

allows the mind to drift,

anticipating the awaiting shift.

Thoughts wander to crashing the car,

hope for broken legs, 6 weeks on crutches,

worth it to ensure a rest and avoid these night shifts.

Find a parking space a take a breath

don't want to release myself from the comforting cutch of my seat belt and emerge from the safety of my Seat Altea.

Foreboding darkness, unnatural lights flicker

Is it morse code, I wonder? S-O-S."

This poem- not sure is a poem? (more like a testimony) goes on, dramatically describing, in an eerily similar to how I felt on nights shifts, and explains why she was driven away from the NHS. Do I feel guilty for leaving the NHS? yes. Do people that love me keep telling me I had to because it was no longer sustainable? Also yes.

This life. It is a thin line between guilt and saving yourself at the moment.

And styling people- definitely lifts the mood!

With being a personal stylist come great reponsability (I'll say!), and one of them is: do I want to be one of those fashionista who goes on huge Zara/Mango/H&M?(insert big chain here) haul, OR shall I try and be, in the limits of my humble possibility, as ethical as I can?

It is anyone's choice really, and again, being ethical bears many different meanings. To me it doesn't necessarily mean to completely stop shopping at Zara (unequivocally the brand that started fast fashion), but also don't stock pile on clothes that you never wear. To think carefully about what items you need, and then shop accordingly.

To shop truly ethical brand can be extremely pricey, so my solution at this time is budgeting and going to vintage markets and giving pre-loved items a second (or third or fourth) chance at life.

In the picture I am wearing one of my latest buy, a lovely sweater in cashmere from the market in my hometown- at the mere price of 3€. And again, it is very tempting to pile up on clothes when they are this cheap, but:

-Is the condition actually good?

-Does the colour suit you/match items in your wardrobe, ERGO

-Are you actually going to wear this item ? Or you're buying it just because it's cheap-

Best advice someone ever gave me: If this item would cost 50/100£ instead of 5£, would you still get it? If the anser is no- just leave it where it is, it can make somebody else happy!

So off to markets I go. Portobello market remains a must-see if you're ever in London, it breams with people, antiques, clothes, jewellery and Vintage clothes.

It also offers several food stalls to satisfy all tastes!

Brick lane is also a very popular destinations for vintage clothing in London: the market at the old Truman Brewery houses more than 40 stalls of Vintage clothing! And also, not far away from it there's the Old Spitafileds Market. Always a great destination (63 clothing stall, 35 food ones- literally never ends!) in the heart of London.

The true champion of pre-loved items though are charity shops. Charity shop: by definition is a shop where second-hand goods are sold to raise money for a charity. I never saw any in Italy, but here in London (and everywhere in the UK) they are absolutely everywhere, and supporting different charities: Mind, the Heart foundation, Marie Curie, and the list goes on and on. So not only you are actually buying something that has been pre-loved by someone else, but you are also helping out. To me is a win-win really. Of course, charity shops in richer neighbourhoods will have nicer stuff, and probably brands as well. The prices are incredibly cheap (an I mean, incredibly).

You need examples? That will be for next time...

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