Layering is always a great way to make any outfit more interesting. It can be a bit harder to use many layers now that the weather is getting warmer. We asked our good friend Dakota, an expert in year-round layering to show us the tricks he has up his sleeves (and non-sleeves).
Start with a sheer printed shirt.
Cut of the arms and cop it in the front. Leave the back long. Keep and square for a more masculine look or make the cut round for a softer look.
Wear it over a plain shirt for an interesting, layered look.
We recently had the pleasure of getting to know the owner of The Vintage Trove, Shari Neal. After moving to the Big Apple from Texas in the late 90’s, Shari has established herself as vintage buyer and shop owner with an eye for unique vintage pieces. Free time is a rarity for Shari as she spends most of her time buying for her online store. Time spent not hunting for treasure is usually occupied by wine with friends, vegetarian cuisine and listening to Metallica or Morrissey.
When did you start The Vintage Trove?
February 2011. I started off on an e-commerce site that I had built, but I have recently moved to Etsy. I’ve also been selling at an indoor market in Williamsburg called Artist and Fleas since last May.
What does style mean to you?
To me style is the way we live. It’s made of so many elements. The way someone wears their clothing, the things they surround themselves with, the manner in which one speaks and carries themselves. It’s something innate that goes beyond the superficial.
How would you describe your personal style?
A bit quirky without getting too kitschy. Clothing-wise I do tend to wear mainly vintage, but my choices run a wide gamut. It is somewhat dependent on my mood. I also tend to go through phases.
How long have you been collecting vintage pieces?
I started wearing vintage clothing when I was 13. I have loved shopping for it and dressing in it ever since.
What led you to start The Vintage Trove?
I was just thinking about what I would want to do if I didn’t need money and had a business purely for my own enjoyment. Probably not the best business philosophy, but I’ve always been more interested in enjoying my day-to-day life than my finances. I could never work at a job I didn’t like just for the money.
Are there specific things you look for when curating the items in your shop?
This may sound obvious, but I try to only buy things that I love. When I first started, I made the mistake of buying things based on if I thought they would sell rather than having a connection to them. That just didn’t work for me and I’ve done much better by selecting items I want for myself rather than trying too hard to predict what other people will want. I do take into consideration the wearability of an item and I have left some things behind that I loved because I thought they would be too tough to sell. I have gotten better at editing my purchases, but there are always those ‘bad buys’ that I regret when I get home. Fortunately, they’ve gotten fewer and far between.
What do you feel is the most important part of starting your own online shop?
Being prepared to put in a lot of work. The amount of time and effort it takes to run an online vintage shop is surprising. The restoration, photographing, measuring, and listing of items can become very time consuming. It requires a real passion for vintage clothing. I also think it’s important to be willing to experiment if you’re not getting the results you want.
Chris Cain and Keith Murray of We Are Scientists never go through a wardrobe change before a show. “We want to be in character all day. We are method musicians, which is rare. Most people can’t maintain the level of intensity we do for a full day,” they told us over a beer. Sitting in the garden at Nita Nita in Brooklyn, it could not go unnoticed that these two have been friends for a long time, constantly making jokes about each other and themselves. They formed the band in Berkley, California back in year 2000 but are now based in New York, working on a new album. It’s the first album they’ve produced in New York, this time working with producer Chris Coady. It’s an album containing ten songs and exactly ten notes, they divulged when we asked for some secrets. “We use two non-Western notes. They sound bad when we use them, but they are supposed to invoke terror, irony, and abject paranoia.” Chris explained.
Abject paranoia is the last thing to come to mind when talking to these guys. Except for when we asked them about super powers they’d to like possess. Chris revealed that he’d like a venomous bite to provoke paralysis. Keith would like to control animals. Why? To command all the beasts to make them go away when they are unwanted. “You hear that birds?” he shouted to the sweet chirping in the branches above us.
As a 13 year old, Keith lived in Miami with a wardrobe full of oversized T-shirts with screen-printed cartoon characters and baggy flannel shorts. “I haven’t worn a pair of shorts since then, at least not unironicly,” he adds and later blames his past style on Pearl Jam. Chris was more into matching as a teenager, wearing monochromatic outfits, head to toe denim or corduroy.
Feeling at home in a hovel, Chris and Keith frequent the Levvy in Williamsburg, one of their favorite places to drink. If they’re in the mood for a film, they go to the Kips Bay movie theater. “They have terrible popcorn, but very little bedbugs there”. This advice was followed by a long discussion about popcorn versus cheese balls, but we got lost somewhere in the middle of all this.
Join us as we tour New York City’s surfeit of vintage, consignment and thrift stores. We may give you a lead on discovering your next best deal. Our first foray, we present 3 East Village shops all stamped with Wiseling approval.
Screaming Mimi, 382 Lafayette Street At Screaming Mimi you will find short, colorful floral 60’s A-line dresses, flared high-waisted trousers from the 70’s, and and beaded sequin dresses from a forgotten time. If you are looking for unique garments from a specific era, this is the place to go. Well-kept garments are meticulously organized by era, style and color. Attending a garden party this summer? Chances are high you will find just the perfect dress here.
Metropolis Vintage, 43 3rd Avenue
At first sight, Metropolis Vintage you’ll find cowboy boots and old band t-shirts. Once your eyes adjust to the dim lighting, you’ll find weaved between the western boots some amazing Doc Martens, fur coats and an abundance of cut-off Levis. Great place to grab some frayed threads for your next music festival.
Cure Thrift shop, 111 East 12th Street
At the Cure, you’ll find everything from old H&M dresses, some lightly worn designer pieces to long silk robes lining the racks. It’s very hit or miss, but with prices this low, it’s worth the dig. If you have the time and energy, you will definitely unearth some good finds.
Meet Laurent, one part owner of Myth Market, a gorgeous online vintage shop she runs with her fiancee Kiel in San Diego, California. Since opening their shop in January, the couple realized they’re sold on the business of curating unique and translatable vintage pieces. Find out how she discovered how to leverage her style into a dream job.
How do you spend your free time? Laurent: I spend most of my free time shopping, painting, and reading. I originally wanted to pursue a career in art, but found that I loved expressing myself through clothing just as much.
What does style mean to you? Laurent: I think style is the ultimate expression of a person’s personality or mood, and I love that it can change on a day-to-day basis. To me, the most stylish people are the ones who aren’t too concerned with trends or what everyone else is wearing, and are comfortable in their clothes. It’s the people that look like they threw their outfit together on the way out the door and look amazing that I admire the most.
How would you describe your personal style? Laurent: I tend to gravitate towards clothing that is unique without being overdone. I usually pick out an outfit based on the shape and structure of a garment rather than the color or pattern, and I always wear something with a little edge. This can lead to some crazy clashing, but I always try to make it look subtle. I’m more comfortable looking a little disheveled rather than completely pulled together.
How long have you been collecting vintage pieces? Laurent: I can remember scouring through vintage and thrift stores with my mom when I was a little girl. She used to make costumes for ballet companies, so she would always pick out these crazy pieces for me and I would wear them to school.
What led you to start Myth Market? Laurent: When I would go vintage shopping, I’d always come home with really unique items that would inevitably end up stuck in a corner in my closet. After cleaning out my closet one day, I realized that I had so many pieces that I loved, but never had the opportunity to wear. I thought that other people would be able to give my clothes the life they deserve, so Myth Market was born. It’s such an amazing way to share what I love doing with other people.
Are there specific thing you look for when curating the items in your shop? Laurent: I’m always on the lookout for really unique items that can translate into everyday wear. I love thinking about all the different ways that someone can wear the clothing from our shop.
What do you feel is the most important part of starting your own online shop? Laurent: Having a vision and going after it! When we first started our store we had no idea what we were doing, but we knew what we wanted it to look and feel like. The first couple months we spent hours re-shooting, re-writing, and re-designing our site. It was a huge learning process, but it’s been really rewarding. Everything we do starts with a vision of what we want the end result to be.
What is your favorite online item? Laurent: The people who make jewelry on Etsy are constantly blowing me away. Maybe it’s because it’s the one thing my wardrobe is seriously lacking, but I always find myself scrolling through pages and pages of beautiful handmade jewelry. I love understated rings with simple gold or silver bands and natural stones.
With over a 100 pairs of shoes and a second bedroom as a wardrobe, blogger Monroe Steele (fashionsteelenyc.com) knows fashion. Watch our interview with her and get inspired by her personal style and by the great vintage pieces that lives in her closets.
I recently bought a vintage tie-dyed dress from Fox and Fawnin Greenpoint to wear to Coachella. It was almost perfect. It was just a little too big for me, so I brought it to the tailor to have a dress makeover (or two).
The first place I went to was Hong Kong Tailor Jack, located in the West Village. I asked him to shorten the length. Being all of 5 feet and 1 glorious inch, Tailor Jack had some snipping to do. The dress did absolutely nothing for my shape, so I asked him to take in the sides 1 inch. I also asked him to make the straps on the dress thinner and make the arm whole a bit wider. Yes, my dress was about to go through cosmetic reconstructive surgery.
I picked the dress up a week later. Unfortunately, the dress did not turn out the way I wanted it to. With Coachella only a few short days away, I frantically searched for a tailor that could perfect the dress over night. I found a dry cleaner/tailor on Metropolitan Avenue and Lorimer Street in Williamsburg. The nice man promised to have the dress done the following morning. And so he did. I could not be happier with the outcome.
I learned an interesting lesson in alteration that shopping for a tailor is like shopping for a hair dresser. It is hard work but it is necessary to keep those special threads of yours in tip top shape.
Trends come and go. Most of our styles are constantly evolving and adapting over the course of the seasons and current life situation. Instead of throwing away the garments to buy new ones, there are many easy way to alter them to fit you, your new style and your new life. The very charming and creative Dakota Scott showed us some easy ways of turning something old into something new.
A leopard printed shirt can be hard for anyone to pull off.
Cut of the arms.
Then cut along the edges getting rid of the body, only keeping the skeleton.
You will end up with an interesting accessory to wear underneath sheer shirt or evan button onto a plain, one colored button down shirt.
Our friend, thrift store expert and streetstyle blogger Ryo Miyamoto invited us to his home and closet. He told us about the best places for people spotting (and streetstyle photographer spotting), about his hip hop-style phase, and why everyone should collect prints.
Describe your style with three words. Ryo: I have three different styles. One is a mix of Japanese and European designers where I wear a lot of prints and cheerful colors. The second one is an all black more masculine style with long black skirts, polo necks and hats. And the third one I call a classical American style, but with fun details like interesting and colorful socks.
Currently obsessed with? Ryo: Textile and texture. I really like nylon and embroidery.
What did you wear at the age of 13? Ryo: At 13 I was a super country boy, not cool at all, wearing T-shirts and shorts and sneakers. My mum bought all my clothes. But when I was 18 I looked totally different from now. I loved hiphop so I wore Addidas jerseys, Nike sneakers, baggy pants and pitch black sunglasses. Thinking back of it, those outfits were not cool. I’m from a tiny island. Fashion did not exist there. I watched 90’s hiphop on Youtube.
How many pairs of shoes do you own? Ryo: 24. But right now I only use about 8 of them.
Best place for people spotting? Ryo: SoHo. I like to go to Meatpacking or Chelsea to see interesting people, but there is more traffic in SoHo so when I need to photograph people for my streetstyle blog I usually stay in SoHo. There are a lot of other streetstyle photographers there. Once there where six of us gathered in the same corner, all looking for fashionable people.
What will you do in 10 years? Ryo: I want to help both high end and young new designers to communicate their concept and philosophy. Be the man in the middle.
What would be your superpower? Ryo: I want to fly so I can fly back to Japan or go to Paris or Europe anytime.
Why do you like prints so much? Ryo: Prints always comes back in style and that’s why I collect a lot of vintage prints. It’s fun and playful. You won’t meet someone on a street wearing the same print.
Three things you can’t live without? Ryo: Friends, books, and silence.
Favorite place in NYC? Ryo: I’m not going to lie. My favorite place is a bar called Blue and Gold where they serve cheap, cheap whiskey. One glass of whiskey is like 4 or 5 dollars! It’s incredible.
Once upon a time (last week) in a thrift store far, far away (Queens), a pair of white, high waisted Miu Miu trousers were hanging lonely on a hanger. They where smothered between jeans from the 1980’s and some nylon sweatpants. Nobody knew where they came from nor did they know what life they once had lived. But I knew that for seven dollars they would be mine. I knew they would have a new life.
One problem with amazing thrift finds is that the previous owner may not always be the same size as you. With dresses, skirts, and shirts this problem is not so significant. You can easily alter the size by using belts or simply wearing the garments in their oversized state. Trousers are a bit more tricky. Luckily, there are many great tailors that can solve this issue.
The Miu Miu trousers went for a short visit at Wiseling’s go-to for alterations, Ramon’s Tailor Shop in NoHo. The results were no short of perfection. Don’t you just revel in that feeling when your garments fit just precisely?