Clothes Fashion Vintage

6 Simple, Sustainable Styling Tips

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By Anna Van Der Heijden

The best thing about avoiding fast fashion is that you are less likely to look like everyone else. Slow fashionistas couldn’t care less about the latest shipment into Zara; they’re not salivating all over fashion week FROWs, dying to ‘buy the runway’ with some app so they can be the first to look exactly like the model did on the catwalk. No indeed, the slow fashionista is into individuality!

Even when her clothes are looking a bit dated or worn out, she’ll find a way to keep them fresh again. How, you may ask? Well, here I’ve compiled some of the smartest sustainable styling tips I could think of, to keep your wardrobe looking super fresh, without spending much at all.

Customise It!

Patches, vintage broaches, punk rock studs or simple, handmade drawings; there are countless ways to give a personal touch to a basic piece of clothing. In a world where everything is getting more and more homogenised, customising your clothes is a great way to make a statement; to stand out and be different. Show your unique personality! Are you a bit of a punk rebel, who would paint a cool text on a leather jacket? Or do you have a more classic style, preferring to give a nod to your heritage by pinning some of your nan’s broaches on your blazer?

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2. Roll It Up, Tuck It In

A pair of vintage jeans; a white organic cotton shirt; a vintage blazer; a hand knitted sweater. They’re all perfect basics and definitely belong in every wardrobe. But every once in a while, they just need a little twist to make them a bit more exciting. The easiest way to do this is to simply roll up your jeans (just above the ankle is currently chic); your sleeves (just below the elbow, never above), or to tuck in a tip of your shirt or sweater in a bit the front (looks extra stylish with a great belt). Easy peasy!

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3. Add A Hat

Oh, I do love a great hat! Whether it’s rain or sun you’re protecting your face from, or whether you’re wearing it for reasons of etiquette (think: Ascot) or as the finishing touch to a cool look, a hat always makes a good addition to your outfit. This versatile item can be worn in countless styles and for many reasons. It really can be the metaphorical cherry on your outfit cake. My tips? Wear it a bit towards the back of your head, so the brim frames your face like a bit of a ‘halo’, you little fashion angel! Ensure hair is hanging loose and easy, too – and when it doubt, ask yourself: “What would Gigi wear?”

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4. Tie A Scarf

A vintage silk scarf is a classic you can use in myriad ways. Tie it around your neck, wrap it around your bag handles, or weave it through your belt loops. Whether it’s eccentrically patterned or simply plain coloured, a scarf brings a pop of colour to every outfit. And if you’re looking for the perfect one, well, you’re spoilt for choice! I’m crazy for Emma J Shipley’s artistically patterned scarves, for example, and of course, who doesn’t love some vintage Hermes? (see how to avoid buying a fake one here).

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5. Viva La Vintage!

Vintage items tell stories of previous lives, which gives them a certain mysterious flair. Hunting around vintage markets – be they whilst you’re exploring Paris or London on holiday, in charity shops in your hometown, or online – is super fun, and when you find a perfect piece, it feels like unearthing buried treasure. No one else will have that exact piece, and no one else will style it the way you do.  Even cooler is the fact that you help the environment by reusing old clothing instead of using new products. What’s hot right now? Pieces from the 70s, like platform shoes, oversized sunglasses and midi skirts and coats. But a gorgeous antique kimono is always on the top of my vintage wish list, as is anything by 70s iconic designer Ossie Clark.

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6. Slash it!

We all have those jeans, shirts and skirts in the back of our closet that are kind of getting tired in terms of style, but still too good to recycle. Here’s an idea: shred, tear, slash or rip them up! By creatively ruining the perfect fabric, an item can actually get a real style upgrade. Give every spotless outfit a touch of defiance and badassness.

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