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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Vintage Virgin?

    Liam Foley/ Arizona Daily Wildcat

How Sweet It Was is a vintage clothing store located at 419 N. 4th Ave Tucson, AZ.
    Liam Foley/ Arizona Daily Wildcat How Sweet It Was is a vintage clothing store located at 419 N. 4th Ave Tucson, AZ.

    Celebrities pulled out all the stops on Oscar night, donning glittering gowns, sharp tuxedos and enormous jewels. In Hollywood, the hunt for the perfect gown has become a cutthroat competition among actresses clamoring for the title of “”Best Dressed,”” and for their look to be envied and copied by women across America.

    Best Supporting Actress winner Penelope Cruz turned heads on the red carpet in an intricate lace dress, sending the paparazzi abuzz with inquiries of “”Penelope, who are you wearing?”” To which the actress, with a coy smile and a bat of her eyelashes replied, “”It’s vintage.””

    That bitch. Now we’ll never know how to recreate her red carpet look.

    Not so fast. Penelope probably enlisted a stylist to find her Oscar frock, but with a few helpful tips, even the mere mortals outside Hollywood can find success in vintage shopping.

    What to Know Before You Go:

    It’s natural to feel a bit apprehensive towards vintage shopping – most stores are overwhelmingly jam-packed with inventory dating as far back as the 1920s. For this reason, it’s important to set aside enough time to sift through the racks. Avoid shopping on weekends, and you’ll be more likely to find that crocodile belt or distressed leather jacket you’ve been hunting for. Sizing has dramatically changed over the decades, so trying on clothes is essential – especially since most vintage stores have a strict return policy.

    The Dress:

    Silhouettes from decades past are constantly cycling in and out of vintage stores, but the 60’s shift dress will be a key vintage piece this spring. The red carpet isn’t the inspiration for this trend; but rather the Oval Office, thanks to new First Lady Michelle Obama. “”They are touting her as the next Jackie O, as far as her fashion sense and everything. The sixties are popular again, definitely,”” said Kathleen Lauth of Desert Vintage & Costume.

    The Jewels:

    While a lot of vintage stores receive authentic gems from estate sales, don’t assume that sparkling cubic zirconium is a diamond just yet.

    “”You are really relying on the storekeepers integrity to find out whether it’s a real pearl or real stone,”” said Lauth. Shoppers should also take caution with metals. It seems counterintuitive, but tarnishing is a good sign-it usually indicates that the piece is real sterling silver.

    The Shoes:

    There is certainly a degree of “”ick factor”” when it comes to buying vintage shoes. If you are able to overcome the thought of buying secondhand shoes, the discounts can be tremendous. Again, “”Try them on. Of course, with secondhand shoes, it’s someone else’s fit. Just be sure everything fits,”” said Lauth.

    The Fabric:

    Whether the piece in question is a pair of pants, a dress or a scarf, it’s important to know whether a vintage article will last. The shelf life of clothing is usually limited by the fabric it is made from, so be sure to check the tags.

    “”Cotton will always hold up the best. Silk can get kind of fragile over the years, because it will get dry rot, especially in a climate as warm as Tucson,”” warns Lauth.

    Where to Shop:

    Desert Vintage & Costume

    636 N. Fourth Ave.

    How Sweet It Was Vintage

    419 N. Fourth Ave.

    Buffalo Exchange

    2001 E. Speedway Blvd.

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