Here at Who What Wear UK, we're all about delivering the latest and greatest shopping edits, as approved by our team. That's why we've created a new shopping column, The Joy of Shopping, which will see me, Joy Montgomery,heading to all your favourite stores to test out new-in pieces IRL. From summer dresses to the brands you might've forgotten about, prepare for changing room selfies aplenty. Is there something you'd like me to cover? Make sure to tweet or Instagram me your requests!
According to The Business of Fashion's State of Fashion Report 2020, sustainability is set to be one of the 10 themes that will set the agenda this year. And while the weight of responsibility is undoubtedly in the hands of the big name brands that monopolise the industry, as we enter a new decade, it's also a great chance for us as consumers to reconsider our approach to consumption.
From clothing rental to online vintage stores, 2019 saw a boom in new businesses addressing the global impact of fashion with innovative new approaches to closing the loop. Back in April 2019, U.S. rental site Rent the Runway was valued at $1 billion, and if that's not a sign of things to come, I don't know what is.
As a fashion editor, it's something that I've been grappling with over the last year. As part of readjusting my shopping habits, I've found it helpful to consider two things: Firstly, how I can be more creative with the pieces I already have in my wardrobe, and secondly, exploring more sustainable ways of filling the gaps. Luckily, vintage has been a firm fixture in my wardrobe since I was about 15 years old and is an easy solution to my monthly craving for newness.
How do I love thee vintage? Let me count the ways. Shopping secondhand is by far one of the most cost-efficient ways to make your wardrobe more sustainable. While brands such as Stella McCartney are doing amazing things area of fabric innovation and eco-friendly production, it's not really accessible for us mere mortals. Case in point? I picked up the below tweed blazer (which is a dead ringer for the designer styles pictured on the likes of Emili Sindlev) for a mere £15.
Vintage also gives you a short cut to a more original style. While I love Instagram, there's definitely a risk that we can all end up in the same cookie-cutter outfits. When you pick up something in a vintage store, you know you'll never see another soul in the same item. There's also nothing better than the thrill of coming across a gem hidden in a heaving rail of clothing.
Of course, I understand that secondhand shopping is a time commitment, but I will say that resale apps and Instagram sellers are now providing us with easier access to vintage and more refined edits. So as your resident shopping/vintage fanatic, I decided to put my money where my mouth is and head down to Rokit's Covent Garden store to show that, in fact, you can buy this season's best trends secondhand. From '70s shirts to chunky cardigans, scroll down to see what I found and shop my edit of similar online buys. Happy hunting.
Joy Montgomery for Who What Wear
Style Notes: Tweed is everywhere right now, with Chanel-inspired styles taking over the feeds of Instagram's most stylish. You'll be spoilt for choice when it comes to shopping this fabric secondhand. I was drawn to the round neckline and boxy fit of this vintage number, which I'll be wearing with split-hem leggings and boots for fashion week.
Style Notes: The humble Fair Isle knit brought plenty Scandi appeal to designer collections last year, with cool girls styling theirs with long skirts and chunky trainers. I found this blue buy from the men's section at Rokit and fell for the oversized fit and chunky neckline.
Style Notes: Tonal dressing has to be one of my favourite trends right now thanks to its low-maintenance appeal. When faced with a vintage store packed with heaving rails, picking items within the same colour spectrum can make your life a little easier. I enjoyed the '70s silhouette of this leather coat, which will continue to age beautifully with each season.
Style Notes: If you're a long-standing Joy of Shopping fan, you'll know that I'm partial to a '70s detail. I already own a fair few dagger collar shirts, and luckily, this statement look is having a moment this season. It's is just the thing you need to add interest to your fave jeans (which is another winning item to buy secondhand, FYI).
Style Notes: I found so many cool sweater vests in Rokit during my visit (the above is a cashmere style from the men's section), but sadly they are harder to source online, so instead I'll focus on these fab tailored trousers. The current penchant for high-waisted tailored styles harks back to the '80s, so why not bag the original? This pinstripe pair is a little big on the waist, but this can easily be remedied with a cinching leather belt.
Style Notes: I couldn't put together a vintage trend edit without including a cardigan, the unexpected knitwear trend that has captured the hearts of the fashion crowd this winter. This is by far the easiest trend to source secondhand, whether you opt for cable knit, an oversized fit or a '90s-inspired cropped style. This cream cardi feels very 1920s Chanel and would pair nicely with a pleated midi skirt and heeled boots.
Style Notes: Dresses aren't always the easiest items to nab vintage due to tricky fits and fabrics, however, when you find a winner, there's no better feeling. Keep an eye out for interesting details, such as collars, statement sleeves or unusual colours. I've spotted so many chic '70s-style midis around with elegant long sleeves and high necklines. Just add a top handle bag and cowboy boots.
Style Notes: If you've been coveting Bottega's boxy blazers but don't have the funds to nab the real deal (same), head over to your nearest secondhand store and head for the menswear section.
Obviously, you don't want to drown in one, but you might be surprised by the variety of sizes you find there. Case in point? This brown men's jacket fitted me perfectly, and I concluded that it was probably originally a school blazer due to the shorter sleeves. Gotta love the randomness of a vintage store.