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Vintage Clothing on Corrie Olson

How to Shop for Vintage Clothing In Rochester

December 4, 2017 Comments Off on How to Shop for Vintage Clothing In Rochester

When I was a teen, I wanted to be a Riot grrrl. I read Sassy magazine.

Remember it?


Sassy Magazine Cover

I remember this issue. I loved Mayim Bialik in Blossom. Cool Sassy readers and Riot grrrls had a way of putting themselves together in a mix of vintage and grunge clothing that was so cool. I couldn’t quite achieve it then. Who remembers the black and white striped tights? I wouldn’t wear those now, yet, I’d love to have vintage pieces that work with who I am today.

Why Shop Vintage?

  1. Shop Green: It keeps quality clothing that no longer fits someone else’s body or style anymore out of landfills.
  2. Save Money: It’s less expensive than buying new.
  3. End Slavery: It keeps money out of the slave trade. “Outlets such as H&M can sell hoodies for as little as $25 because Cambodian women (almost all the workers are women) will sew for roughly 50 cents per hour,” wrote Patrick Winn in a piece for Slate, The slave labor behind your favorite clothing brands: Gap, H&M and more exposed.
  4. Look Original: A wardrobe accented by vintage finds has a more eclectic, curated feel.

Vintage Shopping Options in Rochester, MN:

  1. Hunt and filter through thrift stores like Savers and Goodwill.
  2. Go to vintage shops in the Twin Cities.
  3. Shop online with sites like poshmark.

Corrie OlsonOr you could talk with Corrie Olson and shop Whimsy…

Whimsy is a pop-up vintage shop that Corrie started on Instagram. “It continues to grow every week. We’ve been partnering with some local businesses.”

You can find Whimsy on December 9th from Noon to 6p.m. at Whimsical: A Vintage Holiday Artists Market being held at Fox & Fern Floral in Rochester’s up and coming Design District. The D’Sievers will be performing at Fox & Fern Floral from 5-6:30. 

Q: What makes a quality vintage piece?

The material used. I sell a lot of wool, a lot of linen, pieces that tend to be more durable. Vintage has higher quality zippers, dresses are better reinforced.
Note: If there’s an amazing piece that Corrie wants to sell that has a tear, she has a seamstress that she works with to repair the piece.

Q: Why vintage?

I enjoy more classic, vintage style.

I’m a big supporter of having a minimal fashionable wardrobe, buying pieces you’ll wear over and over. Helping to desaturate an oversaturated market. Focus on quality over quantity.

Vintage has higher quality because there was less demand for it; pieces were made to last all year.  It [the fashion industry] started out being 2 seasons. Then it transitioned to spring, summer, fall, winter. Now, the fashion industry is trying to sell you something new every week. They want you to buy a lot and get rid of a lot. You lose out on quality.

Q: When it comes to vintage, what years do you focus on?

’90s and older. The ’90s are coming back. I like the Bohemian era of the ’70s. I find that I pull from all over.

Q: What favorite vintage pieces do you have in your closet?

I have a lovely 80’s dress – classic A line cut, very simple neckline. It’s so easy to dress it up or down. I wear my vintage Levi’s constantly, along with vintage boots and sweaters. They’re all versatile and fun.

Vintage Button Up Jeans

Shopping Vintage (Corrie’s Advice):

  • Mind the sizing. A vintage 7 or 8 can be a modern 3.
  • You can find pieces that are old and used and have had a life previous that will compliment your personal style.
  • Figure out what pieces you want and then search specifically for them.
    You can find really high quality brands in the most unexpected places.

Corrie does offer shopping services. She goes to estate sales, thrift stores, vintage stores in other cities to find deals in her customers’ size that she knows will flatter them. “Oftentimes it’s piece by piece. I’ll do research by brand, era, compare to things online,” said Corrie. “I want it to be an affordable style choice. Buying vintage and pre-owned can be a very affordable, very stylish way to shop.”

You can keep up with Whimsy by liking Whimsy on Facebook or following @whimsymn on Instagram.

Also happening in the Design District on Saturday, Dwell Local is hosting a Holiday Open House and Fundraiser. 10% of Dwell Local sales will be donated to the Women’s Shelter, Inc.

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