Myself and Bambi Boucher at the Vinted showcase on 3/26/16 by Chads Images
One of the clearest memories I have from my childhood was my and my mother's Sunday routine. Early in the morning, at what felt like an absolutely ungodly hour for a six year old (and honestly, 6am still feels like a terrible time to be awake at twenty two), she'd stir me awake, we'd get dressed and she'd heat two packets of Quaker oats in a travel tupperware for me to eat in the car. I'd pack my ladybug purse with my two favorite Barbies--an honor that would change from week to week based on how well they'd performed for play time during the week--a coloring book, and a CapriSun. We'd get into the car by 7:30 exactly and drive into MidCity to the Promise Land: Jet Rag's Dollar Sale. For those of you who aren't LA natives, or people familiar with LA in any sense, let me explain. Jet Rag is often considered one of the best thrift stores Los Angeles. On La Brea, it's a two story treasure trove curated with the best of the best in vintage wares. Every Sunday, they fill their parking lot with piles of slightly damaged or too-long-on-the-salesfloor clothing and you're invited to rifle through it all, picking out things for only a dollar. They deposit new clothing roughly ever hour from garbage bags and industrial size laundry bins. My mom always liked to get there right when it began at 8am to ensure she had first dibs and to make sure she could park the car right on the outside curb in order to see me from her vantage point. We'd stay for hours, usually until lunchtime, from what I could remember. When I'd get bored with Barbies, coloring, singing to Radio Disney, and after a quick nap, I'd unbuckle from my carseat, take the keys and zip them in my purse and join my mom in the fray. These moments, these Sundays that lasted with weekly consistency, until I was about eleven, solidified my love for secondhand clothing.
My mom discovered Jet Rag when she first moved to Los Angeles at eighteen, she was living with cousins and had hardly any money to her name. The sale at Jet Rag was her way of finding fun and unique pieces to help her maintain her own personal style even during moments she couldn't splurge. Later, it was out of a since of routine, a love for finding one-of-a-kind and "loved in" goods. By the time I was in High School, we'd go to Jet Rag, again to save money and even with rigid budgeting I was lucky to never have to sacrifice my own expression. It's a bizarre experience to go back to the store on the rare weekends I can muster the gall to make the trip there. The boom in second-hand goods, the coolness of it all has turned the sale into a battleground, that I don't have the energy to deal with. It's weird. I have such an emotional attachment to that parking lot and a possessiveness to the dirty clothes that need a few alterations before they were suitable to be worn, that sometimes, I feel like the right to shop there needs to be earned. And I'm the gatekeeper, only I can decide who is or isn't worthy. Obviously, I don't go around scoffing at people rifling through old track suits looking to mark them up on their EBay stores, but I'd be lying if sometimes the urge isn't there.
Me at the Vinted Style Showcase on 3/26/16, by Chad Images
I'm by no means a clothing purist. A quick look through the things I wear in my other posts will tell you that. I like to shop. It doesn't matter where the clothing comes from. Still, secondhand things have a special place in my heart. From my vintage days at Freak City LA or my days at Buttons and Bows, vintage and used clothing hold a greater significance. Even when I buy things from my good friends at Tunnel Vision, I love the uniqueness; my attachment to vintage is what brought me to Nasty Gal and why I enjoy watching the brand grow so much (it's also solidified my staunch brand loyalty).
Treasures recieved by Vinted at the Style Showcase on 3/26/16, photo by me
All this is to say, I'm happy to have discovered a new website to find gently used and fun clothing: Vinted. Like it's peers, Poshmark and Depop, Vinted is a web and app-based place to sell your old goodies and find some new ones. What separates it from the bunch is it's community based forums, so the whole site feels like a clothing-swap with your friends instead of browsing a bunch of yard sales. Last week, I went to a real-life Vinted event (another cool thing about the site: Style Showcases where you can meet your forum buddies and followers). Wearing my #VintedTreasues, I took photos in the booth, ate just about every snack provided (and maybe like five cupcakes), danced with some fellow Vinted fashionistas and tried my luck with the raffle. Now, I'm preparing to set up my own little Vinted store, so I can really dive into all the fun! Find me there @kianiiman. I'll be sure to do a new post when I have it all up and running.
This whole outfit is from Vinted! Vintage Ralph Lauren Jeans, new with tags Abercrombie & Fitch suede fringe jacket, & Zara track sole shoes!
As apart of my collaboration with Vinted, I ran a contest on Facebook for someone to receive $80.00 worth of credits to shop their own treasures and I'm happy to announce the winner!