Be Unique. Buy Unique.
Born in the heart of Camden in 1986, Rokit has sold vintage wears for thirty years. That's right, thirty years! Same age as retro god Alex Turner… Just saying… (it's totally meant to be). With a strong ethos for quality clothing, peachy prices and sustainable fashion, we hand pick each of our items with style conscious, environmentally aware vintage lovers in mind. So we're taking a look at what all this actually means and the significance of loving our clothes across lifetimes.
Words by Sophie Soar
Why Buy Vintage?
Whilst high street provides us with great basics and wardrobe fillers, statement pieces and party poppers are what make you stand out from the crowd; slightly challenging when faced with passing five people a day with the same jacket or trousers. This is where vintage shines through, beautifully sparkling its greatest appeal: exclusivity. Our store surveys revealed that 65% of our customers shop vintage with the safe knowledge no one else owns it. What's not to love? With head held high, you can waltz down the street as the only owner of that treasured piece.
We will often splash out when reassured we are buying quality and what better testament to clothing quality other than the durability of it? When we select well-looked after items, the garment's integrity speaks for itself: it is proof of quality. A pristine dress from the fifties can only tell us of its quality design and materials, despite the garment's construction about sixty years ago!
A well-made garment can last a lifetime. With the right quality, a truly well-made garment can last several. That's the beauty of vintage; what is worn and loved by one person can then be passed on to another. It's superb sustainability! A change as simple as shopping vintage allows quality pieces to fulfil their life span and spread that little bit more happiness in an environmentally friendly way!
Never one to waste materials, at Rokit we believe a garment's use is only as limited as your imagination. Our in-house design team run the Rokit Recycled label which hand crafts original garments from found fabrics and customises otherwise unwearable vintage pieces into seasonal trend-focused designs. The range is handmade in London in a sweatshop free environment thus supporting the ethical fashion movement.
Aside from the Rokit Recycled team refashioning clothes to modern styles and current trends, vintage items hold such an appeal as trends repeat all the time; 2016 runway styles oozed seventies chic from almost every nook and cranny. Rather than spend thousands on modern designer labels or minimal on poor quality high street rip offs, vintage can provide an affordable and infallibly authentic representation of the trend. They say re-work the seventies, we say re-wear the seventies!
Not only authentic but affordable! As second hand pieces, some with inevitable wear and tear considering their age, the items will never break your bank. The idea is to give these clothes another lease of life, not financially cripple those facilitating this quest.
Perhaps the most entrancing appeal to vintage clothing; with every purchase you make, you own a little piece of history. After a little research, I discovered my first vintage purchase was a lacrosse jacket from a college in Pennsylvania, owned by a team member called 'Sammy' in 1978. A romantic notion perhaps, but realistically each and every item has passed from one hand to another. Ever thought about who could have owned your item before you?
Top Tips Whilst Shopping Vintage
Learn your chest measurements, waist size and leg length, inspect the fit and always try on! When you dress for your size and body shape, the result will always be ten times more flattering than squeezing into something that doesn't fit or hugs your body in all the wrong places. You can instantly shed weight simply by choosing something that actually fits!
One of the glorious qualities to vintage shopping is the vast range of eras. Even better yet, different eras focus on different body shapes. If you're a curvy individual, fifties will flatter and beautifully outline your physique. If you're bottom heavy, the eighties' emphasis on shoulders will balance out your look. Nineties, with a focus on grunge, alternatively provides stunning slip dresses for those without curves. Stop and think: what era suits and flatters your figure?
When purchasing any item online, take into account all measurements provided. This will ensure the item will fit beautifully and save you any hassle with returning an ill-fitting item!
Inspect closely, especially bags and shoes for any wear and tear that may affect the overall usability of the item eg. a hole in the lining or in the sole of the shoes. These can often go unnoticed but can ruin the usefulness of an item instantly.
Keep an Eye Out for…
Whilst the spick and span campaigns of designer labels draws us all in, only very few can afford the newly released designer wears. Here, vintage takes to the stage. You can find designer labels at insanely reduced prices!
Alongside the designer wear gems you can find in vintage stores, sportswear labels are another that flood thick and fast onto rails. The quality lasts as the prices fall; a match made in heaven for all collectors!
When buying denim new, there is a long and lengthy process to wear in a pair of jeans so as to achieve a perfect fit; advice stretches from cold washes, sleeping in your new pair and storing them in a freezer. But with all those hundreds of thousands of body types out there, there will inevitably be some similar to you! Even better yet, when searching for an authentic look, vintage ensures the denim will be stretched and worn already for you.
A key point to remember with leather is that if it's lasted this long, it's got to be good quality. Always try on any leather item, especially skirts and trousers. Have a wander around the store too to check the movement of the leather whilst on.
Whether a vintage item or not, if you've loved an item enough to buy it, you should love it enough to take care of it. Some fail safe, simple pointers to live your vintage-led life by are:
Hang items that need it. This saves you having to forever iron pieces crumpled up in the back of your wardrobe. Materials such as silk or chiffon are prone to crease; easily avoidable with one simple change.
Always read the label. After purchasing any item, always check the label for instructions of how to look after the item properly. The info is there for a reason!
Do your research. If there's no label to follow, research how the materials should be washed. If in doubt, hand wash or dry clean!
Never forget: vintage is that little bit older so treat it with love and respect.