Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Retail Shopping For Imitation Vintage: Friend or Faux?

If life more closely resembled my dreams, I'd find every single thing that I ever needed or desired from the thrift store---all in one single visit, no less. But waking life being what it is---I've found that it's still just a veritable luck-of-the-draw when it comes to shopping secondhand. And I just can't seem to find EVERYTHING at the thrift. 

And this has become especially true when it comes to furnishing and decorating my new digs---a shared condo with my boyfriend in Edgewater Park, New Jersey. I think it might be the truth universally known that when you don't need that perfect new-to-you dresser or bookcase you'll see an endless parade of them. But when you absolutely need one---well, there's just none to be found. I suppose patience is a virtue. But in the meantime...I've been doing something...something I'm not sure that I should be...

Shopping. Actual retail shopping. I know. It might come as a shock. But I can't help it. And I'll tell you why. 

There's been a resurgence of rustic, vintage style. 

Being a lifelong thrift shopper, I know that it's only a matter of time before everything old is new again. I mean, it's new-to-me... and I love that. But now everyone else is loving it too. And this means that mass market retailers are catering to what was once a niche and turning it into an irresistible cash cow of polka dots and paisleys, of salvaged wood design and skeleton keys. 

And I'm feeling really conflicted about it. Because this vintage aesthetic really speaks to my personal style, even though I know that the real thing would be just a fraction of the cost at the thrift store. And believe me, being unable to find the real vintage serving tray that I had in my mind's eye for the past few months is not for lack of trying. So when I saw this faux-vintage worn design with an olive toned Moroccan print...I justified spending the $12. And that owl glass, that was only $3. 

It's not as if I'm spending top dollar on these items... so maybe it's not even the financial aspect of it. Maybe I'm just a bit of a thrift snob?  Maybe I relish the fact that I'm one of just a few who may have a particular item. But now. Now I'm just one of hundreds, thousands buying the same mass marketed wares. 

I mean, look at these succulents. They're not even real. But they're cute and they're tiny. And they're in wooden boxes, damn it. I don't even know how to feel about this. Part of me wants to slap my own hand if it goes to reach for a piece of imitation vintage from Pier One or from World Market. 

But World Market has become my new favorite retail spot! Where else can I get cute stationery, feta-stuffed olives, imported chocolate, and vintage-inspired decor? So as you can see, I'm in a pickle. An artisanal a mason jar...with a burlap label. 

But maybe one day, if I wish hard enough...I will find every piece of authentic vintage my heart desires right at the thrift store. I guess for now I'll have to reconcile my imitation-vintage buyer's guilt and live with the fact that these things were just too cute to pass up. 

What's your take on the trending vintage look? Will you buy new retail items that have retro appeal or will you only buy tried and true vintage while thrifting? 

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