The right vintage

Rachel Solar Fashion Editor

For anyone who's ever come hemline to hemline with a would-be fashionista in the same Banana Republic dress, there is a certain appeal to vintage clothing. With feminine details like special buttons, pleats and ruching, charming appliqu├ęs and fabrications, pieces from a different era lend originality and specialness to your look.
Julia Roberts, in 1982 Valentino at the 2001 Oscars, seemed to herald an expanded and less rarified perception of vintage. What we once imagined as pristine Pucci from the 1960s, today can refer to pieces later pieces that are considered representative of the era. And the field has expanded from small, renowned boutiques in New York and L.A. like Lily et Cie and Resurrection to include a wide spectrum of resources- whether it's a high end, highly edited setting like the Velvet Fly, or a catch-as-catch-can treasure chest like The Garment District. Renee Ferraro is a resident vintage expert, and the manager of Goodwill's Somerville store, which processes some very special, gently used vintage items. "The new movement of vintage has become much more mainstream," Renee says. "In the past, vintage items were used by a few individuals who were trying to make a statement; now, vintage is extremely mainstream and is seen everywhere from the magazines, to Newbury street to high school students."
Only about a week ago, the upscale designer consignment store Second Time Around began accepting vintage in its Harvard Square location. "People always have asked if we accepted vintage, and the answer had always been no," says store manager Alyson Booth. "It takes a lot to separate ourselves from the everyday thrift stores or consignment stores and make people understand that we are different, new and contemporary. [Now] We are pretty well established, especially in Boston area, and I think enough people know who we are and what we are all about." This Second Time Around will feature items Aly carefully selects that are "wearable, in good condition, and really, really cool."

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