Fair Fashion

On Trend for Spring: Five Vintage Graphic Looks with Indy Flair


Guest post by Barbara at Chronologie Vintage.

Sometimes it’s hard being a “green” fashionista. We love expressing ourselves with clothing, but we worry about the impact that clothes—even organic ones—have on the earth.

I started Chronologie Vintage Clothes in 2011 because I wanted to share my vision with other women. I believe all of us deserve to feel good in our skin and our clothing: When we take care of ourselves in this way and other ways, we have more to give the world.

Vintage clothes offer endless ways to express our individuality, and feel good doing it. Vintage (which is generally defined as at least 20 years old) is often better made than newer clothing, usually fits better, and is a whole lot less generic than much of what’s sold today.

Vintage clothing is more than just “used” stuff, though. In my shop, everything has to have some outstanding feature—a terrific color, fantastic fabric, unusual style, etc. I know what I like, and that’s my guiding principle in everything I buy.
Here are a few current favorites from my shop.


I found this one-of-a-kind dress last summer at a vintage market in Brussels. I got lost trying to find my family when I was done in the market. With no cell phone, I had to figure out a solution with a few euros and some bad French. This dress rode back to the US clutched in a bag on my lap…and I think it was worth all the effort.


This black silk blouse came from the same vintage market (yes, as I was lost in Brussels I was toting around a huuuge shopping bag). This blouse is so beautifully handmade by a tailor for some unknown European woman. It dates to the 1980s, but I think the cute tulip print looks like something you’d find at Urban Outfitters—very indie/hipster.


Keeping with the “hipster” vibe, this little skirt looks retro/modern. But it dates to the 1960s. One way you can tell is that the tag says it’s size 12—but it fits like a modern 8.


Elsa Schiaparelli was one of the best known American designers of the early 20th century, starting her career with a simple black sweater with a white bow.
By the 1950s she was lending her name to the Glentex Scarf Company. This vintage scarf looks very modern to me because of the current ethnic print trend. But it’s over 60 years old and signed with Elsa’s name.


Last but not least is this almost over-the-top green check sundress. It’s from the 1950s and is in perfect condition. I love that it can easily change from this frilly look to one that’s a lot more subdued and casual for 2012. And it’s machine washable!
I hope these examples have stimulated your creative fashion juices. Vintage is the new green! For more cute vintage clothes, I hope you’ll check out my shop at www.chronologievintage.etsy.com.

Starre Vartan is founder and editor-in-chief of Eco-Chick.com and the author of the Eco-Chick Guide to Life. She's also a freelance science and environment writer who has published in National Geographic, CNN, Scientific American, Mental Floss, Pacific Standard, the NRDC, and many more. She lives on an island in Puget Sound with her partner and black cat. She was a geologist in her first career, and still picks up rocks wherever she goes.