As a proud shopaholic and university student, I believe that everyone should learn to budget and utilize every option they have available to them. In this instance, I believe vintage shopping should be experienced at least once. If you’re unsure of where to start, check out Meow Boutique. Located on the corner of King St and Bridgeport, Meow Boutique has been open in Waterloo for over a year. Owned by Kara Munn, the original store is situated in Guelph.
When I asked Munn how she went about choosing the items sold in her stores, she confessed that she just picked what she liked. Heavily influenced by the fashion of the 1950s and 60s, Munn takes inspiration from both Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe. Both style icons are pictured all over the store because she finds them to be opposing representations of style. Hepburn is classic and ladylike, while Monroe is more sexy and rockabilly.
Not all clothing found at Meow Boutique is vintage but more so replicates styles of a particular era. Clothing brands such Aldo, Laura and Betsey Johnson are brought in.
In addition to the clothes, a large variety of jewelry, accessories, posters and little trinkets can be found through out the store. I do understand the challenge presented when it comes to incorporating “old” looks into outfits beyond a theme party. I find that the best way to appreciate what vintage shopping has to offer is by mixing and matching what you already have in your closet. In order to give you some ideas of how to work with pieces as you find them, I brought in a few basics of my own: a white t-shirt, a black bustier tank, blue jeans and black leggings. Everything else used: the shoes, the accessories and even the bags, were found within the store.
1. Be open-minded
Typically the response to why more young women don’t indulge in vintage shopping is the opinion that you have to be “girly”. You don’t have to be girly to wear vintage. I found that my skinny jeans easily worked with the jacket and shirt I found, as well as the “Sex Bomb” boots found in the fitting rooms. Furthermore, you can layer on jewelry and other accessories to personalize your outfit further.
2. Have some patience
Unlike mass retailers that depend on having multiple sizes available, vintage stores often have only one item available in one size. Be sure to remember that vanity sizing changes the way each item will fit, so if you typically wear a 6 and only find size 4, you may be surprised when you take it into the fitting room with you. Same thing goes when trying on clothes with a different cut or hem.
3. Try stuff on
In the case of vintage dresses, they are often custom-made and tailored according to the time. For example, dresses from the 1950s often have higher waists and full skirts. Many of the dresses that I found in Meow Boutique mirrored this aesthetic, including this lace dress with the sweetheart neckline often worn by 1950s housewives. If you’re still unsure that you could pull off vintage shopping, here is some final advice: pick a style icon from a particular era and look for items that mirror this. Even though it may take more time and effort than a trip up to the mall, it can still be a rewarding experience that pushes you to be creative and think outside the box.
Meow Boutique is located at 78 King Street North and open seven days a week. Follow @MeowBoutique1 for updates on their latest fashion inventory and prices.