How to Shop For and Wear Vintage Clothing


Cameron Silver (Getty)Meet Cameron Silver, the owner of the renowned vintage shop Decades, the soon-to-be star of Bravo's Dukes of Melrose, and the most fearlessly dapper dresser you'll ever meet. With his intimate knowledge of clothing history and his styling experience with the likes of Charlize Theron and Julianne Moore, it's no wonder he's dubbed the king of vintage.

We had the pleasure of visiting the American Express Skybox at NYFW to get the scoop from Cameron on his upcoming reality show and hear his wise words for shopping and wearing pre-loved apparel. Here's what we learned.

1. Think Modern and Sexy

"My philosophy is about modernity, so when I look at a vintage garment the first thing I ask myself is, 'Is it modern? Is it sexy?' Because I truly believe in the democratization of sexuality. I don't care what size you are, if you're of age, you get to own it and be your version of sexy."

2. Don't Be Deceived by Designer Labels

"And condition is paramount. It's very easy with vintage to get swayed and seduced by a designer label….I've been around vintage for 25 something years and I've seen a lot of ugly clothes by great great names. It's about getting beyond the name."

3. Avoid Looking Costume-y

"Just make sure it's modern, because you don't want to look like you're wearing a Halloween costume. Unless you're me (laughs)…"

4. Break the Rules

"And break every rule I just said. But you have to know the rules to break them."

5. Investment Shop

"I'm a big believer in investment shopping, whether you're buying modern or vintage clothing, I'm not a big fan of disposable fashion. I love TopShop and Forever21, but I think the smart consumer knows how to take those pieces and mix them with pure quality pieces."

6. Hunt for These Things, Specifically

"To own an original YSL smoking is super chic to have. We have the Gaultier archive and to have an original Gaultier bustier top is very very cool…we sold two Vionnet's earlier this week; how can you go wrong with the perfect bias cut?"

7. Wear This to a '20s Theme Party

"I would get a drop-waist flapper dress. It sounds costume-y, but the entire Gucci collection a year ago was Deco-inspired. And the nice thing about something like that, is that an authentic Deco dress is never going to go out of style…It's always going to be desirable. You'll wear that dress again, maybe with an ankle boot and denim jacket. Every woman needs a flapper dress."

American Express At Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Fall 2013 - Day 4(Getty)Want more Cameron? Tune in to Dukes of Melrose on Bravo March 6.
I'm an Editor/Designer for StyleBistro.com, a fashion illustrator and vintage shopper. Follow me: Twitter | Google
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