If you’ve seen Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, you’ve a. probably bought the soundtrack, and b. noticed the jacket Norah was wearing, borrowed from Nick, once belonging to “Salvatore.” Nothing like a vintage, auto mechanic’s jacket to give your look a little individuality—without the motor oil stains.
Most of us didn’t grow up in towns with great vintage shopping. Amazing vintage stuff seems to migrate to more happening hubs of fashion and the rest of us are left with Salvation Army stores. Don’t get me wrong, there are finds anywhere (like my red acrylic NFL Alumni sweater), they just tend reek of secondhand—literally and figuratively. Ultimately, we have to seek out vintage-inspired pieces, of which there is a rich array.
A few of my Army-Navy/Thrift store–inspired favorites:
A. Kurtz hats, bags and clothing: the military-inspired hats and driver caps are incredible—I have two. They are amazingly soft and feature stitching and patches and come in tan, camo, green, navy and black. The backpacks are my favorite.
Da-Nang Surplus clothing: silk cargo pants, shorts, jackets, and more. These are the most authentic camo prints you’ll find out there. The silk makes them soft and look more weathered.
Rebel Yell t-shirts: sometimes intentionally lame sayings and artwork, but always getting the peeled silkscreening just right. Available on tons of Web sites, including revolveclothing.com, shopbop.com, and Kitson.
Trunk, LTD. vintage rock-and-roll t-shirts, which feature legit reproductions of concert t-shirts from the 70’s and on, like Bowie, Madonna, The Doors, and Led Zeppelin. They are super soft and have double-reinforced seams with a signature elephant patch embroidered on the hem. Pricey but so worth it.
Also, be sure to check out Vintage Trends, a kick ass site with a whole military surplus section. They have a really solid collection of USAF-issued flight jackets and British military sweaters. Rob has found a zillion awesome t-shirts there, including the one below, which was an official press t-shirt for Newsweek correspondents in Beirut that literally says “Don’t Shoot” on the back. [I wore it to my first personal trainer appointment here.]