What does “Vintage” in fashion mean?
This is any item made at least 20 years from the current day down to the 1920s. They reflect style from that period in history can run past 100 years.

“Antique” is subset of vintage used to describe items older than 100yrs (think pieces you see in museums). Yes, they are used items but due to high production quality and proper care, a lot of these pieces have stood the test of time.

Why consider vintage?
Although vintage does not guarantee stellar quality, there are numerous perks to buying vintage. 

1)      Uniqueness and Rarity: You get to own clothing and accessories that others don’t have. It could either be a unique print (guesses where I’m going?), design or trend that is no longer common. Although the clothing I feature on Miss LAJA isn’t vintage, I enjoy the feeling of know that the print-to-design combo is unique to me. You won’t find it anywhere else. How awesome is it realizing your skirt could quite possibly be the ONLY piece in the world? 

2)      High quality: A lot more attention was paid to detailing, finishing and quality. Plus, they were made in smaller quantities unlike today where technology has improved production of clothing and accessories at the unfortunate cost of quality. With vintage, you can expect your piece to build value overtime as opposed to losing value. Of course, not all vintage are in the best of shape but if you know how to filter the good from the bad, you can get some pretty sweet deals for…

3)       Lower prices: This depends strongly on the item (clothing vs handbags) and the materials used for manufacturing (silk vs satin). I am not saying vintage is cheap per se because the same rules apply when shopping for new items. A full grain leather purse and one made from PVC cannot be priced equally. Higher quality items are priced more for reasons previously explained. What I mean is you are more likely to get your money’s worth for quality items; bang for your buck as they say. It really depends on if you know where to look and what to look for in quality items

4)      Stories & Memories: Since the items are from a previous era they usually have stories or memories attached to them. You almost feel like you were a part it. It’s even better when you have the opportunity to learn the story behind it. 

5)       Eco-friendly: You’re basically recycling items overtime as opposed to using and tossing out. 

With this, I introduce to you… Vintage Ankara

I haven’t personally found the official term “vintage ankara” or “vintage African prints”. However, I had an epiphany; Mummy LAJA and Grandma LAJA are avid ankara-gurus whose wardrobes are overflowing with pieces dating back to decades. My grandma has “Georges” (white wrappers for weddings and special events) that are out of production today. I find it really interesting seeing how print designs have change overtime.  Wow, wow, wow! 

I plan on ravaging through my parents, grand-parents and so forth because I know I’ll find A LOT. Of course, I’ll be styling and sharing the items with the little stories that come with them.  Spicing up the traditional roots with a dose of modern, you know!

If you’re fortunate to have loved ones AKA from an African family, I encourage you to ask them about traditional clothings they have but no longer use. Trust me, they have a couple if not a lot.  Ask them about the stories behind them; How old are they? Where did they wear them to? Why did they keep them for so long? You’d be surprised the lovely tales clothing and accessories carry. You can get a tailor to make alterations to suit you if decide you want it for yourself.

Vintage Piece Of The Day
This wrap dress belongs to Mummy LAJA and it is at least 10 years old. Yes, it’s not up to 20 years but considering the drastic change in African fashion 10 years back, that’s a lot. I actually thought it was brand new until she mentioned otherwise. The sewing and finishing is solid and the ankara print has not faded one bit. It’s still as vibrant as ever.I couldn’t get over how it continuously flowed with the wind.

Mummy LAJA wore this dress while she was pregnant with my sister who is now 7 years old. So, this dress older than my sister! Isn’t that the cutest? 

I can’t wait to raid her wardrobe and dig up more pieces!  Woop woop! Vintage Ankara, you heard it here first!   

 What are your experiences with vintage fashion? Any interesting finds? Share your thoughts in the comments below, I’d love to hear them. Talk to you in a bit!

Outfit Details
Anakra Dress: Vintage
Shoes: Guess
Swarovski Crystal Earrings: Fulfill Jewelry 
Bracelet: Fulfill Jewelry