Vintage clothing isn’t just for exceptionally creative fashionistas anymore. More and more everyday shoppers are looking for a little bit of that previously loved action. That’s great for the environment—after all, an increased interest in repurposed garments translates into less textile waste in the landfills. But unfortunately, this surge in secondhand shopping also means fewer funky finds to go around. People who once relied on local thrift shops to spice up their wardrobes know what I’m talking about here.
In fact, one-of-a-kind gems are so few and far between, it’s hard to justify spending an afternoon sifting through endless racks of discarded duds. That’s where Lauren Clark and Lyndsey Chow come in. These two Vancouver stylists know firsthand how picked-over this city can be, so they’ve made it their business to scour flea markets in the most obscure Northwest small towns they can find. Then they bring their loot back and sell it under the label Hey Jude.
Since both women love mixing vintage into their own outfits, they’ve had to enact a strict company policy: when they’re on official Hey Jude shopping trips, they can’t set aside any pieces for themselves—no matter how much they want them This is no easy feat, considering they only buy pieces they’d want to wear themselves.
“It’s like our one rule,” says Chow, who along with Clark sat down with the Straight at their East Van studio. “If we kept all the good things and just sold the stuff that was okay, I don’t think it would be as authentic.”
Clark adds jokingly: “To be honest, we sometimes struggle getting ourselves dressed because we don’t have anything to wear.”
In terms of their fabric selection, Chow and Clark are quite particular—in other words, they avoid polyester, but grab lots of mint-condition leather and silk staples, which they sell online. They’ve also been known to pop up at a local boutique with a capsule collection from time to time.
As for trendy pieces, the Hey Jude duo is all about retro kimonos—aren’t we all? But they’re also loving ’90s athletic wear, a look that British pop singer Rita Ora (fashion love child of Gwen Stefani and Rihanna) can rock like nobody’s business. The rest of us? Not so much.
That said, there is a way we mere mortals can get in on this trend without looking ri-donk-ulous. On Thursday (August 15), the two young beauties are hosting a shopping event at their Hey Jude HQ (15 East Pender Street) from 7 to 10 p.m. For this one-off event, they’re focusing exclusively on the sporty ’90s trend. Expect to see a lot of boxy, football-inspired mesh jerseys ($45 to $60), which, according to the Hey Jude curators, are a lot easier to style than you might think.
“Just knot it up and put a tank underneath” says Clark, “and then you can even wear it with skinny black jeans.”
Yes, it seems we can once again tie our Ts in a single, simple knot without looking like Flashdance fashion victims.
“Yeah, it got weird there after the early ’90s, when it was really out,” says Chow. “But now it’s our favourite thing, because a lot of good vintage pieces are oversized—because all the good stuff gets snatched up. So we’ve gotten really good at knotting!”