A Week of Outfit Ideas From a Vintage Aficionado

Starling may be Man Repeller’s Social Media Intern at the moment, but last summer, she was a traveling saleswoman. She and her younger sister spent three months riding along the east coast in an old 1950s bus they had converted into a mobile thrift shop. They called it Stillwater Vintage, an ode to the fictional band that only travels by bus in Almost Famous. They hoped they would profit enough to cover the cost of gas and food; instead, they ended up completely selling out of their merchandise.

To an outside observer, their runaway success doesn’t come as a surprise. Not only does Starling have an eye for picking truly one-of-a-kind vintage pieces, but she also has a knack for styling and photographing them in a way that captures their unique appeal. Stillwater Vintage’s Instagram account displays this talent in spades, as do the outfits Starling wears to work every day. Greedy for more vintage inspiration, the editorial team asked Starling to share a week’s worth of outfits and her thoughts behind each. Enjoy them below, and pick her brain for vintage-shopping tips in the comments.

Day 1

I’m a big fan of vintage nightwear as current daywear. There’s a vintage shop in Victoria, British Columbia (where my parents recently moved) and they have literal buckets full of vintage camis for $4 a pop. My sisters had to drag me out of there after a couple hours of sifting through.

Today I decided to wear this blue cami layered over a high-neck bralette. I bought these Theory pants for work from Nordstrom Rack the week I moved to New York three months ago because my suitcase essentially contained a raincoat and jeans (my belongings weren’t arriving for another month). Although I liked the colors in this outfit when I put it on, looking at the photos I think all the wrinkles made it look kind of blah, especially because the cami isn’t quite long enough to be tucked in correctly.

Day 2

I bought this vintage dress from Coco & Orange on Etsy. I had been eyeing it for some time before I purchased it. I’m always nervous purchasing vintage dresses online because of sizing. The first time I wore this dress I was going to an award’s ceremony with my college roommate. We were on our way to the venue when it split WIDE open down the entire side. I had to run back and change. I only recently found a repairs shop that could mend it without damaging it. I’m dreaming of a summer day when I can wear this to the Bronx Botanical Gardens and wander around the greenhouses.

Day 3

Stillwater Vintage cami — similar here, scarf as belt — other here and earrings  — others here, Brooklyn Flea vintage pants — similar here, Sitka necklace, vintage Armani blazer, vintage Raphael shoes — $7 version here, vintage tote

I have been on the hunt for a perfect pair of vintage white pants for years. I found these babies at the Brooklyn Flea in Industry City a few weeks ago. They are pants that I would imagine a Parisian florist and grandpa golfer would like in equal measure. Lately I’ve been into all-white outfits with gentle bits of color. I started with a white canvas consisting of these pants and a white cami (also from the magical vintage cami bins in British Columbia). Then I added a tote bag, which you can get a better picture of in the slideshow. I studied abroad in Bath, England, and there was a deli that now goes by Picked Greens. The owner’s mother makes these beautiful bags. I adore them and I wish I bought them in every fabric option she had.

I added these vintage Raphael shoes which I purchased from a thrift shop for $7. The blazer was the final layer. This past year I started a mobile vintage clothing shop called Stillwater Vintage with my sister. I bought this vintage Armani blazer from a vintage dealer with the full intent of reselling it but then I accidentally got attached to it and refused to let it go and here we are. The silk scarf (used as a belt) is also from my Stillwater Vintage collection.

Day 4

I recently stood in line at a Chloé sample sale for two hours in the middle of a blizzard. I justified it as being an I-just-moved-to-NYC-and-I-intern-in-fashion necessary experience. It turned out to be worth it because I found this fabulous leather jacket that I’ve been wearing every day since.

I love this T-shirt because my dad bought it for me from the Rosedale Diner in Toronto. We go to that diner together a lot and my dad’s been going since he was a teenager. They have the best fries and Israeli salad.

I like this outfit because it was really all about taking care of my feet. These sneakers are Gola for J.Crew and I bought them after realizing that parading around New York while working three jobs in heels every day is not a sustainable habit in terms of blisters.

The sunglasses I threw on because they make everything look ten times more glam. I’m not big into designer eyewear. Honestly, the $5 pairs they sell on the tables on the streets of this city look just as good to me. However, the little vintage-style stars in the corners of these Gucci ones were my weakness. I scoured eBay for months until I found a hugely discounted pair.

This outfit was comfy without being boring. My youngest sister told me that she would wear this outfit every day if she owned it and she is one of the coolest people I know, so I felt pretty good about it.

Day 5

I call these my party pants and they travel everywhere with me. You just never know when you’ll need a good pair of party pants. I wore them with a pink lace turtleneck from & Other Stories, a vest my mother gave me as a congrats-on-moving-to-NYC present, and a vintage Salvatore Ferragamo blazer I purchased at the Notting Hill market in England for €12.

(PRO TIP: for anyone that ever visits London you have to go to the Notting Hill market, and you have to go past the train tracks to find all the good deals and hidden gems. So many people don’t know that there’s so much more beyond those train tracks.)

The shoes I bought while shopping with two friends who told me I simply couldn’t not have them because I was the personified version of these shoes. It was a huge compliment because they are rad as heck, so I gave in and bought them. I wear them all the time even though they absolutely slaughter my toes.

Day 6

Mom’s turtleneck — similar here, Stillwater Vintage coat — another here, Anthropologie skirt — similar here and Anthropologie hat, Gold Bandana necklace via Etsy, bracelet from Barbados — similar here, Rag & Bone shoes

I’ve wanted a suede miniskirt ever since I saw Penny Lane dancing around an empty auditorium in Almost Famous. I bought this one from Anthropologie over the summer and man oh man have I gotten good use out of it. Today, I wore it with my mother’s turtleneck (I love getting hand-me-downs from her), a coat I purchased from a thrift shop in Berlin, a necklace I bought on Etsy, a bracelet my boyfriend brought back for me from Barbados last week, and Rag & Bone shoes from my local Crossroads Trading Co. This outfit was perfect for the fluctuating weather being served up this season.

Photos by Rein Irving.

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