Our favorite vintage fashion blogger is back for another #BlogTrends chat and she is bringing along her first hand experience in the world of digital publishing!
Sammy Davis is releasing her own digitally published book called The 100 Best Vintage Shops Online and she will be joining us for a special #BlogTrends chat to tell us how she did it!
So many of you have great content on your blogs and some of you might have even considered writing your own book. Digital publishing is a great first step and can lead to lots more opportunities to write and be published. So join us April 8th at 9pm EST to chat with Sammy Davis and learn how to organize your thoughts and lay them out into your very own e-book!
More about Sammy and her new book The 100 Best Vintage Shops Online
Why did you write this e-book?
One of the most common questions I’m asked is, “Which vintage shops should I check out?” I realized that this question was twofold. They wanted to know 1. Who can I trust? and also 2. How can I not be so overwhelmed by all of the different eras, styles and types of clothing that vintage fashion encompasses?
So my e-book helps sort through all of that by breaking down the best shops into various categories by decade, clothing type and price while also sprinkling in historical nuggets and information about how the vintage world works. My hopes are that after reading the book, you’ll get a better feel for what type of vintage shops you prefer most, since there are even more amazing shops that just didn’t make it into the top 100 for the book.
Why did you found Sammy Davis Vintage?
Sammy Davis Vintage was founded to show the modern woman how she can wear vintage fashion. My years spent buying and selling vintage at shows, markets and private shopping events inspired me to become a spokesperson for the benefits of wearing vintage.
So to influence all women to do just that, I launched my website in 2009 to share the wonders of vintage fashion with the world by spotlighting amazing garments and the industry’s most dedicated sellers.
Why is vintage fashion becoming so popular?
Vintage fashion is so popular because it offers benefits that fast fashion retailers (H&M, Forever 21, Zara) can’t. Vintage is stylish (often inspiring current trends), affordable (especially for designer aficionados) and sustainable, too, considering you’re investing in a second hand garment that if produced in the ‘70s or earlier, was typically made in the United States.
Plus, buying vintage supports small business owners since most sellers are set up like mom-and-pop businesses offering more personalized shopping experiences than a contemporary retailer can. While you’ll probably never speak to the designer of a typical mall store, vintage sellers are more than happy to connect with customers about the styles they’ve curated, answering emails and staying in touch via social media.
What was your process for choosing the top 100 shops?
I scoured Etsy, eBay and the World Wide Web to review hundreds of stores. The stores I chose to consider represent the most dedicated sellers, having either hit a threshold of garments sold (Etsy and eBay) or have sold online for at least two years (independent shops with their own website).
To objectively review shops for inclusion, I developed a set of criteria to evaluate them, weighing the elements of garment quality, selection, presentation, customer service and social media. These elements were then weighted for their importance and averaged into a final score that determined a shop’s ranking on each list.
All stores in the book achieved top ranking, so the difference between number 1 and 10 is miniscule. This book truly represents the cream of the crop. You can’t go wrong shopping any of the 100 stores in the book!
What is your advice for women just learning how to shop vintage?
When a girl asks me for advice on shopping vintage, I always tell her to start with the basics. Starting with the basics introduces you to the world of vintage shopping without feeling overwhelmed sorting through the abundance of other options.
For example, shopping staple garments (like a ‘60s swing coat, handknit sweater or pair of leather riding boots) and accessories like bags or jewelry offer familiar styles that don’t require you to be an “expert stylist” of vintage in order to wear well.
Another tip I suggest is to substitute new evening wear for vintage. Because women tended to dress more formally every day before the ‘70s, the best shops are stocked with styles you can wear for parties and festive functions that call for black-tie or semi-formal style. When I’m headed to a glamorous event, I’m never not wearing vintage!
Why do you believe every woman should wear vintage?
Every woman should wear vintage because it’s guaranteed to make her feel great thanks to fabulous style, quality and feel-good benefits.
Not only is vintage trendy and affordable, but it’s sustainable since you’re reducing your carbon footprint by substituting secondhand for a new garment. Also, vintage shops are like mom-and-pop stores, so you can feel great knowing that every purchase from a vintage store helps these small business support their families and succeed in today’s tough economy.
Plus, we can’t forget that vintage fashion is a special sisterhood different from mainstream fashion. Reason being that women love connecting over stories of where to find vintage, its history and how to wear in a modern way. Whenever someone compliments a vintage garment I’m wearing, I almost immediately launch into a story about it that becomes an icebreaker in our conversation. Wearing vintage helps me make new friends!
What are some of your favorite shops in the book?
Quite honestly, my favorite shops in the book are all of them!
The book is divided into two parts: “Best Overall” (featuring 10-20 shops in Etsy, eBay or Independent sites) and “Best in Categories” (featuring 5 shops). The Best Overall stores are ranked for all-around excellence, offering collections with a variety of clothing and accessories from the ‘20s-’90s.
Every shop in the Best Overall lists are worth visiting, but some of the most unique shops offer a more focused collection offering the best selection of a specific type of accessory (jewelry,
bags, footwear, eyewear, hats), era (‘80s & ‘90s , mid-century, pre-‘30s) or specific style interest (wedding, designer, style steals, large selection).
I encourage every woman to check out the jewelry list, featuring shops great for costume jewelry, antique gems and heirloom pieces. Then there’s the sweet spot for vintage, the “mid-century” list of the best shops for the figure-flattering styles of garments from the ‘40s-’60s. And if you’re a girl looking for a vintage touch to add to your wedding, be it the dress, veil or an accessory, the bridal category has the best shops to help make your big day vintage dreams come true.
When did you start wearing vintage?
I started wearing vintage in high school. I actually have my boyfriend to thank for introducing me to my passion for vintage!
We decided to dress for prom wearing coordinating black and red vintage-themed outfits – he in a red suit with black accessories, me in a black dress with red accessories. I visited my hometown’s local vintage store (Zap & Co) and found the perfect Edwardian era full-length black lace dress. I styled it with a black and red feather boa and vintage costume jewelry. I felt like the coolest girl at prom!
The experience shopping for my vintage prom look was so much fun that I began replacing my “mall” shopping sprees with trips to vintage boutiques instead. And the rest, they say, is history.