Cover Story

Old is New with Vintage Clothing Trends in Providence

Vintage Vibes with Ruth Meteer, The Vault Collective


Tell me about your outfit.
I put together an outfit that seemed very on-trend, but was a mix of different pieces from different eras. Off-the-shoulder shirts are everywhere right now, so I paired a houndstooth, silky green off-the-shoulder top from the ‘80s with a pair of super high waisted cropped bellbottoms from the ‘70s.

So, you can still dress trendy even if you’re wearing vintage?
Oh yeah, a lot of the fashion designers get their inspiration from vintage pieces. A few of the designers here, including me, sell at the Brimfield Antique Show in the summer and we get all the New York design teams coming through buying. So if you buy from us, you’re getting the pieces that might inspire Ann Taylor’s next collection or Anthropologie or Urban Outfitters.

How would you describe the vintage-shopping scene in Providence?
I think it’s very popular here. There are a whole lot of vintage stores, and we’re all friends. There’s Carmen and Ginger, right down the street [in the Arcade], Rocket to Mars on Broadway and Hall’s on Broadway across the street. Everyone kind of has their own thing that they do. Here at Vault, we have ten dealers and try to focus on pieces that people really want to wear right now.

What are your top three shopping tips?
Probably the most useful tip is that the sizes for vintage clothing don’t match modern sizes, so you can’t go by the sizes on the tag at all. It’s better to know your own measurements and if you aren’t good at eyeing what might fit, the people who work here are very well versed in fitting, so we can help you.

Also, vintage denim is very popular right now. The thing is, the old denim doesn’t have the spandex that modern denim has in it. So you want to buy your jeans really tight everywhere but the waist because it will stretch out.

A third tip is that while we try to do all our own mending so items we put out are as pristine as possible, we don’t do alternations in the shop. My favorite place to send people is Marysia’s Custom Tailoring on Hope Street.

The Vault Collective
235 Westminster Street

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