July 29, 2008

Urban Renewal

I usually walk past the Urban Renewal section of Urban Outfitters, thinking it is vintage stuff, which is not really my thing (not unless they come from a member of my family anyway). At the back of my head, I'd always wondered exactly how they got so many vintage items of the same style in different sizes together in one place. I mean, aren't vintage items supposed to be unique? But I'd never really been interested enough to read the fine print on their website and find out how. It wasn't until my friend mentioned it the other day that I realized what it was. Apparently what they do is collect vintage clothes/fabric and put them together to form new, more updated clothes. That is how they come up with so many pieces of the same style in different sizes. You can buy it at the store or online, where they claim you can even choose colors and they'd make you a completely unique piece using different materials in the same cutting as shown. The whole idea is to re-use materials and it has been around for over 20 years (before the whole go green craze!)- I didn't even know that Urban Outfitters have been around for over 20 years, let alone this division.
One of the reasons I don't like vintage clothes is that whenever I see them they almost always look very dated, hippie and bohemian like, which is so over - thank god! And indeed they do have such stereotypical vintage clothing in this collection here (above: ugh). In fact, most of the collection is like this and I was not impressed. However, there were a few pieces that are intriguing- like this denim vest (right). The extra trimming is quite sharp and refreshing! I'm not really sure how this black blazer (left) is vintage, but I like the cutting.
The ruffled tunic shirt (left) is feminine and romantic looking. Perfect paired with that crisp cropped blazer above! And the floral skirt is cute, reminds me of the floral skirts in the Prada ads this season. Though one should be careful when wearing that in case you look like you're wearing your curtains. Paired with something smart, tailored and modern, it would look stunning.

The thing is though, I'm still not really sure how I feel about this concept of "Urban Renewal." Besides the fact that you still do not know who the previous (many!) owners are, I heard that the renewed material is very scratchy and not very comfortable. On the other hand, we do use recycled paper and bags......so why not clothes? Thoughts?

Image Source: Urban Outfitters

39 Comments:

Blogger Amelia said...

I do like some of this line, it can be cute. I've bought their pieces before, and they are never scratchy. Often they come from new vintage fabrics and clothes, that is fabric that has never been worn, so no need to worry about their previous owners. Also, agreed, that skirt is very Prada-like, I love it.

7/30/2008 11:20 AM  
Anonymous Emily said...

I absolutely love this line and own several pieces from it. The material is not scratchy at all and everything is in beautiful condition. I highly recommend.

7/30/2008 12:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think that wearing vintage and second hand clothes as well as this kind of thing is a good thing looking at it from an environmental perspective, who cares who wore it before? cant you wash it? also it helps me worry less that the clothes were mass-produced in sweat-shops... but i agree that theres no need to look too hippie-ish even in vintage!

7/30/2008 7:40 PM  
Anonymous Designer Clothing said...

I love the urban style of clothing and layered clothing. It's actually the art of mix and match - depends on your preferred look or style. Just like the denim vest paired with a simple shirt and khaki shorts

7/30/2008 9:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very cute clothes!!!! ^^
And I agree with designerclothing, it depends on your style.

Off-topic: I want to subscribe to an English/American fashion mag and I don't know which one to get; Teen Vogue is the best option but I'm 21 so I don't know. Can you help me, please??

7/31/2008 3:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bazaar is the best fashion magazine in the US as far as I am concerned. I like the British Vogue also.

7/31/2008 4:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

how snobbish of you barneys girl!
vintage clothing is usually a hundred times better than many ugly designer pieces that have no character whatsoever which i often see on your blog. but perhaps that no character blandness suits you to a tee??
oh and are you blind? 70s hippy boho and bobo are VERY in at the moment.
this blog is a waste of pixels.

7/31/2008 7:17 AM  
Blogger Savvy Gal said...

I think vintage can be quite chic, just need to find the right piece that fits the person. However, I am incline to agree with Barney Girl about I don't know who wore it before. But I guess with a good washing, everything is all good, I suppose. As long as the fabric is good then all is well then.

7/31/2008 7:51 AM  
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7/31/2008 8:05 AM  
Blogger Sara said...

I just bought some kick-ass turquoise cowboy boots from urban renewal. i ended up paying about $40 for them. I WAS kind of freaked out about wearing used shoes - gross - but they were slightly big so i just put socks on underneath.

I'm a fan of this line. Some of it looks majorly bad quality, but they have some pretty cool stuff every so often.

7/31/2008 11:06 AM  
Anonymous lil said...

for someone with such a love of fashion, which you obviously have, i am surprised you don't understand the appeal of vintage.
there's a lot more to liking clothes with history and character than a transient trend sienna miller made famous.

as for second hand things looking 'dated'...thats exactly the challenge! to make old things look new again...and older fabrics and sewing methods are often better in quality than things you could buy in a department store now.

still, always appreciate your honesty here.

7/31/2008 11:13 AM  
Anonymous Carrie said...

I second lil's comment. Well said! Fashion is supposed to be FUN. What's more fun than vintage?

And as for the clothes' unknown former owner... Who cares??? It's not like you're buying used underwear...

7/31/2008 12:21 PM  
Blogger miss V said...

Hi!! cool blog!! Sory if my english is a little bad. I wanted to invite you to a little game between bloggers,

"Explain five rules abaut your style.They must be general and basics rules that you always or ussualy respect. They must define your style, or define what's NOT your style, like "I always wear x like this way" or "I would never wear y" It's not abaut what's "in" right now (we all now that), it's abaut your taste and preferences. After doing it, you can nominate six people to do it also"

A lot of spanish-speaking blogs have done it, and its actually very fun!!

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7/31/2008 7:42 PM  
Blogger pinup_girl said...

I'm not a fan of much vintage stuff either, but that last skirt is quite cute & looks like something I'd wear. I do agree it has to be worn carefully though.

8/01/2008 4:34 AM  
Blogger popular.style said...

Honestly, most girls prefer to to wear the last dress style...
Wearing renewed outfit comes with great responsibility because you need to carry your own different style.
But its ok, today's
principal fashion gives the world a whole new version of fun..

8/01/2008 5:23 PM  
Blogger THE VERA COMPANY said...

That blue dress is too cute!

8/01/2008 10:38 PM  
Anonymous Little Black Dress said...

I like looking at vintage clothes but they don't really suit me, I always find that I look silly in them.

Some of these are quite nice. Like the pastel blue top with ruffles.

8/02/2008 2:09 AM  
Anonymous maybe said...

hmm i'm definitely a big environmentalist but i'd have to go and see these clothes myself before i can judge!

8/03/2008 8:42 AM  
Blogger Tulz said...

I bought this really pretty green dress from a vintage store while I was in the states. Although most of the stuff in there was kinda bleh, I loved the dress. I guess it's a matter of finding something that you like.

8/04/2008 8:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I stumbled onto this site and by surprise it really has caught my attention. Cue the "add to favorites" bookmarking. But I was disapointed to read your very single mindedness opinion of vintage clothing. Now this site has been around for a while and I have quite a few of your posts old and new, so I would never discredit fashion guru abilities of keeping up with the most up to date clothing styles.
But I would suggest that you not shy away from vintage clothing! It really is fun to play around with..I am a die hard for the boho look as Ive grown up on the beach here in california. Its very relaxed and versitile. Though I do agree that it is not for everyone. Keep up the great posts and I'll keep reading :)
-Mona

8/05/2008 2:40 PM  
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9/25/2009 7:34 PM  
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Anonymous Volcom Clothing said...

Great post. I'm sure those Urban Clothing are awesome.

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11/24/2011 12:51 AM  
Anonymous urban clothing said...

I really like Urban Outfitters, but it really bugs me that when you look on the internet for clothing they are considered urban clothing, but don't actually sell any hip hop lines at all.

12/31/2011 11:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agreed.... Retro-vintage clothes are horrible, just dreadful! Please do your part to stop this from becoming a co-opted trend...DO NOT WEAR THEM or praise them..thank you!!!
No, really, thank you. Seriously.

The last thing that we retronauts need or want is a bunch of clueless fashion-victim-bimbo-robot twits ruining a good thing for the sake of their fickle minded trend chasing..

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