Olive Goil: Chelsey Bingham, Founder of Wiseling.com

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Wiseling.com is a vintage shopper’s go-to-source for heritage-worthy clothing and uncommon accessories, gathering up some of the best boutiques on and offline to curate beautiful collections of heritage-worthy clothing and accessories. They specialize in authentic, high-quality pieces sold by knowledgeable boutique owners who take great care in the their art.

I had the pleasure of being introduced to Chelsey Bingham, a life-long vintage enthusiast and founder of Wiseling. Chelsey herself grew up shopping at consignment stores, thrift shops and flea markets in search of one-of-a-kind pieces. In our interview, Chelsey shares her best vintage shopping and styling tips and her favorite vintage boutiques.

WISELING

Olive: What is your favorite vintage era? Do you have a favorite vintage piece?

Chelsey: I’m hugely fond of looks that reference multiple eras and styles, but I always find myself being attracted to silhouettes from the late 1960s: shift dresses with high necklines and minimalist mod basics. Think Jane Birkin. I find her style to be still strikingly modern.

JANE-BIRKIN

Olive: What are your best styling tips when shopping or dressing in vintage clothing?

Chelsey: I think the best vintage looks are achieved without looking overwhelmingly retro. I often get asked if I am wearing any vintage – I almost always am. My secret is not to limit myself to any particular era or look. While it’s fun to wear head-to-toe vintage, it can be difficult to pull off, and more often than not I mix and match my vintage collection with newer pieces. When I’m shopping, I first look for prints and fabrics that look interesting. I am fairly imaginative if the fit isn’t quite right. I’ve got my tailor on speed dial for adjustments both slight and major.

My tips:

1.     Mix and match many eras. Don’t stick to just one.

2.     Incorporate vintage pieces into your modern wardrobe. If you’re new to vintage, start by adding an accessory or two. I have an always-rotating collection of costume jewelry, like big clip-on earrings and bangles, and unique clutches and handbags that can be added to an otherwise ordinary outfit to make a cool vintage statement.

3.     Keep an open mind. Find prints and textures that speak to you. They can be toned down or amplified with some basic styling.

4.     Find a tailor you trust and have pieces altered for a perfect custom fit.

Olive: If you were to curate a wardrobe for me, what would you include?

Chelsey: How about pairing this 1960’s black lace minidress with these metallic Prada strappy pumps and these 1960’s lucite drop earrings?


Vintage 1960s Lace MinidressPrada PumpsLucite Earrings

Olive: I would definitely wear that outfit! How does a shop get selected to join Wiseling’s online network of vintage boutiques?

Chelsey: We work with some of the best online vintage shops in the States – boutiques that carry quality vintage pieces and have an eye for styling. Some of these shops have been with us since our launch and we had either shopped them personally or heard about them via word-of-mouth. We accept applications from interested boutiques too. Information on how to apply can be found here: http://www.wiseling.com/seller/welcome.

Olive: If you were to advise someone who was shopping vintage, what must-have piece would you recommend for Fall?

Chelsey: This fall, we’re going to see a lot of what I call maxing out. Look for maximum coverage in the form of longer length dresses and high necklines. Also, keep an eye out for oversized pieces bordering on ridiculous. Shhh, but I’ve had my eye on this rare Comme des Garçons Gingham All Seasons Dress.

Olive: What boutiques on Wiseling.com would you recommend for someone like me?

Chelsey: This is tough! Here are just a few suggestions, but make sure you browse by item type and style – you might discover a new boutique that fits perfectly with your personal style.

For laidback pieces with a Southwestern flair, check out Alex and Afton.

If you’re a true designer junkie, Cara Mia carries fabulously rare pieces from the likes of Chanel, Kenzo, Celine and Ungaro.

Frippery Vintage specializes in ultra-cool costume jewelry at an incredibly affordable price point.

CZ Vintage is a long-time fave who hosts a minimalist collection for the understated downtown-cool set.

Wiseling newcomer, Collected Vintage, has a fairly spectral collection of pretty dresses, blouses and blazers styled just right.

Olive: What’s next for Wiseling? 

Chelsey: We’re launching menswear this Fall! We’re working with a couple of stellar mens’ vintage shops to carry perfectly worn-out henley’s, Levis, tees and leather boots. Tell your guys!

Olive: How do you keep vintage styles from looking out of date?

Chelsey: Styling is crucial. Mix and match various styles for a fresh modern look.

Olive: Well, there you have it! We now have the knowledge we need to explore the wonderful world of vintage! To keep up on the latest news and updates about Wiseling.com and its offerings, I recommend that you follow The Wiseling Journal on Tumblr, “Like” Wiseling on Facebook or follow @Wiseling on Twitter.

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