So here you are at the Punoh website. You’ve found some beautiful outfits to wear, and the prices are so reasonable you can even afford some accessories to go with what you buy. But here’s the sticking point – how can you possibly wear something worn by someone else – no matter if they’ve only worn it once?
This is where Bangladeshis need to look to other countries, people in those fashion capitals of London, Paris, New York and Milan. Yes, the fashion industry is doing solid trade for new clothes in all those places. But many young fashionistas are also turning to what they call ‘vintage’ clothing – much of which used to be once known as second hand wear!
London currently has vintage clothes shops all over the place, and online vintage shops, as well as online auction sites have made ‘used’ clothing more accessible. More and more celebrities – such as style icon Madonna and numerous catwalk models such as Kate Moss – are acknowledging their vintage purchases.
Why are these people, who could so easily afford to shop at high-end designer stores, reaching for vintage goods? Well, the reasons are many. First, with vintage, you can be unique. There’s less fear that you’re going to turn up at a party in something identical to your arch rival! Your outfit will show that you’re a style setter rather than a fashion victim. The shops may be selling outfits in colours and styles that don’t suit you. With vintage, you can choose what YOU like to wear and not be dictated to by others.
With vintage, funnily enough, there’s also more choice and, with Punoh, items that you like are easier to find. While the local plaza or mall may be packed with shops, you don’t have to visit many before encountering the same outfits time and time again. And that’s really frustrating when you’ve trekked there in the heat and dust, through countless traffic jams and seemingly endless interruptions. With Punoh you can find all sorts of outfits in one place – formal, informal, day wear, evening wear, outfits for parties and special festive days. There are also some branded and designer items as well as items you’d normally only find in a boutique. And don’t forget the tag price is fixed, no time wasted haggling, and in the end you can be confident that you got a bargain!
What’s more, you really shouldn’t feel uncomfortable about wearing previously worn outfits either. I’m sure there have been times when you’ve worn outfits lent to you by your mother, your sister, your friends. Wearing outfits from Punoh is just the same really – usually there’s just one previous, careful owner! (And don’t forget, some of the items haven’t ever been worn.)
Finally, with vintage fashion you can also restart trends. It’s like when record producers remix classic songs that become huge hits. Your outfits will be ‘familiar’ but, if you like, you can give them your own special remix by wearing them in a different way. For instance, with a sari you can wear a different coloured blouse or trendy accessories, or with a kamiz you can wear a different colour or style of shelwar (for instance, churidar, or dutti, or even jeans). If you’re good with a needle and thread, or have a trustworthy tailor, you can alter the outfit in all sorts of ways to make it totally original. Change the length, add some lace, do some embroidery.
In the end, your outfit may stand out so well that everyone asks where you bought it! If you don’t want to claim it’s new, just gently smile and hint that it’s your mum’s or sister’s. But hey, if Kate Moss is doing it, so can you. Lift your head high, and tell them it’s from Punoh!
Written by Julie for Punoh.
© Punoh, 2013