Secondhand Superfan: A Trip Inside My Closet

by Jac Cameron (Madewell)

As soon as I was big enough to fit into my mother’s vintage collection—which consisted of the most amazing bell-bottoms, prairie skirts, jean jackets and batwing sweaters—I became obsessed with secondhand style. I’ve been collecting vintage most of my life (to the point where I own about 250 pairs of jeans, around 100 denim shirts and close to 200 denim shorts). What can I say? I’m totally obsessed with anything worn to death, and I just love the idea of clothes having past lives. So how fun would it be to dig out some of my favorite vintage treasures and tell their tales? Find out below!

Left: I got this floral onesie at Narnia on NYC’s Lower East Side. I’m in love with its bold, in-your-face print—even though it proved too much for one person. Back story: I was walking to brunch in the East Village and someone literally rolled down their car window to shout, “Did your granny throw up on you?” I was pretty gutted, but I still wear it with pride!

Right: Another score from Narnia. This easy-to-wear crochet dress is insane with a denim jacket! I definitely repeated this look multiple times on a very long trip to Europe this summer. (We hit London, Scotland, Berlin, Amsterdam, back to London and then finally back to New York. I packed superlight, so I wore this about a million times!)

Left: I got this railroad denim shirt at one of my absolute favorite spots in L.A., Chuck’s Vintage. It’s so perfectly oversized and pairs amazingly with skinny jeans! Because all my friends (male and female) are obsessed with this piece too and borrow it constantly, I’ve nicknamed it the communal shirt.

Right: These vintage Wrangler jeans came from Brit Eaton, owner of Carpe Denim Vintage, who scours America in search of the greatest well-loved stuff. The thing I love most about this pair in particular is that somebody really, really, really, really adored them—to pieces. And even though Brit keeps his sources top secret, he did hint that these were found in an abandoned farmhouse. Amazing!

Left: An all-time favorite! This red silk top goes with any and everything. I took it with me on a cross-country road trip in a tiny canvas bag. Though I couldn’t bring much, there was no way this guy wasn’t coming along for the ride.

Right: This vintage embroidered indigo kimono speaks for itself. Absolutely. Amazing. I will keep it forever and a day!