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Telegraph / Life - Entertain

5 ways to ensure vintage shopping success, courtesy of stylist and street style star Natalie Joos

Natalie Joos is a vintage clothing fanatic who looks so chic that she will banish any preconceptions that you might have had about vintage being fusty or looking old fashioned.

Natalie Joos is a vintage clothing fanatic who looks so chic that she will banish any preconceptions that you might have had about vintage being fusty or looking old fashioned. You'll find her at fashion week wearing 'old' pieces in a way which makes them look as good as new. 

Now, she has written a book- Tales of Endearment: Modern Vintage Lovers and Their Extraordinary Wardrobes- which  features stories from and images of 58 uber-stylish vintage-loving women and men, from model Erin Wasson to designer J J Martin, offering up an enormous dose of shopping and styling inspiration in the process. 

''I wanted people who are really vintage shoppers. Who love it and breath it,'' says Joos of her eagerness to celebrate and learn from people who share her passion for vintage clothing. 

Joos landed the role of  studio manager for fashion photographer Craig McDean following her arrival in New York in 1997, going on to write for The Face and  i-D,  before setting up her own casting company and subsequently launching a personal blog in 2010 which lent its name to her book. 

A post shared by Natalie Joos (@jxxsy) on Nov 21, 2017 at 12:05pm PST

Besides curating an enviable vintage clothing collection and publishing a book, Joos has also recently launched her own knitwear brand.  JoosTricout is a capsule collection of  vintage-inspired form-fitting knits that are as flattering as they are cool.  

Here, Joos offers up her expert advice for scoring vintage buys as brilliant as her own and how to style them...

Never do vintage head-to-toe

Joos might be known for her knack for styling vintage, but she is adamant that you should  ''never wear vintage head-to-toe. And I always mix it with a contemporary shoe''. Does that mean she avoids buying vintage footwear? ''I have a few pairs, but I don’t wear them often because they squeeze my foot - [vintage shoes] are very narrow,'' she explains.  

A post shared by Natalie Joos (@jxxsy) on Nov 24, 2017 at 1:39pm PST

Have some idea of what you're looking for

Shoes aside, Joos is constantly on the look out for the perfect vintage piece. But how does she narrow her search? ''I always say that you need to start by identifying what it is that you like,'' she says. ''So, do you like designer clothes or do you want cheap stuff? Or do you want only 1930s stuff? Identify what it is you're looking for. There's a shop for every type of shopper,'' she encourages. ''So, I know right now that I'm looking mostly for 1930s pieces and I know which stores I can go into for that instant gratification so I don't have to go to every vintage store to find the perfect 30s dress''. 

A post shared by Natalie Joos (@jxxsy) on Oct 21, 2017 at 12:08pm PDT

Don't get overwhelmed

Joos advises that every  successful vintage shopping expedition should have ''a timer on it''. This way, you won't become overwhelmed or lose sight of what it was you started looking for initially. She cites a friend who will never spend more than half an hour looking at any one time as a good example to follow. 

And when it comes to shopping for cheap vintage she advocates real patience and suggests steering yourself towards smaller shops rather than giant thrift stores because the latter ''can be very daunting.''

A post shared by Natalie Joos (@jxxsy) on Oct 26, 2017 at 1:26pm PDT

Make a map

''You can find good vintage shops everywhere,'' notes Joos, who travels a lot as part of her work. ''When I travel to a new place I will map out all of the vintage stores and that will be my way of exploring the city.''

A post shared by Natalie Joos (@jxxsy) on Nov 10, 2017 at 9:28am PST

Go to real shops

Joos no longer shops for vintage clothing online. ''I used to buy lots on eBay and Etsy,'' she says, ''but I like the experience of looking at the clothes. I find it very inspiring and also quite cathartic, in a way, just to go through every single piece.'' 

Another reason to visit a vintage store rather than try to suss something out online, is that you can see exactly what kind of condition a piece is in, as well as checking for authenticity- something Joos has become quite handy at when it comes to clothes - although she says spotting knock-off bags can be trickier. 

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