Graduating with a liberal arts degree along with a background in poetry and photography left Paige Clulow with few options.
“There was very little I could do to make a living unless I wanted to be a wedding photographer,” Clulow said.
“I dabbled in being a fine arts photographer and have had numerous exhibitions. Unfortunately it’s a very expensive and time consuming medium that you really can’t make a living at easily.”
Like many people in the arts, Clulow struggled with figuring out how she would be able to make a living doing what she loved.
She had normal day jobs at a medical library and at Maryland Institute College of Art as a back up manager in the photo department.
After a while, she noticed that her hobby of collecting vintage garments for years could turn into a profitable business.
“It’s more lucrative than photography, but I feel like it takes just as much drive and creativity to run the shop as it did trying to make it as an artist,” Clulow said. “Now, I am focused solely on the shop as well as hanging out with my husband, a painter, and professor at Towson University, our 4 cats, 2 greyhounds and we’re hoping to start an army of human offspring soon.”
Clulow is the owner of Baltimore based Ebay shop, Nova Vintage. She sells vintage goodies that any girl would love to get their hands on. Vintage is obviously something the quirky, feminine, and earthy dressing Nova Vintage owner is very passionate about what she sells.
“It’s hard to pick a few out of the literally hundreds of dresses I’ve sold,” Clulow said. “About six 60’s mod dresses come to mind. They are so unique and bold, and fun to photograph. You see a lot of vintage styles creeping back into modern day designs, but you rarely see dresses like these made today.”
So, learn more about Paige Clulow of Nova Vintage:
Why do you love vintage?
There are so many reasons to love vintage clothes. For one, wearing vintage clothes is a form of recycling which is fantastic. We have such a “throw it out” culture, that making use of old clothes is a cool way to go against the norm and make a fashion statement while you’re at it.
Most vintage clothing is one-of-a-kind, which means it’s truly unique and literally no one else is wearing it! That’s pretty special.
Personally, with the exception of some clothes I’ve seen at Anthropologie (a lot of their clothes are vintage-inspired, sometimes actual reproductions), I just don’t get that same WOW factor with most modern clothing that I do with vintage designs.
What’s the best piece of vintage that you own?
The “best” vintage item in my personal wardrobe is my 1940’s moss green crepe dress. It has a wiggle cut with an amazing ruched bodice and unique pointy art deco neckline. It has a matching fitted bolero jacket with puff sleeves, a little ascot tie-neck, and tri-color velvet banded waist. The label is one of my favs: Carlye.
What is your favorite decade of fashion? Why?
I have three favorite fashion decades!
I love the 40’s for its finely tailored, fitted, feminine pieces with nipped waists and lil’ puff sleeves. In terms of overall design, the 60’s is my hands down favorite fashion era for its radical space-age concepts with bold colors and shapes. My favorite vintage dresses that I’ve sold have all been from this era, and I try really hard to collect prime examples from this era for my customers. I’ve definitely developed a customer base of mod-loving folks because of my affinity for the 60’s.
I’m also less likely to keep these pieces for myself because, as much as I love them, I’ve found they don’t work so well with my somewhat au naturale style and long hippie hair. I also love 70’s fashions, and it’s what you’ll find me wearing most often. I’m smitten by space-dyed wrap sweaters, 70’s shoes, and I own far too many 70’s hippie and Gunne Sax sun dresses than I care to admit.
If you could raid any of your fashion icons /inspirations closets, who would you choose? Why?
Honestly, I wouldn’t mind raiding the closets of a few style icons on Chictopia. I’m more inspired by street styles and fashion blogs written by real people than by any one famous person/designer.
I know my favorite vintage dresses are 70’s Gunne Sax dresses, and Carlye dresses from the 40’s and 50’s. I don’t know if there are specific people (Jessica McClintock started Gunne Sax in the 60’s though) attached to these labels, but if there are I would totally go back in time and raid their closets.
What are some tips you would give to people who want to incorporate vintage into their wardrobe?
Don’t be afraid to shop online for vintage! It’s difficult and time consuming to find vintage in thrift stores, and most brick & mortar vintage shops are small with a limited selection of sizes and styles.
Online, especially on eBay and Etsy, you have limitless possibilities. You can search by your size (xxs – xxl, not numerical sizes) and style (hippie, mod, goth, etc), or even search more specifically down to the color.
Incorporating vintage into your pre-existing style is a lot easier when there is more to choose from and more size availability. It’s important when shopping online to know your measurements, and you will quickly learn what styles and cuts work on your figure.