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THRIFTING MENSWEAR BY SICCKM8

“the chances of someone having the exact same outfit as you piece by piece from a charity shop is greatly reduced, and for me that gives me a piece of mind that, my individuality is safe”.

Adam Heart, aka sicckm8 got it down to a fine ‘T’, and talks passionately about thrifting, charity shops, Vintage, the disconnect  and making some ka -ching! 

For the first time in a very long time, men are buying more clothes than women! A new *research reveals almost one in ten (7%) men is purchasing new clothes once a week, compared to 4% of women! Whilst many more women are mixing it up with swishing, Thrifting and up cycling, men are still much slower on the uptake.

It’s really weird, up until the age of 10, my mum literally dragged me along to charity shops, but strangely enough I was never interested in vintage or thrifting. The game changer only happened at 17; when my sister came home with this 90’s Puma jumper, and I was like, oh wow! That’s amazing. Where did you get that? She told me she got it from a charity shop, and I thought, that’s interesting, how much did you get it for? £3.00, I went straight to the charity shop and it clicked. I got in via the’ how much money can I make vibe, but ended up saving loads through buying second hand. 

Expressing my individuality through Vintage street wear came much later. As a teenager, you sort of try to find your feet, by shopping in places like Primark and Topshop. One day, I came up with an outfit, looked up the road, and saw someone wearing the exact same! I despised it with a passion!

Expressing my individuality through Vintage street wear came much later. As a teenager, you sort of try to find your feet, by shopping in places like Primark and Topshop. One day, I came up with an outfit, looked up the road, and saw someone wearing the exact same! I despised it with a passion!

“the chances of someone having the exact same outfit as you piece by piece from a charity shop is greatly reduced, and for me that gives me a piece of mind that, my individuality is safe”.

Shopping vintage helped me figure out what my style is and what I actually stand for as I recently learnt that there is a whole ethically aspect as well.

Just buying high street made me feel that I was a product of consumerism, whereas vintage took me away from that, and it forced me into a space, where I thought, no one is telling me how to dress, I’ve got all this different garments and styles and it’s a case of which ones do I like. I brought my first turtle neck in a charity shop because it only cost a couple of pounds; I could afford to buy it, try it and not worry about having to take it back. If it wasn’t right, I could pass it on, so there are a lot less barriers to experimenting when it comes to fashion and style.

You kind of assume that with fast fashion, clothes just disappear into thin air, if you are not clued up, but when I discovered that it takes a certain amount of resources to make a garment, and even more to get rid of it, it sort of made sense that buying second hand was the less harmful solution. 

I feel less guilty, knowing the clothes were made back in the 90’s and I’m giving them a new lease of life, It also makes me reflect on past trends, because I can see what’s going on, and work out how to revitalise those trends into my current style. 

There’s an interesting trend of cardigans, the sort of vintage Americana vibe gaining popularity in men’s fashion at the moment. Now, there are 2 ways to go about achieving this, you can either go high street/high end, or dive into charity shops and get it straight from the source authentically, because it’s all there.

In 2015, I started to come across lots of pieces  that were really nice but not my size or couldn’t pull off, but knew would look great on others, so I went from just buying for myself to buying for my online Depop store.

Now 27, I’m pretty much the only one in my close circle who wears vintage. When people first hear that I shop near enough exclusively in charity shops, they are sceptical, until I tell them how much the pieces are actually worth and how much I originally paid, that’s when they sit up and want me to spill. 

There’s still a lot of stigma around buying in Charity shops. I personally know people who will never step foot in a charity shop or wear second hand because of silly notions like, ‘somebody’ died in this’, or  it’s unclean. This is a really ‘out of date’ way of thinking; – people get rid of their clothes for all sorts of reasons. Yes, there sometimes is a smell, but nothing a washing machine can’t really handle.

The general rule of thumb for vintage clothing, especially T’s is to put them on a cold cycle or hand wash, as vintage prints are susceptible to cracking. You could get away with putting some vintage pieces on a spin at 30 – 40 degrees, or take it to the drycleaners. 

There’s also the argument, that the cost of dry cleaning can sometimes outweigh the price paid for a piece ; but imagine you bought a smelly Burberry jacket for a fiver, and took it to the drycleaner, now in your head, is that Burberry Jacket only worth a fiver or is it worth more, because of the brand? 

In addition, the quality of clothes from the 80’s, 90’s feel a lot more well put together; compare a T-shirt from then, to one from today, and the latter will fall apart the second you put it in a wash, and wear it again.

I think for some people it’s a state of mind, or a statutes thing, they would rather go to Mercedes and buy a new car than buy a second hand car; I believe there’s very much that kind of transferable mentality to the clothes that we wear, coupled with ‘how much is your outfit worth’.

Shopping vintage really puts you in a place where you put the value on the clothes, rather than what people are telling you a piece is worth. This makes your relationship with clothes a lot more personal, as you’re putting your own estimation and opinion on it.

I wear a lot of my clothes for a season or two, but the day comes when I think I’ve worn these too many times. The vintage clothes I buy are very saleable and I can resell pieces to an audience, and then use that money to buy other vintage pieces, creating a self sufficient and ethical wardrobe.

The different between the buying fast fashion items and vintage, is that the value of the former goes from say £10 to practically worthless, whereas a vintage item will retain its value or, sometimes appreciate in value.

My favourite thing to thrift are vintage band and festival  T’ shirts, stuff from the 90’s in the US, big baggy  double XL  T-shirts, however from a sellers point of view, I’m really just looking for any thing that I can imagine someone else buying, brands like YSL, Burberry, vintage Nike pre 2000 with a red label, anything with a big fat logo or print, like a Nike or Adidas stripes, Ralph Laurent, – if you find anything from the polo sport collection,  or any other unique pieces.

I sometimes pick up women’s trousers for £3-£5, because men’s trousers are generally quite plain and safe. I love the fact that women seem to be a lot faster on trend, so there’s more variety. They’re bit tighter around the thighs, but I’m never chafing! , and you can’t spot the difference.

I exclusively buy from Charity shops outside London, as there are more chances of getting desired pieces. With no underground available, having a car and local knowledge puts you at an advantage.

Once, I found a Michael Jackson single stitch T-shirt for £3.50, which will resell at £50 – £60! I love the whole mining for gold, picking up the pieces, treasure hunting; I think its fun more than anything.

Best find so far was from a £1.00 outlet charity shop in Hatfield, where I spotted a piece with a Ralph piece with a massive P in the middle and no pony logo. I didn’t know what I was looking at but I picked it up anyway, and was going to put it up on Depop for £20 without any background check, but for some reason, decided to hold on to it. Months later, I saw that someone else had put the same top online for £1000! I ran upstairs, got mine and put it on a forum. I was told it was a 1992 P-wing Ralph Laurent rugby top, which is worth £400 – £800 depending on the condition. That has been my most ‘wow’ find I suppose. I have a little personal archive now, and the P-Wing sits in a tube under my bed alongside some other sentimental pieces.

My vibe is street wear vintage pre 2000, but that’s not to say there aren’t some high street elements in the mix. You have to have a balance when it come to shopping vintage , I mean you can put an outfit completely together in a charity shop, but sometimes it’s not that feasible , however, I try to push the whole nostalgia aspect into all my out fits.

DJ DECKS sessions could pull more men into charity shops, they get to see, feel, try on pieces, and then it clicks. 

Photographer – Max Audbon

Shoot location @strong_arm_steady_barbershop

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