What convinced Decades to have a presence in Chicago?

Because we pop-up for a very short period of time, we think there is a clientele that really gets satisfied with our selection of pre-loved luxury. Certainly the shoppers are here. I mean, look at this! It’s been nonstop since we began setting up. The women of good taste always pop-up when we pop-up.

Tell us about the type of construction shoppers should look for in vintage garments that indicate high quality.

We have a mix of vintage and modern clothing. When we are talking about our actual vintage, the clothing from yesteryear was made significantly better than current designers’ clothing because production was much more limited. I always say, if something has survived 50 or 60 years and it still looks pretty fresh it’s a good indication that you have another 50 or 60 years in the garment. Conversely, just because it has a YSL or Valentino label doesn’t mean it’s good. It’s a combination between good design and good taste.

What accessories can you pair with a vintage garment to make it look less costumey?

I’m certainly not a fan of head-to-toe vintage. I think if you are doing a vintage statement piece of jewelry it should be with a clean, modern piece of clothing. If you are wearing a garment that is over the top then you don’t want to look like you have the kitchen sink on so it’s modern shoes with a vintage dress or it’s vintage accessories with a modern dress. Always think, “How does this look modern?” Never think, “How does this look vintage?” Even with the vintage we brought, it’s all about modernity. All of the YSL blouses, they might be 30 years old but they are completely relevant today. All of the A-line dresses or those YSL capes, they are not out of style, they are chic.

Is there an era of vintage apparel you think is flattering to most body types?

I always say different decades are better for different bodies. The ’70s silhouette tends to be good for the long and lanky. The ’50s tends to work on curvy. I’d say one of the most democratic silhouettes would be ’60s because you have all of those A-lines if you’re hippy. If you are really top heavy then ’60s doesn’t look good because it makes you look like you’re in maternity. You’ve got to choose your decade.

Can you talk about the beautiful jewelry we’re seeing here?

This is the new collaboration. It’s called Miriam Haskell for Decades, Uptown/Downtown jewelry collection. The uptown being the gold and the downtown is the silver story. Miriam Haskell is one of the oldest American luxury brands, it’s almost 100 years old and certainly the only surviving costume jewelry brand from the ’20s. What we did with Mariam Haskell is we went through their archives and found a lot of the signature DNA of the house. My whole thing was sexy, sexy, sexy. A lot of articulation and movement. Everything is still made by hand in America the same way Mrs. Haskell did it almost 100 years ago.

DecadesPhotography by Natalie Probst

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