Kayt Medies - London based blogger, stylist and vintage lover
Meet Kayt x
Introduction- Can you tell us a little bit about yourself, your background and love of clothes ?
Memories of going to the local jumble sale with my Gran and being so excited to spend a morning rummaging in her local school hall when I went to stay and playing dress up from her magical box of clothes that my Mum and Aunty wore as kids are probably my earliest links to the world of preloved and vintage.
Fast forward to a 14 year old me and I had a unique sense of style straight off the bat. By shopping vintage and second-hand I was able to create outfits no one else had. Whilst my friends were coming into London to traipse Oxford Street, I’d soon grown bored of it and discovered Camden. Now living In North London, it’s a place that’s never lost that magic for me. With some of the best charity shops and a vibe that's so eclectic- a people-watcher's paradise.
For me there’s no comparison with the buzz you get from finding a gem in a charity shop, to the mundane, repetitiveness that I see as I pass the high street stores. I can’t get my head around why people would want to be seen in the same Zara dress that someone on Instagram has deemed a must-have.
What's your relationship with clothes and fashion?
I'm a firm believer that the choices we make with our clothes and style can have a direct affect on our mood. I've been known on many occasion to pull out an awesome vintage skirt suit to perk myself up ahead of a dreary day at the office, to reach for some colour like a pop of red or my favourite high waisted men's trousers when i've lost my mojo.
I don't tend to follow trends and fashion and although not an outwardly confident person in many ways, having a clear sense of my own style is an area that I've always been able to assert myself in.
There has definitely been a shift in the way I shop over the years. With my initial lure as a young teen to the preloved and vintage scene being for the unique finds and creativity it brought, as time has gone on I’ve become increasingly aware that whilst buying second hand is a hugely positive step in helping the environment as well as often supporting some great causes, we all need to be doing less buying and more wearing and loving what we already own. I'm much more mindful these days of making considered purchases, slowing down, and not being sucked in to the quick high that having something new (even when secondhand) brings.
Kayt I love your style and the way you put things together your personality shines through, how would you describe your style to someone ?
Eclectic. My style changes depending on how I feel or how I want to be seen that day. It's definitely a way of expressing myself and I like to have fun with it.
I really love putting outfits together by mixing across the decades rather than sticking to any usual style rules. So this could mean some high-waisted 80’s jeans with a 70s printed blouse for instance. I’d say the vintage in my wardrobe is generally 60’s 70’s and 80’s with the latter probably most suiting my shape. I love a high waist pulled in with a belt coupled with a bodysuit, I’m boyish with little curves and so this helps differentiate between my hips and waist. Plus, I was born in the 80s and so will always have fond memories and all the nostalgic feelings for that time.
You have some fabulous unique vintage pieces of clothing can you share with us about why you love shopping vintage and preloved ?
The buzz of finding something unique and thinking about the adventures it's had before I found it. The fabrics, the sleeves, the buttons, the prints- all those gorgeous details that vintage clothing delivers. Thinking about how I'll style and wear them and what pieces from my existing wardrobe they'll look best with. Knowing that I'm breathing new love and life into already loved pieces.
You are a pro at finding gorgeous pieces can you share some of your shopping tips when it comes to finding those hidden gems?
Ignore sizing - particularly with vintage which generally comes up a lot smaller as sizing has become generous over the years. If you feel good in it, that's all that matters
Think about your existing wardrobe and what items will work work well with it
If you find an item you love but the length or fit isn't quite right, you can always get things altered or alter yourself.
If you purchase items out of season you can find them cheaper.
Eye up the men's section - particularly for fellow boyish shaped ladies.
Get to know your near by charity shops- really hunt them out. You might think you've spotted them all but it's often the case that you've missed some hidden ones that are local. The Charity Retail Association website is a great place to look to see where all your nearest ones are.
Shop around in different areas depending on what you're after. Well-to- do areas will generally have higher quality donations but the prices will also be higher. Out of town areas, small seaside towns for example will generally be a lot lower priced and also less gone over than bigger towns and cities where secondhand and vintage has become much more popular.
I tend to prefer the in person experience however over the last couple of years have definitely embraced sellers on Instagram- it's a great community and the sellers on there could not be more helpful if you want to shop vintage and preloved on line- turn on those notifications of your favourites.
And finally, contradictory to the list makers, I say go with an open mind and you'll be much more successful.
Where do you go for fashion inspiration?
Inspiration is everywhere.. from vintage fairs and markets, to people watching in different spots of London. Exhibitions, Films, dramas and documentaries- particularly those set in the 60s and 70s. I follow the work of a lot of photographers and stylists too. I'm also forever inspired by London and it's transport- from the colours and fabrics on the underground and overground seats to the tiles and murals in the stations
If you had to choose a favourite decade for fashion what would it be?
I'd have to say the 60s. With the launch of era defining brands and designers like Biba, Quant, Ossie Clark..a revolution in the fashion world that I would have love to have witnessed was taking place.
Prior to this, British fashion was generally dressing however your parents were unless you made your own clothing. Suddenly clothes shopping became a fun, sociable activity with men and women breaking away from the constraints of formal fashion. Bright colours, flamboyant shapes and new fabrics coming into their wardrobes.
With changing attitudes in gender and sexuality inspiring new ideas, freedom of expression and an opposition to establishment values- the fashion scene was being shaken up in the best way possible.
Icons such as Jenny Boyd, Twiggy, the Beatles and Stones all add to this iconic time for me.
Who are your style icons and why?
Iris Apfel- the eclecticness, the confidence to wear what the heck she wants and go against the grain. She's also 100 which is amazing!
Jane Birkin for her effortlessly cool spirit, Brit girl does French girl style. Her hair, the basket bags.. just dreamy and always classic.
Alexa Chung for modern day times..she's almost the same age and a similar build to me so I've always looked to her and admired her style - I don't think I've ever seen in anything that didn't look amazing. Again effortless and her humour shines through.
If you had to choose just one item as a favourite from your wardrobe what would it be?
This is such a hard one! but I'm measuring this by the amount I wear this piece and going to have to say my dogtooth black and yellow wool trousers- men's, high waisted, slouchy with a turn up. I think I paid about £30 quid for them in a vintage store in East London 6 years ago or so and reckon I now have them down to pennies per wear!!
Thank you Kayt its been a pleasure listening to your clothing journey,I hope that everyone enjoys reading and feels inspired by Kayt to get hunting for those gems.
We have the perfect place for you start and can help with styling tips here at Vegas Vintage too !
More guest blogs coming next month so please do check in