She has over 300 vintage pieces from family and thrift shops that she wants to show off.
To explore her personal style, she’s experimented with pieces from generations of women in her family.
Gabi Jones, who has an enviable collection of nearly 300 vintage pieces, wanted to explore the history of each item she owned while also exploring her personal style. So she set herself a challenge: to wear vintage clothing or accessories every day for a year.
“I set out on this journey to find pieces that I wouldn’t necessarily reach for but I thought were beautiful,” Jones told Insider. “Then it sort of became this thing of allowing myself to be seen in public and daring myself to be seen.”
Jones, who goes by @gabis_vintage on TikTok and has over 380,000 followers, just reached the 100th day of the challenge and celebrated with a mod courthouse wedding dress hand-sewn by her great-grandmother.
Her vintage collection mostly comes from the women in her family
Her pieces span from the 1880s to the 1990s, ranging from bowling shirts to slip dresses to a hair necklace. They are either thrifted by Jones or passed down by family. Jones’ grandmother, great-grandmother, and great-great-great aunt contributed the bulk of the collection.
“All the women in the family weirdly enough are a similar size,” Jones said. “So it really is some amount of, ‘This is a beautiful piece I love and spent money on and I want someone else to wear it and enjoy it.'”
So far, she’s worn many ’60s pieces — “I’m always on the hunt for a ’60s shift dress every second of every day,” she said — but she’s also explored many decades and eras, including ’40s and Edwardian looks.
The rarest piece in her collection, which she wore on day 36, is an 1890s beaded black capelet. It’s so rare that Jones only styled it to wear around the house.
She’s worn many looks from her great-great-great aunt Stella
Jones has photos of family members wearing specific pieces, which she either recreates exactly or reinterprets and modernizes, before sharing the results on TikTok. Her aunt Stella in particular has become quite the fashion icon through Jones’ videos.
On day 43, she wore a red dress owned by Stella. Her aunt wore the dress, estimated to have been made between 1955 and 1963, in Italy in 1988. Jones honored the era of the dress and styled it accordingly, even striking the same pose as her aunt.
Some days she wants to blend in, but on others she’s grateful for the positive reception
While she loves dressing up and has been challenging herself to wear striking pieces in public, Jones said the biggest struggle is discipline.
“Some days I wake up and want nothing more than to wear jeans and a T-shirt,” she said.
But she has items for those days, too. “I have one of my dad’s cardigans that he wore in his high school graduation photos, and that’s something I’ll throw on on a day when I need time to just be a wallflower and blend in,” she said.
However, when strangers compliment her outfits, it confirms her desire to broaden her horizons, style-wise. Being able to call her grandmother and learn the history of particular pieces has also been a positive experience, she said.
Jones recommended that when thrifting or editing your wardrobe, keep what ‘excites something in you’
Through the challenge, Jones said she’s learned the importance of staying true to herself.
“I think you should make a conscious effort to wear the things that spark something in your soul, even if it’s not something people would typically wear,” she said.
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