vintage lp vinyl

Why do we love vintage?

November 12, 2013 / by / 2 Comments

Not another article showing off car boot sale finds! Well, yes, but it started from a single thought, why do people buy vintage and second-hand? Sure, vintage and retro is ‘in’ but it has been for quite a while now hasn’t it, and it doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere.

1. Cost

The first great thing about buying vintage and second-hand are car boot sales & thrift stores. Although there are plenty of antique stores and vintage shops around, in car boot sales & thrift stores you can find great things for a low cost, and well, you might not. You might in fact, get ripped off if you’re not careful. Car boot sales are very much a hit or miss, and trying to decipher whether an item is actually vintage or bought from China can be a bit of a wild guess, although usually the material, weight and general quality can tell you a lot about it. The bad smells also don’t help, in fact, I personally prefer to buy home ware from car boots rather than items of clothing. However, when you DO get something truly vintage and of good quality, for a low price, you feel pleased with yourself don’t you?

Car boot sale1

This is one of my latest finds.. it looked very kitschy when I saw it at the car boot, but then I tried to picture it in a different space, and I must say it has now become one of my favourite car boot items

vintage bottles

What you always find in car boot sales are vintage glass bottles. I always think, ‘but why do I need this?’ when I see them, and then I remind myself that I need them because they look cool, and that’s a good enough reason

Car boot sales are also great for finding hip second-hand furniture. If you can’t afford new stuff, prepare to learn some DIY and head down to your nearest car boot. Unfortunately, I’m no DIY expert so this keeps me from buying certain things that can be fixed using just a bit of paint, or some sandpaper.  Let’s just say I’m a computer-kind of person. Nonetheless, when I’m broke but feel like I want to add something to the house, I head down to the car boot! There are of course, plenty of furniture stores that sell cheap vintage-looking things, and most people would rather go for this rather than rummaging through car boots, but once again, there is a certain sense of pride when you find something cool at a car boot, it’s a bit like hunting isn’t it? Except you’re hunting for material objects rather than for food, unnecessary, but worth it!

I personally like to buy a bit of both (vintage & vintage-inspired) because generally my decision making involves – do I like this? When it comes to slightly more expensive stuff.. I don’t really like buying ‘fake car boot stuff’ that is very expensive from furniture stores.

vintage inspired drawer cabinet

This is my vintage-inspired drawer chest. I actually saw it at a furniture store but it was so over priced and the material wasn’t great.. so I got a similar custom-made one.

vintage clock

And on the vintage-inspired drawer chest, we find a real vintage clock (aren’t you sick of reading the word ‘vintage’ by now? :) ) This is one of those clocks that you have to wind manually, but it’s well worth it. I also really like its little ticking noises.

2. Identity & Story

Besides cost, I think the main sell point of car boots and vintage stores are that they sell items that are unique to the buyer. Now sure, after watching countless episodes of ‘Pawn Stars’ we start to learn that vintage doesn’t necessarily mean unique, or that it is worth anything, but it does mean that it can be hard to find. People love to have stuff that other people can’t get a hold of, so it does really boil down to a case of identity. We all want to be special in some way or another, we all want to be different.

This is also the case with vintage clothes. What’s worse than going to a wedding and seeing someone wearing the same dress as you? Oh the horror! But really, if you bought your dress from Topshop (or in Malta’s case, Zara is usually the more popular option) did you expect to be the only one? With vintage clothing, this can be avoided, and it’s nice to be wearing something that has a story behind it as well. It’s cooler to be wearing a vintage 70′s dress, and it’s even cooler to be wearing your mum’s vintage 70′s dress.

Once again, vintage clothes carry stories and special meanings that new clothes can never have. This is also noticeable in celebrity fashion, and it’s quite clear in Vogue’s ‘Today I’m wearing’ model journal, where top models are photographed everyday with a list of the brands that the model is wearing on that day. A lot of models would actually be wearing vintage labels and things that their designer friend made specifically for them. This makes it harder for the reader to be able to afford these things, because they don’t really have a price tag, so they become unreachable.

vintage posters

An old x-rated film poster, and an old newspaper, 5 euros from the car boot, woo!

vintage poster

The other ‘sexy’ poster

Nonetheless, the world of vintage intrigues me, and the other girls here at Design Sorbet, which is why we have decided to collaborate with Samantha Gatt, owner of ‘Blush and Panic’ a vintage and vintage-inspired boutique in Valletta, Malta’s capital city. Samantha let us nosey girls into her world of vintage, and told us all about taking care of vintage items, pricing them, and all the rest. Stay tuned!

More of my vintage finds:

vintage sun glasses

One of many sunglasses that I found for 50c each! More pics on this post:

vintage oil lamp

This was a gift from Ruth :) I love it!

vintage comics

My partner is a fan of vintage comics and LPs, so these were bought from either thrift stores / comic stores and you’ve guessed it.. car boot markets

vintage toy vintage polaroid camera vintage luggage vintage lp vinyl vintage LP player illustrated table mats vintage bag

I have asked the girls to send me a selection of their car boot finds. Ruth has quite a range of items from the Birgu Car boot sale (Malta) probably because she is from Birgu, so she’s been visiting the market before it became saturated with hipsters and just general artsy people scavenging for vintage and second-hand!


I’ve also asked for vintage-inspired items, and this frame has one of those distressed / shabby chic finishes that have become so popular in the past couple of years

IMG_7666 IMG_7678 IMG_7679 IMG_7689 IMG_7696 IMG_7709


Sarah and Andrea (our newest Design Sorbet member and author) were kind enough to forward me a couple of pics from the Birgu car boot market, and Sarah also sent in snaps from the Berlin flea market… Have a look :)


berlin flea market 1 berlin flea market 2 berlin flea market 3 berlin flea market 4

Birgu, Malta

car boot sale vintage books vintage camera vintage typewriter 2

Below, Andrea’s car boot pics:


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“Some stalls could almost pass as installation art. you wonder if there is a message trying to be put across.”

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“on a good day, with under €50 one can come home with a variety of treasures. 2 industrial toasters, a mannequin head, a lovely yellow Cisk tray, an oversized enamel kettle and an electric moka. “

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“This stool was actually brought by the stall owner to sit on until we convinced him to sell it to us!”

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“I have a love affair with old mirrors and typewriters and these 2 finds go perfectly together”

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You might also enjoy: Memoirs: stories behind vintage items, Paris: food, vintage clothes, toys & more, Why handmade became cool


2 Responses
  1. Matthew Camilleri

    Love everything especially the drawer chest, clock and stool…I’m one of those guys to try and visit Birgu Market every Sunday although I’m from Mosta. there’s also a Lady in Bir Id-dheb that sells similar stuff but most of the stuff I buy is from Birgu.

    Well done this was surely a nice article to read and look at :)

    Nov.12.2013 at 9:23 pm
    • Moira (Author)

      Thanks Matthew, I don’t go every Sunday, but whenever I go I always come back with something special! My ritual is; getting tea from the ‘gabbana’ guy and a ricotta pastizz, and then off to look around. Sometimes I get a plant on the way out from the guy who’s right near the entrance/exit :) Glad you enjoyed the article!

      Nov.12.2013 at 9:29 pm


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