Copy code Vintage Styling with Iona Maclean – ALIX YANG Jewellery

Vintage Styling with Iona Maclean

Posted at 11:00 • 1 May • Emily Blom • Products


Iona Maclean is our go-to gal for all things vintage. Owner of the online destination for the very best in vintage fashion, ionamaclean.com, she's one of our all-time favourite Aussie style inspirations and happens to be an expert at pairing ALIX YANG with her signature, layered looks. On the gram, you might simply know her as @ionamac, but we wanted to dive a little deeper into what makes this muse tick.

Q. Anybody can see that vintage is obviously your thang. Where did this passion stem from and what keeps you so vintage-obsessed today?

A. Thank you! I can actually pinpoint the exact moment I fell in love with vintage. I was 17 and didn't have a dress for my friend's 18th birthday party so I pillaged my mum's wardrobe and found this quirky dress she had from the 80's.

I loved how unique it was and it gave me a sense of individual style for the first time. I kept chasing that feeling so I started op shopping soon after and the rest is history.

I have never stopped loving vintage because it is affordable, more sustainable than buying new, unique, amazing quality and I love the thrill of the hunt.


Q. With so many emerging fashion brands in 2021, why is it that vintage pieces are what you keep going back to when there are hundreds of other choices on the menu?

A. There are so many beautiful brands around and I definitely get a lot of style inspiration from what I see on Instagram or magazines - but what I really love is the challenge of recreating these looks with vintage alternatives. For example, oversized, striped shirts are in fashion, but rather than buying new, I love to go to the op shop and find them there - not only is it more affordable, it's extending the lifecycle of pre-loved clothes.
 
Q. We love your online store, ionamaclean.com. When did you first start thinking that the world of e-commerce was something you wanted to explore?

A. Thank you! I just had the lightbulb moment one night to combine my love of content creation, op shopping, and styling to create an online vintage store. I wanted to make vintage easily accessible for people who did not have the time or the eye for op shopping but wanted to support recycled fashion. I knew nothing about business or e-commerce, so had to learn that along the way but thankfully Squarespace does a lot of the heavy lifting and it was much easier than I thought to start a website!
Q. We love your online store, ionamaclean.com. When did you first start thinking that the world of e-commerce was something you wanted to explore?

A. Thank you! I just had the lightbulb moment one night to combine my love of content creation, op shopping, and styling to create an online vintage store. I wanted to make vintage easily accessible for people who did not have the time or the eye for op shopping but wanted to support recycled fashion. I knew nothing about business or e-commerce, so had to learn that along the way but thankfully Squarespace does a lot of the heavy lifting and it was much easier than I thought to start a website!

Q. We're kind of novices when it comes to vintage shopping - finding the good stuff really is an art form. What are your tips for identifying vintage clothing gold?
 
A. My personal tips are to go op-shopping by yourself so you can be really focused (I am always on a mission!) I also prefer to go in the morning when it is less busy and the racks are neat. I suggest you go with an idea in mind of what you want so that you just have to scan the rails. I know what colours and textures I like/want so I don't actually have to sift through every item - my eyes just scan the rails until I find a colour or fabric I like and then I'll have a closer look. This saves lots of time!

I often start in the men's section because I am always looking for oversized shirts, tweed blazers, wool vests and jeans. My advice for finding quality vintage is looking at the tag and care label. You can often identify vintage from the tag; it just looks a bit more retro! Then check the care label and if it’s pre-2000 era, it will often be made in Australia and made from an organic fibre like cotton, wool or silk which I love.

I often start in the men's section because I am always looking for oversized shirts, tweed blazers, wool vests and jeans. My advice for finding quality vintage is looking at the tag and care label. You can often identify vintage from the tag; it just looks a bit more retro! Then check the care label and if it’s pre-2000 era, it will often be made in Australia and made from an organic fibre like cotton, wool or silk which I love.


Q. We're obsessed with how you style your ALIX YANG pieces with your outfits over on IG. What do you look for when finding the right jewellery to pair with your personal style?
 
A. I love my ALIX YANG pieces too! I have styled most of my vintage clothes with your jewellery since the very beginning. What I love about my ALIX YANG pieces is that they are timeless and literally go with everything so it makes styling super easy!
 
A lot of my vintage clothing is oversized such as blazers and shirts - so I think adding gold hoops and a chain make it slightly more refined and chic. What I look for in jewellery are pieces that are understated but can also elevate any look.
Q. If you could suggest a single, staple AY piece to your friends, family or followers, what would it be?

A. That's a tough one because I love them all! But I think I would have to pick the Arlo Hoops. They are classic and effortlessly chic - everything a staple should be.
 

Q. And if you should suggest a single vintage essential that every girl needs in their wardrobe, what would that be? (Seriously, we want all the tips we can get!)

A. I would have to say an oversized blazer.
 
Rapid-Fire Round:
 

Silver or gold? Gold

Denim or leather? Denim

Chunky jewellery, or dainty? Dainty

Summer or Winter? Summer (but I prefer Winter fashion!)

Ear stack or layered necklaces? Layered necklaces

Collared shirt, or tee? Collared shirt

Breakfast or dinner? Dinner

Skinny jeans, or straight? Straight

Side part or centre? Centre

Q. And if you should suggest a single vintage essential that every girl needs in their wardrobe, what would that be? (Seriously, we want all the tips we can get!)

A. I would have to say an oversized blazer.
 
Rapid-Fire Round:
 

Silver or gold? Gold

Denim or leather? Denim

Chunky jewellery, or dainty? Dainty

Summer or Winter? Summer (but I prefer Winter fashion!)

Ear stack or layered necklaces? Layered necklaces

Collared shirt, or tee? Collared shirt

Breakfast or dinner? Dinner

Skinny jeans, or straight? Straight

Side part or centre? Centre

You can follow along with Iona's op shopping escapades and vintage style tips at @ionamac.

Iona's store:  ionamaclean.com