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Joyous Closet – Vintage Collector & Reseller Shares Her Best Vintage Finds

Joy Leong, 37, moved from shopping fast fashion to a vintage collector in just three years. Now she shares the best gems from her impressive collection.
Joyous Closet – Vintage Collector & Reseller Shares Her Best Vintage Finds

“I’ve been collecting vintage for 3 years. I was buying a lot of fast fashion and feeling stuck. Then one day I came across Beth Jones (Bjones Style) and I just love her style and she thrifts! So, I went thrifting the next day and never looked back!

I shop and wear vintage because I don’t want to look like anybody else. Vintage helped me to find my own style. I also love owning one-of-a-kind pieces.

I love chiffon dresses and this 70s Lanvin dress is just so special. The prints and colors are everything.

What I’ve learned about collecting vintage is to invest in something that you will really love.

When I started buying secondhand there was a tendency on feeling “high” like I would just buy everything! Now, I have become so picky. Even if you would take me vintage shopping all day, I wouldn’t necessarily buy anything.

This dress is Malcolm Starr by Rizkallah, also an eBay find. I also met with the seller whose mom used to own this dress. He told me how her mom loved to dress up back in the day. I love the jewel tones with a dark background. I’m always on the hunt for Rizkallah because his pieces are pretty rare.

I collect Geoffrey Beene, Yves Saint Laurent, Bill Blass, and 60s Dynasty Hostess coats. I would love to own more 70s Lanvin dresses and a Christian Dior quilted coat.

I don’t wear my pieces every day because I’m a stay-at-home mom, but when I do I go all out. One time, my neighbor saw me and asked if I was going to a photoshoot and I said no, I’m just going to church.

I found the vintage lavender mink coat with fox fur on eBay through the Gem vintage search app. After finding out that the seller is located in Illinois we decided to meet up. She told me about the story of a mafia wife who used to own the coat, and that her husband played piano with Frank Sinatra to raise money for JFK’s campaign.

At the beginning of this year, I decided to focus on reselling. I sell through my Instagram. Whenever I buy something for myself, I will sell at least one item from my wardrobe.

It’s tough to let go but I also don’t want to be a hoarder and I enjoy selling. It makes me so happy when a piece that I loved finds a new home!

I worked in banking and sales for 12 years and always enjoyed meeting new people and helping them with their needs. It is the same thing with reselling clothes: I like finding one-of-a-kind pieces for my clients and when they’re happy with their purchase, it’s a satisfying feeling.

I was on the hunt for a 70s patchwork leather coat for 2 years until I finally found it on eBay. The coat is special to me because it is something that I’ve been wanting for a long time and I love the 70s era.

I’m always on Gem when I hunt for vintage. When I go thrifting, I don’t go through every single item – I just check the items that catch my eyes. I love supporting small businesses. My local favorites are Kneedeep Vintage and Jujus Vintage here in Chicago.”

Follow Joy @joyouscloset