“Allow yourself to turn over every rock,” she says regarding her shopping habits, “know which pieces work for you and do not force it.” That is Claire Brandon’s philosophy when shopping for herself. The 27- year old curator behind the online vintage shop, Delta Vintage, says this reasoning has helped her find dresses for weddings and pieces she’s coveted from the glossy pages of Harper's Bazaar alike.
Claire’s style is eclectic, colorful, and textured with a masculine edge. Each piece she wears is a reflection of a time in her life; working in New York, travels across America, and the adventures of growing a new business. “I have grown confident in my ability to let the things I am craving or am in need of come to me,” says Claire. We asked her to browse her treasure trove of a closet and select three of her most precious pieces that “found her” and never let go.
Suede Tan Leather Vest
“It looked just like the one I saw an uber stylish lady wear on Garance Dore’s website a few weeks prior, except this one was leather and fit my broad shoulders,” reminisces Claire of the vest that found her on the streets of New York five years prior.
On her 22nd birthday, Claire was fresh to New York. After a pleasant brunch, she and her roommate wandered the streets of the Lower East Side window shopping and daydreaming about the clothes they could one day afford. Just as they were succumbing to self-pity of being “New York broke,” Claire spotted the vest in a vintage shop hidden within a greenhouse. It was a purchase underwritten as a “birthday present from mom” and the rest is history. “I bring it on every single trip I go on,” Claire says smiling.
She pairs the vest with a high waisted vintage army pant or her favorite denim from Imogene + Wille, a fun earring, and heels (optional).
Leather Double Wrap Coin Belt
Sentimental pieces of family history are difficult to give up. On a trip to Mississippi to visit family, her beloved grandmother surprised her with boxes of things that her grandmother’s best friend wanted to donate to Delta Vintage. “My grandmother does not fully understand my world, but this was her way of contributing,” says Claire.
Touched by the beautiful offer and pleasantly surprised by the goods, she kept the bulk of the garments. One piece in particular was a brown double wrap coin leather belt. “It is something I have not seen anywhere else, but it is special because it came from my grandmother’s best friend of 60 years,” Claire says sentimentally. “I hope I never part with it.”
She wears the belt with a boxy jumpsuit or pant.
Mosaic Sequin Dress
“I have never had the budget for designer clothing nor much interest in overly flashy pieces, but finding something eye catching is always a goal,” says Claire. There is one exception to her sparkle-free wardrobe: the mosaic sequin dress found at an estate sale in Nashville, Tennessee.
The patterned dress of yellow, pink, and grey sequins feels like it weighs ten pounds when worn, but any memory that she has while wearing it is a positive one. Because of its sentiment, Claire wore the dress to a “joy” themed event for the Delta Arts Alliance, an after-school arts non-profit in Cleveland, Mississippi. “I do not always love a lot of attention, but every time I wear this dress people make a point to tell me how I look like myself in it,” says Brandon. She also paired it with some funky cowboy boots and wore it to a Kacey Musgraves’ concert. “It takes confidence to wear, which is almost always a good omen for a night out,” says Claire.
Claire’s confidence in style does not include a closet full of careless shopping. Through the lens of Delta Vintage, she wants to teach her customer to shop with purpose and let those things you need find you naturally. Such a simple conviction, but definitely worth trying. Afterall, it makes for a closet of pieces that hold stories and memories for a lifetime.