Who has the time or inclination to spend hours trawling through rack upon rack of old band T-shirts while some hipper than thou shop assistant steadfastly ignores you while deciding which Mumford & Sons track to play next? On top of that, there's that smell - a mix of mildew, an oil burner which is failing to disguise the former and that special aroma some overpriced One Direction merch attains it waits to become ironic.
Back in the day, washed out, faded and artfully ripped fabrics could pretty much only be found in vintage stores. Such effects were the sole domain of the passing of time, a failure to read washing directions or a combination of the two. Now however, manufacturing technology has advanced to the point where many textiles can appear broken in - without the mildly disturbing prospect that someone else sweated and chafed in it beforehand to achieve the desired finish. Marketing types inevitably refer to the outcome as "distressed" but we prefer to think of it as more like mildly upset.
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One, however, has resisted the trend: leather. And this is where vintage stores can be a treasure trove. Make your way past the inevitable hectares of flannos to the accessories section. Here, you'll find perfectly weathered belts, bags and wallets that have been cracked and characterised in a way that only time can provide. And all at a price that won't require a second mortgage or additional job.
If you have a bit more time on your hands to power through prospectives, it could also pay to expand your search to footwear and even jackets. Look for biker styles in both but give anything with a Western - as in country and ... - a miss. These tend to date quicker than Miranda Kerr post-break up.