Gabi Jones, who has an enviable collection of nearly 300 vintage pieces, wanted to explore the history of each item she owned while exploring her personal identity.
“I embarked on this journey to find pieces that I wouldn’t necessarily reach for but found beautiful,” Jones told Insider. “Then it kind of became this thing of allowing myself to be seen in public and daring to be seen.”
Jones, who goes by @gabis_vintage on
@gabis_vintage How unconventional would you consider your own wedding…? ✨Day 100 of 365✨ #vintageootd #1960sfashion #vintageclothes #stylevintage #vintageweddingdress ♬ Pieces (Solo Piano Version) – Danilo Stankovic
His vintage collection comes mainly from the women in his family
His pieces span the 1880s to the 1990s, ranging from bowling shirts to suspender dresses to a hair collar. They are either saved by Jones or passed down through the family. Jones’ grandmother, great-grandmother, and great-great-great-aunt contributed most of the collection.
“Surprisingly, all the women in the family are the same height,” Jones said. “So it’s really kind of like, ‘It’s a beautiful piece that I love and spent money on and I want someone else to wear it and appreciate it. “”
She’s worn plenty of ’60s pieces so far – “I’m always on the lookout for a ’60s shift dress every second of every day,” she said – but she’s also explored many decades and eras, including 1940s and Edwardian looks.
The rarest piece in her collection, which she wore on the 36th day, is a black beaded cape from the 1890s. It’s so rare that Jones only designed it to wear around the house.
@gabis_vintage How about wearing old stuff?! ✨Day 36 of 365✨ #vintage #vintageootd #vintagefashion #antiquefashion #victorianfashion #victorian #lovevintage #vintagestyle ♬ Eternal – Danilo Stankovic
She’s worn many of her great-great-great-great-aunt Stella’s looks
Jones has photos of family members wearing specific pieces, which she recreates exactly or reinterprets and modernizes, before sharing the results on TikTok. Her Aunt Stella in particular has become a true fashion icon thanks to Jones’ videos.
On the 32nd day of her challenge, Jones wore her aunt’s 1955 woolen ensemble. She updated the look to be 70s inspired with a headscarf and flowers in her hair.
On day 43, she was wearing a red dress belonging to Stella. Her aunt wore the dress, believed to have been made between 1955 and 1963, in Italy in 1988. Jones honored the era of the dress and styled it accordingly, even striking the same pose as her aunt.
Some days she wants to blend in, but other times she’s grateful for the positive reception.
While she loves to dress up and challenges herself to wear striking pieces in public, Jones said the biggest struggle is discipline.
“Some days I wake up and I want nothing more than to wear jeans and a t-shirt,” she said.
But she also has items for those days. “I have one of my dad’s cardigans that he wore in his high school graduation pictures, and it’s something I’m going to put on some day when I need time to be a wallflower and blend in,” she said.
However, when strangers compliment her outfits, it confirms her desire to broaden her horizons, style-wise. Being able to call her grandmother and learn the history of particular pieces was also a positive experience, she said.
Jones recommended that when saving or editing your wardrobe, keep what “excites something about you”
@gabis_vintage What do you do when you feel blue…? WEAR BLUE ✨Day 48 of 365✨ #vintage #vintageootd #1960s #1960sfashion #1960sstyle #60sdress #1960sdress ♬ She Share Story (for Vlog) – 山口夕依
Through the challenge, Jones said she learned the importance of staying true to herself.
“I think you should make a conscious effort to wear things that spark something in your soul, even if it’s not something people typically wear,” she said.