Terry Gibralter is one of those women with exceptional style.
You wouldn’t simply say she looks “pretty”, “beautiful,” or “put together” because she’s wearing a lovely—and flattering—outfit, accessorized with a nice handbag, shoes and necklace, and her hair and makeup look good. Her style actually is, well, just one of a kind, and no single adjective can adequately define it. I put a scarf in my hair and it looks like a schmatta (rag); Terry wraps a scarf on her head, and she, literally turns heads. That kind of style.
As a self-professed fashion addict, who inherited her mother’s and grandmother’s style genes (“My grandmother looked gorgeous until the day she died, at 101. She was still doing her nails and they were beautiful”), Terry has long been a fan of vintage clothes, accessories and jewelry, long before it became as fashionable to shop flea markets and thrift shops as it is today. It didn’t hurt that she lived and worked in Paris and Singapore for years, when her husband was transferred abroad. “Paris is a vintage haunt and Singaporeans are just plain insane about shopping. When we left Singapore, I put an ad in the paper for a garage sale we were having. People lined up outside our house at 5:00 AM!” Terry remembers. As a fashion stylist for Elle Magazine Singapore, Terry had suitcases of goodies that she preferred not to take back to the States.
After years of culling through vintage stores, here and abroad, not to mention shopping for new clothes, Terry realized she had amassed far more than she could possibly wear or needed to own.
So she called on her experience as an advertising executive in the fashion and beauty businesses to launch H.O.T. (House of Terrance), an online shop that includes her very own apparel, jewelry, and accessories.
I can attest to the fact that every piece Terry bought for herself is impeccable. “People who worked with me, and loved my style, couldn’t wait to buy whenever I had a sale,” she said.
Besides offering new and vintage pieces that Terry has purchased over the years, H.O.T. showcases many one-of-a-kind items that she received when she was doing photo shoots. The shop also features merchandise from other stylish women with similar shopping habits. “When my friends and I used to see something we loved, we bought it. We were much more impulsive than we are now,” Terry explained. “The times are different and so are we.”
Sizes in the shop range from 2-12, and the range of styles will appeal to you, your daughters, daughters-in-law, sisters, nieces, co-workers, and friends. Terry’s selection of vintage necklaces, bracelets. earrings, scarves and handbags will make spectacular Christmas presents, at the most reasonable prices you’ll find anywhere, on or offline.
P.S. Naturally, I couldn’t leave Terry’s home without buying something for myself! When I spotted an oversized, deep blue, cotton eyelet blouse, I had to have it. Made in France, it was $50 and I think I wore it five times the first week. I got tons of compliments on it, too.
Start shopping now, before your favorite item disappears. Remember, everything is one-of-a-kind. To welcome you, Terry is offering 10 percent off of any piece of jewelry, from now until December 26, 2014. Enter code HOT10 at checkout.
Terry also is offering two FOFs the chance to
win any one of their favorite pieces that’s priced at $75 or less. Tell us here which one you’d
love to have, and why?
The New Take on
I visited with Terry when some of her favorite pieces were being photographed for FabOverFifty and
had a chance to get her take on vintage.
When did you first become a fan of vintage?
I think the first time I became aware of vintage was when I was at Wellesley College in the 70s. Every year, the rich ladies from the area would donate their old clothes to the school for a charity fund-raising event. Wellesley is one of the most exclusive areas to live outside of Boston. I went to the sale and would put vintage clothes together with my jeans.
Why is vintage popular today and what do you like about the idea of mixing vintage with new?
People have gravitated to vintage because it gives you a little bit more personality; it’s something special. The people who are into this are trying to stand out and sort of make their own look, and vintage allows you to do that.
Vintage also brings a story with it. Every piece was worn by someone and had a life and there’s something cool about that. In our tech heavy world, people are looking for ways to connect better with history and stories.
Can someone learn to have your style?
I believe every one of us has the ability to develop her own special style by paying attention to what others are doing and adapting it to the things you like. Let’s say you love the way a woman wears multiple necklaces or bracelets, but prefer more delicate pieces than the ones she’s wearing. Just take your own jewelry and play around with it until you see which ones work best together. Perhaps you walk by a store window and see floral print pants paired with a blouse with a geometric print, a combination that would never have entered your mind. Again, you can play around with what’s in your closet to decide which patterns and colors seem to click.
Remember, there are no rules anymore. Don’t be afraid to use your creativity. Fashion is an art form.
I’m also writing a blog for the website where I’m offering style suggestions and advice throughout the year.
How do you know you’re going to get a quality piece when you buy vintage on the internet?
I carefully describe the piece and explain if there’s wear. Some people don’t care if there’s wear; others would be bothered and I want to give them the option to decide they they might not want it. Most of my pieces are in really good shape because that’s what I’ve always looked for when shopping for vintage.
Why are women now accepting the practice of mixing old and new?
They don’t feel they have to follow the rules like women did in the 50s and 60s. Now the rules are gone. I love the juxtaposition of wearing ripped-up jeans with something much dressier. It’s just fun. Talking of old rules, I saw a woman wearing white pants yesterday. There was a time you’d never wear white after Labor Day.
Why is your pricing so reasonable?
I know what I paid for things, in most cases. In some cases, I got items for nothing. I also don’t want to put up expensive items that are barriers. I want people to shop the site. Vintage also is about saving money, to a certain degree. I decide the prices on factors including how long I’ve worn something (in some instances, never!) and from where it came.
Is it true that more women are shunning expensive jewelry, even if they have the money to buy it?
I don’t buy expensive jewelry today. Now that I’ve played around a little as a jewelry maker, I realize how incredibly overpriced jewelry is. We can be paying 10 times more than the wholesale price of a piece.
Costume jewelry allows you to make a statement and express your individuality. You can also mix heirloom jewelry with something funky. Jewelry is a great gift, and you don’t have to fit into it. I have tons of costume and vintage jewelry and a killer collection of ’80s earrings. One year I decorated my entire Christmas tree with all my earrings. I’ve most of my jewelry on hooks attached to a pegboard. I can’t wear the jewelry I have unless I can see it. I can’t be digging for it. We’re all busy.