From thrift stores, consignment stores, vintage boutiques, consignment stores, markets, to online shops, there are many different types of vintage stores. Keep reading for some of the best tips on how to shop for vintage items.
Where To Find Vintage Pieces?
1. Thrift stores – This is a discount store that typically sells pre-loved second-hand items.
2. Consignment stores – This is a store where individuals can resell items. When a piece is sold, the store takes a cut.
3. Vintage boutiques - Boutiques have a curated selection of vintage or antique items, typically clothing that caters to a certain aesthetic of the past era.
4. Flea markets - Flea markets are typically outdoors and sell a wide variety of items, including furniture. You will need patience when shopping here.
5. Online - There are many online stores that specialize in selling vintage pieces, often direct from multiple sellers. The advantage of buying vintage clothing online is that you can search for specific key terms.
Photo by Artificial Photography
How to Shop Vintage
Vintage shopping can be a real adventure. It comes with its ups and downs though. With a few simple skills, you can easily master how to shop vintage properly and develop your own unique vintage style.
Firstly: Know the difference between vintage and thrift
What sets vintage clothing apart from other used items? Vintage isn’t just something old and discarded. Vintage means something special. These are items that have stood the test of time and have proven to remain relevant for any number of reasons. These could be a timelessness of style, good quality, historical or cultural significance, or interesting origins.
When looking for vintage clothes signs such as metal zippers, side-snap closures, saw-toothed edges, and union labels printed in blue, all indicate that items were manufactured before the mid-’60s.
Start with a timeless classic
If you’re new to vintage hunting, it’s worth seeking out something easy and timeless to start. A 1960s little black dress is something you can wear over and over again that won’t lose its radiance and relevance right away.
Keep an open mind
Unlike stores that sell new clothing in every size and color, vintage stores are stocked with one-of-a-kind pieces. Don’t go vintage shopping if you’re looking for a specific item. The term what you see is what you get applies here.
Search for flaws
Unlike new things, vintage items often have flaws. Before making a purchase, thoroughly inspect your item for any stains, rips, missing buttons, stuck zippers, etc. If you’re looking from thrift stores online, look for items with high-quality images, and ask the seller if the item has any flaws. If you fall in love with an item that is flawed, ask yourself if it will always bother you, or if you can live with the damage.
If you fall in love with something that isn’t a perfect fit, remember that vintage items can always be altered to fit you perfectly. Don’t be afraid to invest a little bit of money to have it properly tailored. Investing a few bucks to have the waist slightly taken in can make all the difference.
Feel the fabric
Always check to see if the fabric is in good condition. Vintage pieces often get brittle and could shatter. There’s nothing worse than investing money in something and having it fall apart on you. If a garment looks like it’s falling apart, or becoming faded, it’s smart to leave it.
Why buy vintage rather than new
A quality vintage garment or accessory can cost as much as current items, if not more, so why should you choose something pre-owned over something brand new? Because it’s likely to have been made better. A general rule of thumb is that the older the piece the higher the quality.
There is a tendency for items to be more durable than more contemporary fashion. The best part about vintage is that you probably won’t spot someone else out there wearing the same items.
Do your research if you’re looking to spend
Don’t splurge without doing a good deal of research first. Avoid buying items on a whim. Learn how to spot issues, which eras work for you, and how collectible an item is before you go in head-first.
Photo by Cam Morin
Use these tips the next time you decide to go vintage hunting, or even if it is your first time trying it out. One of the best things you can do is educate yourself by talking to people who run local vintage stores or even seek out local vintage dealers. Good luck and happy hunting!