I am so excited to talk to y’all about the wonderful and rewarding world of vintage shopping!
I love wearing vintage for a few reasons–
First, in a time where sometimes it feels like everyone is wearing the same ol’ stuff, you can be someone who stands out. Also, I love the idea that the beautiful and unique piece I’m wearing has history, has seen the world, has once been important to someone else. Moreover, I feel like a vintage cut is usually flattering on women with all body types, as they are meant to accentuate curves and oftentimes create the illusion of a small waistline. And lastly (and perhaps most importantly, really), vintage shopping is eco-friendly!
However, there are several things that you need to know before heading to the shops (or even the online shops). Otherwise, you’ll end up wasting money (oftentimes vintage shopping is a no-return, no-exchange situation) and/or feeling weird about your bod. Fortunately for you, I’ve been obsessed with finding and wearing clothing from different eras for about 10 years now, and I’m here to help you out!
- Go in person if possible. I say this with love: vintage pieces sometimes require a subtle sniff before buying. They are old! Don’t worry– the majority of the time, dry cleaning has already taken care of the problem and you’re ok to buy… But be especially wary of bags… I once splurged on a BEAUTIFUL old world French suitcase, only to open it and almost fall over from the odor when I got home. Fool me once…
- Another reason it’s important to go in person is because there is a prettyyy notable sizing discrepancy when it comes to vintage vs. modern day sizing. I’ve grabbed many a size 2 or size 4, only to be surprised when the garment barely fit over my head! For the most part, when I’m vintage shopping, I completely ignore the sizes, and I come emotionally prepared to buy much bigger sizes than I’m used to. (Not that there’s anything wrong with larger sizes. You know what I mean!) Also, related to sizing: remember that vintage stitching is more delicate, and can’t withstand a lot of pulling– so make sure you have room to breathe, bend, etc.
- If vintage shopping at a market or fair, bring cash! Also, remember that you can always barter, if you’re into that kinda thing 🙂
- Remember that new items are added during the week, and that weekends are the busiest shopping times. I prefer to show up at lunchtime or early after work on Friday so that the new arrivals don’t get picked over before I get the chance to come check them out.
- Whether I’m browsing in person or online, I seek shops that organize their goods by decade. Otherwise, it can all mush together and feel way overwhelming to me. (Notice how in the photo– taken at Vintage Martini in Dallas– I’m standing in the 50’s section. I don’t discriminate, but the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s are my go-to’s.) Online shops who organize by decade: ASOS Peekaboo Marketplace and Adored (just their dresses are organized by decade).
Good luck out there!! Let me know what you find, and let me know if you have any questions.
Here are my favorite online vintage finds from the:
… and my all time favorite find today: here (70% off!)