I’m a vintage lover and thrift shopper at heart. I’ve been collecting my wardrobe from thrift shops, vintage boutiques, and my grandma’s closet, for nearly 20 years now and I love wearing one-of-a-kind pieces that no one else has. Vintage clothing, accessories, and those special pieces I’ve found over the years makes my style unique in a time when fast-fashion makes it easy for everyone to own the same exact items.
I prefer the bigger and grimier thrift shops like The Salvation Army and Goodwill because part of the fun for me is finding that gem of a piece for very little money. Flea markets are great too, as are specialty vintage stores for unique finds, but they’re far pricier than your run of the mill thrift shop. Owners of such specialty shops scour the bigger stores where everything is less expensive, then turn around and mark them up double, triple or far more than their original price. Now maybe they are worth it, but again, I want to be the one to find that treasure myself. It’s part of the fun!
My Tips for Shopping and Buying Vintage…
- Disregard sizes all-together! Throughout the decades, sizing has changed dramatically. Just try on anything you like. If it’s too large, you can think about accessories to help it fit better, altering it yourself, or dropping it off at your dry cleaner or tailor to fix it for you.
- Check for spot stains, underarm stains and moth holes. If the items has any of these, skip it.
- Look for classic brands and designer labels.
- Think about washable fabrics vs what you’ll have to immediately take to the dry cleaner.
- Look for one of a kind and unique pieces that will work with your wardrobe.
- Check for missing buttons and working zippers. These are both replaceable though buttons far easier than a zipper. You can always take the item to your tailor to fix.
- As a rule, I generally avoid buying shoes at thrift shops unless they are so unique I’ll probably just use them for display or they’re brand new. Many times you find brand new items, even from 30 years ago, in thrift shops like I did with the 1960’s dress I wore for my wedding reception. With a bit of altering, I made it modern and fit like a glove. Think of all the items in your closet with the tags still on them.
How-To Incorporate Vintage Pieces into your Everyday Style 1 of 13
Flip through the photos to see my one of a kind vintage pieces and get tips on how to easily incorporate vintage into your wardrobe.
All photos from www.loveMaegan.com
Info and details from the look seen here in the last photo of the group.
Start with Accessories! 2 of 13
The easiest place to begin adding vintage into your everyday style is with accessories. This beaded clutch belonged to my grandma and adds the perfect touch of glam to this little black dress.
See the look here: Vintage LBD with Vintage Beaded Bag
Coats 3 of 13
Another great way to ease into vintage style is by pairing found pieces with your basics. I found this amazing military coat when I was about 19 years old at the Melrose Flea Market for about $30. It remains a favorite to this day and is more durable than any new coat you'd find in the same price range.
* The hat is vintage too... another piece that was my grandma's.
See the look here: Vintage Coat and Hat with Basics
Vintage Scarves 4 of 13
This simple green vintage silk scarf works as a pretty belt and adds a pop of color to my shapeless little black dress. Scarves are great because you can wear them in your hair, around your neck, on your handbag, and as seen here, on your waist. Look for stronger fabrics without any holes or stains.
See the look here: Vintage Green Scarf as Sash with LBD
Costume Jewelry 5 of 13
If I'm looking for costume jewelry I ALWAYS search for vintage first. Older items are not only better quality, made with better materials and stones, they're usually a fraction of the cost of new costume pieces and are one of a kind. I found these vintage rhinestone necklaces on Ebay for less than $10 each. At that price, you can buy a few and pile them on together to create one statement piece.
See the look here: Vintage Denim Shirt, Vintage Jewelry
You can also use old necklaces to make a new one like I did in my DIY Tom Binns Statement Necklace
New Trends from Old Styles 6 of 13
When I started thrifting in the 1990's, clothes and styles from the 1970's were trendy... and now, a few decades later with styles from the 90's trending, it's easy to find pieces at a fraction of the cost of new items, like this vintage floral skirt from the 90's I found for under $5.
See the look here: Vintage Floral Skirt from the 90's
Blouses 7 of 13
My favorite place to find blouses with great prints are at thrift shops. I've worn this leopard blouse nearly one hundred times, with a variety of different looks and since it's polyester, I just toss it right in the washing machine and dry it with no problem at all.
See the look here: Vintage Leopard Blouse with Jeans
Vintage Sunglasses 8 of 13
Another great accessory to find at vintage shops, are sunglasses. For all the great reasons like they're made better and they're one of a kind, they can also give your outfit a great retro look. These vintage sunglasses were $2
See the look here: Vintage Red Dress for the Holidays
This clutch bag is vintage as well and I made it even more unique with my DIY Petals
Suits and Separates 9 of 13
I found this bright and fabulous yellow pencil skirt as a set with a pretty yellow jacket. I've never worn them together as a set, but because they came together, it was basically a two for one! You can see the matching yellow jacket here.
See the look here: Vintage Yellow Pencil Skirt
I'm wearing a DIY Petal Pouf Sleeve Top here as well... another way to make your clothes unique.
Vintage Coat and Bag 10 of 13
Another vintage coat added to basic cuffed jeans and a black sweater to really make a simple look extraordinary! My grandma made this jacket for herself in the 1960's and I found the vintage Gucci bag on Ebay years ago for under $75 This is a favorite look for Fall and it's easy!
See the look here: Vintage Leopard Coat with Jeans
Vintage Dresses 11 of 13
Blazers! 12 of 13
Mixing Textures, Eras, & Styles 13 of 13
I adore this vintage beaded top which at first glance looks only wearable for dressed-up events and cocktail parties. But if you get creative, you can see that it's quite versatile. I've paired it here with casual, loose-fitting pants with a trendy aztec print, with a vintage snakeskin clutch and bright turquoise jewelry for a fun and modern look.
See the look here: Vintage Beaded Top and vintage clutch