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.