Get used to hearing “WHERE did you get THAT?! I LOVE it!” or “OMG that is so cool!” everywhere you go, because these 7 tips will help you vintage shop like a pro.
1. Ignore Size Labels
Vintage clothing sizes are radically different than those of modern clothing. Size labels are pretty useless for figuring out how something will fit, so try other tricks to make sure you can slip in to your dream outfit. The absolute best way to know if something will fit is to try it on. If you are unable to try the item on, check the measurements and compare them with your own to gauge how it would fit. Properly fitting vintage is a dream come true, so when a piece fits, it’s magical!
2. Alter, Alter, Alter!
Vintage clothing is one-of-a-kind. Sometimes the most amazing pieces just doesn’t fit quite right. This can be disappointing – unless you think outside of the box. Many items can be altered to fit perfectly, or the fabric can be made into something else. Befriend a good tailor, and make sure to communicate exactly how you want the piece to fit. It is definitely worth the investment to make a piece fit well, since quality vintage pieces can last a lifetime. Generally, as long as a piece “kinda fits”, it can usually be altered. Keep in mind, it is much easier to make a larger garment fit smaller than to make a smaller garment fit larger. Don’t be afraid to put some work into a garment if you know you’ll wear it and love it – it is so worth it.
3. Feel the Fabric
One of the best aspects of vintage clothing is the quality of the fabrics. Vintage pieces are often very high quality and will last a very long time. However, not all vintage items are high quality or made well, especially those made for fast fashion retailers of the time. Take time to look over the garment, feel the fabric, and get a feel for the piece. If it feels good, looks good, and makes you feel good, it will be a good purchase. Hello Vintage does this work for you - we only sell the best quality vintage!
4. Look for Classic Styles
The best way to mix vintage and modern without looking too costume-y is by looking for vintage pieces with classic cuts and patterns. Some vintage items have patterns and colors that may not work with your personal style and current fashion trends, but classic styles will be in fashion forever. While it is up to your personal taste, a good tip is to use the “one or the other” rule. If the cut is classic, go with a fun pattern or color. If the cut is trendy from the period, stay with a muted pattern or color palette. Unless you love standing out and making a statement, avoid wearing an item with both features. If you love making a statement, then absolutely go for it all!
5. Don’t Buy Stained Clothing
If you fall in love with an item, but it has lots of stains, underarm damage, or rips, don’t buy it. Stains almost never come out of vintage clothing. If you love an item too much to put it down, find a way to disguise the damage with jackets, pins, or other accessories. Unless you can think of a good way to deal with the damage, don’t buy it. Adding a stained piece of clothing to your closet won’t make the stain go away, it will just make you sad when you can’t wear it.
6. Buy Out of Season
Even in the heat of summer, don’t be afraid of buying a chic winter coat. Vintage items are often one-of-a-kind, so if you love the style of something out of season, buy it and keep it in your closet until the season comes. Another advantage of buying out of season is the fact that prices are often lower on out of season items.
7. Find Unique Pieces
When shopping for vintage, don’t be afraid to choose some unique pieces that you can’t find anywhere else. Pair these unique pieces with simple modern pieces so that your item stands out without overpowering you. Many items have fun stories or histories, so they also serve as conversation starters!