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What is vintage?

The term “vintage” denotes “from the past.” Clothing pieces that are more than 20 years old are often termed vintage. (Antique clothes date back more than a century.) Vintage apparel is typically pre-owned (previously worn). Items that resemble past fashions, whether vintage or vintage-inspired, are referred to as “retro.” Unworn clothing is known as “deadstock,” and it is often not vintage. It is commonly found in quantities in warehouses and factories.

Know the difference between thrift and vintage.

  • What distinguishes vintage clothing from used apparel? “Treasures from the past can be found in thrift stores,”.
  • Raymond says, “But you shouldn’t find obvious thrift items in a vintage store.” Vintage signifies something special—that an item has fought the test of time and proven to be important for a variety of reasons, including timeless style, [quality], historical or cultural relevance, or fascinating provenance.”

Where to buy vintage clothes?

1- Thrift stores

A thrift store is a type of bargain store that typically offers used clothing. While thrifting, you can find high-quality vintage, but you might need to sift through a lot of items to find your size and style.

2- Consignment Stores

Consignment stores are sites where people can resell their belongings. When a piece is sold, the store receives a commission. Consignment shops typically specialize in high-end and designer clothing and accessories, such as purses, shoes, and costume jewelry.

3- Vintage Boutique

Boutiques offer a carefully curated range of rare vintage apparel that adheres to a specific aesthetic or era. They are usually tiny, which means you can get to know the folks who work there. A boutique may specialize in vintage haute couture or in selling solely jeans.

4- Online

There are numerous internet retailers that sell antique clothing, frequently directly from various sellers. The advantage of buying vintage clothing online is that you can use specific search terms to find exactly what you want. The negative is that you won’t be able to try on the item, and buying vintage online is nearly usually more expensive than thrift store shopping.


How to shop for vintage stuff?

1- Decide how much time you gonna spend

Shopping for vintage can be intimidating, especially if you go to a huge thrift store or flea market. Because sellers rarely organize by style, the best method to locate hidden treasures is to go through each and every item. Setting a time limit on your journey is one approach to avoid antique shopping tiredness. Spend 30 minutes (or an hour for experienced shoppers) at the thrift store, searching as carefully as possible, and then heading to the dressing room when your time is up.

2-Keep an open mind

Vintage stores, as opposed to stores that sell new apparel in every size and color, stock one-of-a-kind items. If you’re seeking a certain item, don’t go antique shopping because you’re unlikely to discover it. Instead, utilize a mood board to get ideas, and you can come away with some fantastic antique buys.

3- Search for defects

Contrary to brand-new clothing, vintage garments frequently have flaws like stains, rips, missing buttons, and stuck zippers.

Check your item carefully for any flaws before buying it. (If you’re shopping online, look for items with lots of clear pictures and get in touch with the seller to find out if the product is defect-free.)

If you like an item too much and want to buy a faulty item, consider whether you can live with the imperfection or if it will constantly bother you. Some defects are repairable, such as too-long trousers that must be hemmed. Don’t expect to be able to remove any stains on your own, and refrain from purchasing anything that needs repair unless you intend to complete the repair.

4- Try on things

Sizing differs specifically between manufacturers, especially when it comes to vintage clothing. Sizes were significantly smaller in the past, and washing can shrink parts. When it comes to antique shopping, the size of the tag is almost irrelevant. You must try on clothing to determine if it fits properly. Knowing your own measurements is your best option when a fitting room is not available, such as when shopping online or at flea markets. Ask online merchants for accurate measurements, and bring a tiny measuring tape with you while shopping in person so you can measure the things yourself.

5- Know the era

“The easiest eras to shop in are usually the ones nearest to now.” “There would naturally be better to choose from,” Raymond explains.

“The easiest eras to fit into a modern wardrobe are those from the latter half of the twentieth century (the 1960s on).” Items from previous seasons that could be regarded excessively costume if not skillfully incorporated into your unique style.”

6-Quality over Quantity

You may fall in love with a lovely printed garment or a beaded gown, but make sure the fabric is still in good shape.”I always look at and touch the clothing to ensure that it still has life in it.” Vintage things are prone to becoming brittle, dry, and shattering. Nothing is more devastating than spending money on something only to have it fall apart on you.” If clothing appears to be splitting, ripping, falling apart, or fading, it’s best to leave it alone.

7- You can alter it later

Vintage clothing can always be altered to fit you perfectly if you fall in love with something that doesn’t quite fit. “Never hesitate to shell out a little extra cash to have it perfectly fitted to your body.” “Investing $25 [or] $30 in having the cuffs shortened or the waist narrowly taken in so it’s not puffed can make the difference between looking frumpy and looking tailor-made,” Raymond defines.

However, some objects from another era just cannot be altered, therefore it is important to be conscious of your body’s proportions. No matter how much you admire the fabric of a coat or the drape of a dress, if they’re too small, they’re unwearable.

8- Bring cash

Some sellers will accept credit or debit using Square or another payment processor, especially at well-curated events.

Cash is king since not everyone does (particularly at antique markets). There are ATMs at certain markets, but it’s advisable to have cash with you. If you need to leave to collect extra money, the majority of sellers will hold an item for you.

E-transfers are also widely accepted by people.

Essential items to look for when you are on a vintage hunt

I consider myself a collector when it comes to my wardrobe. Vintage is king for a collector. Clothes from previous decades (I prefer the ’70s and early ’90s) have natural fabrics, sturdier construction, and individualized flair—all at a fraction of the price of contemporary labels. All that is required is an understanding of your aesthetic and a willingness to treasure hunt, but these aspects can be refined with practice.

1- Silk slip dresses

Go to town once you find the rack of nightgowns! Even for high-quality materials, rates for silk slips remain surprisingly inexpensive thanks to an abundance of antique nightgowns, despite the fact that they could be expensive at your favorite boutique.

2- Trench Coats

The transforming quality of a timeless trench is what makes it appealing. It truly doesn’t matter what you wear with a minidress, sweatpants, or cycling shorts. Chicness will always be the eventual outcome.

3-Oversize sweaters

100% cotton and wool sweaters from vintage stores give a surplus of cozier designs without the typical current pricing. A well-made large jumper will earn its spot in your closet whether it is worn with jeans, pants, or tights.

4- jeans

Not to sound dramatic, but one of my favorite emotions is the high that comes with discovering the ideal pair. (I’m only exaggerating a little.)
The key to finding vintage jeans is persistence, but once you identify your preferred cut and overall retro waist size, eyeballing ones that will fit you quickly becomes second nature.

Online thrift stores where you can find your dream vintage clothing

1- Beyond Retro

If you’re only interested in vintage items, it’s your one-stop shop in the UK, especially from a business with a commitment to sustainability. The brand Beyond Retro is dedicated to reducing, reusing, and recovering 10 billion products, and its methods are effective. Beyond Retro features an upcycled Reworked collection and utilizes eco-friendly packaging. There are countless alternatives, ranging from men’s Hawaiian-style button-down shirts to paisley blouses from the 1970s. Additionally, free UK delivery is available on orders over £75.

2- Etsy

Shoppers should go to Etsy for handcrafted apparel and antique items. Etsy provides something for everyone in every price range with product listings that vary from gorgeous gowns and ruffled blouses to 1960s tweed jackets and vintage trousers. (Some of our favorites include Persephone Vintage, Roselein Rarities, and ShopOneMoment.) Whether it’s essentials for your wardrobe or one-of-a-kind handcrafted home products, Etsy has it all. Since the majority of listings come from individuals or boutiques, it’s also a good way to support regional vendors and small businesses.

3- Depop

You need to look no further than Depop if you want instant fashion inspiration. Over 30 million sellers, stylists, designers, collectors, creatives, and influencers around the world offer unique pre-owned and vintage goods on the global market. Consumers may engage with their choice stores and suppliers through “follows,” “likes,” comments, and messages using an interface that is similar to Instagram. Even hashtag searches are available for items. What more could you ask for from a company that claims to “make fashion more inclusive, diverse, and less wasteful” than Depop? Below are some of our favorite stores, including Hana bee co. and Chloe Vintage.

4- Rebag

Rebag contributes to increasing the accessibility of luxury. This online store sells products from more than 50 of the largest global designers, like Cartier, Balenciaga, and Gucci, including handbags, watches, jewelry, and more. Every piece is given a white-glove examination, and you may return your purchase for up to 80% of the purchase price within a year, allowing you to start shopping for your new style. We appreciate how thoughtfully it uses criteria to discover what we need, such as selecting the biggest % off retail price. Bags start from about $200 and above.

5- eBay

eBay, the pioneer of internet marketplaces, is a treasure trove for vintage apparel. eBay has established standards as a peer-to-peer marketplace to keep the buyer and safety at the forefront of transactions. With millions of vendors, the selection is unmatched, and you may discover everything from vintage Converse sneakers to women’s coats from the 1940s. The Seattle Women’s Assistance Fund, Downtown Generations, gift of Garb, and Room6Vintage are some of our favorites for stylish items from the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, as well as for size-inclusive selections that support the community. Provide an old piece with a new lease of life.


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