Making successful vintage clothing or accessories purchases can be quite a slippery slope. On the one hand, if you’re into vintage, you’ll probably get fired up at the sight of the first cool piece you find in your local thrift store. On the other hand, however, you risk spending some money (and vintage clothes can be quite expensive) on a piece that you’ll not wear.
Why would that be so?
Well, there are several possible scenarios – the piece may be too big or too small, it may not go well with anything else that you already have at home, it may be low-quality, or, most commonly, it may just be old – so old that it’s falling apart.
So, how do you deal with this, then? How do you get your hands on affordable vintage clothing online that you’ll actually wear regularly?
If you want to know, just keep reading! We have all the answers you need!
Beware of Flaws – And Judge If You Can Fix Them
When buying vintage clothes, you need to keep in mind their quality. And not just the production quality of the piece, it’s momentary and (potentially) future quality as well.
It may have been a top-brand piece back in the day, but if it’s torn in one too many places, with its color worn off and completely deformed, it’s probably best left on the rack, as it is.
It’s unfortunate, but the brunt of vintage pieces is visibly old and unusable. You need to decide whether they’re only “somewhat” old or “too” old; whether they’re worth the trouble of sewing them back, dying them, restyling them, or not.
Make sure to review all flaws, consider the price, and the amount of money you’ll have to spend on fixing said flaws before you actually splurge on a faulty piece.
Know Your Style (And Know It Well)
To leave aside such practicalities for a moment, let’s talk style – your style, to be precise.
We all have a distinct way of wearing our clothes, and the chances are that if you’re considering vintage, you already have quite a bit of clothes at home, and you’ve formed at least some kind of style. Style depends on your lifestyle too – where you work, where you go out, what kinds of activities you enjoy doing in your pastime.
In that sense, just like how you wouldn’t go for an Iron Maiden T-shirt in your local retail brand if that’s not your type of music, you shouldn’t go for it when you see it in an online vintage store. Vintage clothes are supposed to complement your style to flow seamlessly into your already existing wardrobe.
Buy only pieces that you know you’ll wear.
Know Your Fit (And Know It Even Better)
Somewhere between practicality and aesthetics lies one of the key factors you need to consider when shopping for clothes – fit. No matter how beautiful a piece is – vintage or not – if it doesn’t fit you, you probably won’t, and shouldn’t, wear it. Now, don’t get us wrong. You can purposefully go for an oversized fit vintage piece, for instance.
But only if that’s your style and if you’re doing it on purpose. Don’t get something that’ll look like a saggy pair of pyjamas. You’ll never wear it, and your money will go to waste.
Even the blandest piece can look remarkable on you if it fits you right.
Know Your Wardrobe
To kind of sum up the previous points, you need to know your wardrobe overall.
That means that you need to know what clothes you already have at home, which style and fit they are and whether this new piece, stunning as it may look, will actually go well with anything else.
After all, you can’t just wear a unique jumper without pants, shoes, or accessories. You need to combine it with something, be it vintage or modern. If you know exactly what pieces you have at home, and you know they’ll go well with the new one, you can immediately get it!
Know Your Mission
This brings us to the next point – know exactly what you’re going for when going vintage shopping. Not only will you save yourself precious time and trouble, but you’ll also be more likely to find the perfect item.
Decide what piece you need – a blue sweater, a pair of white wide-legged pants, or perhaps a Cuban-collar short-sleeved T-shirt! Go to the thrift store and scan it, looking for the particular piece. When you find it, see if it measures up to your standards and if it fills the vacancy in your wardrobe.
If it does, you’re good to go!
Explore the Unknown
Conversely, never forget that vintage shopping is all about having fun and making unpredictable discoveries! It’s great to know what you want, but you should know that chance plays a big part in life at the end of the day!
Go to your chosen vintage store, and just explore! You may find some unique pieces that you would have never thought of getting, but, at second sight, they are actually ideal for you!
Don’t be afraid to experiment – a statement piece is memorable, and a unique part may become a true staple in your wardrobe down the line.
Know Your Destination
Lastly, to return to the more practical side of things, make sure you properly research all the vintage stores, flea markets, or thrift shops in your vicinity or online. Consult friends and internet forums to find the best places to buy vintage clothes – go for reputable shops, which have high-quality products, and a variety of pieces to choose from.
This way, you’ll minimize your chances for failure, and you’ll be sure to at least get one thing – a piece of clothing or an accessory – that you’ll actually wear.