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How To Shop Vintage

How To Shop Vintage

Posted on: Tuesday 8 December 2020

I've written before about the shift in my attitude towards shopping vintage, (essentially realising that it's much more than just overpriced second hand), which only really took place earlier this year during Slow Fashion Season. 

It now feels like an actual hobby and alongside second hand shopping, is my go to when I need something 'new'. Here are some of the things I've learnt about vintage shopping so far:

Make sure you know your measurements // Vintage sizing can be a little odd; a size 10 from the 80s is unlikely to be a modern day size 10 so vintage often relies on measurements instead. This can take a little getting used to (I still get the fear that something I can't return might not fit at all) but I have my measurements written down in the notes on my phone so I have them to hand whenever I need them. If in doubt, go oversized!

Take the time to hunt out trusted sellers // Once you start shopping vintage you realise just how much vintage is out there; websites, Etsy shops, Instagram sellers. Make sure what you're buying is true vintage (90s or before) and don't forget to check what condition it's in (trustworthy sites and sellers are usually more than happy to answer questions or send more photos if requested). Go off recommendations and read reviews if the seller has them. I find a lot through @avirtualvintagemarket which has to approve sellers before they can trade through them, essentially saving you the hard work!

Check care instructions before you buy // A.K.A. how does it need washing? If it's dry clean only are you really going to take the time and effort to take it to the dry cleaners? If the answer is yes then I take my hat off to you, but I personally try not to buy dry clean only items unless it's something like a coat that won't need cleaning often because quite frankly it will be left sitting on a shelf waiting to be cleaned for months (possibly years).

Know your budget // Vintage clothing can really vary in price. If you're looking for something specific (I was on the hunt for a winter coat earlier in the year) have in mind how much you're willing to spend before you go in all guns blazing. You're never going to find anything as cheap as you would in Primark, but if you are on more of a budget head to a bigger online store like The Vintage Scene.

Don't rush into a purchase // Easier said than done right? When you know there's only one of something it's tempting to just dive in and bag it before anyone else does, but just because it's vintage doesn't mean you can't over-consume. Stop to consider all of the above, plus how much you'll actually wear the item. Luckily a few sellers (including my absolute fave Vintage Inclined) do previews of their collections before putting them up for sale, giving you time to check measurements and really think about whether you want something before clicking checkout.

Enjoy it! // Vintage shopping can be a lot of fun, it's pretty much a hobby in itself. Enjoy browsing and the chase as well as the actual purchase!

Are you a vintage shopping fan?

Amy x


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