A few months ago I wrote a post about how to be a savvy thrift store shopper. I love shopping at thrift stores for my clothing, and almost everything currently hanging in my closet I bought used.
But thrift store shopping and vintage clothing shopping are two entirely different activities. Yes, you can merge the two, but finding great, fashionable vintage pieces takes a good eye and a plan.
Hence, this companion post on how to buy fabulous vintage clothes!
Step #1: Pair With Basics
Before you go out vintage clothing shopping, take a look at your existing wardrobe. Look at your skirts, slacks and favorite jeans especially.
One of the easiest ways to put together an awesome vintage outfit is to pair a vintage piece with a modern piece you already own. This will cut down on the stress and time trying to put together an entire outfit each trip.
Step #2: Know What You Love
If you’re new to vintage clothing shopping, it can be a bit overwhelming. You walk into the store (which is usually small, often dimly lit, and always packed to the ceiling with clothes). Finding a piece with all that going on can be challenging!
Before you go out, research vintage clothing. Find styles, or time periods, you really love. A great site to check out is ModCloth. ModCloth is a vintage clothing store with really great taste. Browse through what they offer so you can get a sense of what you like.
Doing a search on eBay for vintage clothing is also another way to look at a wide variety of styles.
Step #3: TRY IT ON!
A size 6 today is NOT the same as a size 6 from 50 years ago. Trust me. It’s humbling. Older sizes are generally 1-2 sizes smaller than they are today.
Don’t ever buy a vintage piece without trying it on first. Sizing has changed with each decade, so the truth is that although you might wear a size 4 in 2010, you could be a 6 or 8 in 1940s-era clothing.
Step #4: Go with Color
We all have closets full of off-white shirts and faded black dresses. These stark colors noticeably age. When it doubt, opt for color pieces over black and white.
Buying vintage is a great way to express your eco fashion style and look great in the process. The key to scoring great vintage pieces is to be prepared…remember, vintage shopping is a journey! Don’t be surprised if you have days where you find nothing, and days when you score big. Good luck!
(photo credit: stevendepolo)
Filed under: Eco Fashion on September 28th, 2010