Vintage Shopping 101: Amazing Beginner’s Guide

2 min read

Vintage Shopping
Team VOW
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We’ve all had those days when we open our closets and think, ‘I’ve got nothing to wear !’ Sometimes this calls for trying to adjust our wardrobe to a new style outlook, or going for a serious bout of shopping.

And sometimes, you have to give vintage shopping a go! Vintage clothes can be more expensive, but they’re usually also pieces that will last the test of time.

Vintage clothing is old but it’s never out of style, right? Here are some tips for when your closet needs that shot of something fresh, and you want to go out on a hunt for some vintage pieces to call your own!

Consider The Price

Vintage pieces can sometimes cost a little more than your regular fast-fashion outlet piece (although often, they can also cost a lot less).

But they’re often cleaned and repaired and the store owner has gone to some trouble to adjust the piece so it fits into the curated collection of the store (if it’s a high-end store).

If a piece of clothing you want is pricier than you think is worth it, consider that it’s also going to last you a while and that it’s been well-preserved. Of course, think carefully about whether it will fit your closet before shelling out the money.

Look For Original Pieces of vintage clothing

Many vintage pieces are original items, which means they’re the only one (or at least, one of a few) of their kind. You might get lucky and run into something that was handmade (in which case, if it was sewn by hand, the stitching won’t be as even).

If you find something original, and it looks amazing, it’ll not only be worth the value, you’ll also feel the pride of owning something that’s actually quite unique, something no one else has. That said, don’t buy something just because it’s unique when it won’t fit you or your wardrobe.

Go Prepared For Vintage Shopping

When you go to physical stores to shop, be aware that small vintage stores often don’t have much in the way of dressing rooms.

Wear clothes which aren’t too baggy so you can try things on over your clothes and still get an idea of how they look.

Bring a tape measure, and know your own measurements, it will make things a lot easier. Bring cash too, it’s easier for when you bargain. 

Examine The Fabric

Some vintage clothes are of high quality, but others are not. Try to avoid polyester, and search for silk, cotton, wool, linen, and natural textiles.

Don’t buy stuff with holes in or with pieces (beads or decorations and so on) falling off; it doesn’t speak well of the make of the piece. If the fabric smells of something other than dry cleaning or detergent, maybe avoid it.

Make sure there are no huge stains. Look closely at the tags as well. However, if you’ve found your dream skirt in a vintage shopping store and it’s got a little tear, and everything else is fine, you can always sew it up at home.

Good stores, however, usually repair their items, but that’s not to say that you can’t find a steal at a mediocre store that’s less careful with its wares. 

Vintage Shopping


Many stores are slightly relaxed about pricing, in the sense that bargaining is informally allowed. If you sense that this is so, try to be polite about it, and don’t directly quote a price, otherwise, you’ll be bound to buy the item. 

Search Other Sections

While most people would be tempted to search only in the women’s section, the men’s section can often yield good finds. Baggy clothes can be styled well or can be tailored to look a lot better. You can also check the kid’s section.

If you’re on the hunt for purses or accessories, you can keep an eye out for those too, just be careful about the metal make of the jewelry and check that the handbags have their handles and other pieces intact.

Make sure to search all the sections if you have time, since some stores don’t organize their stock as well, and you never know what you’ll chance upon. 

Vintage shopping can be very rewarding and you’ll find lots of things at various price points. There’s a huge range of items to choose from once you hit the vintage market. So go out and get shopping!

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