Although I enjoy shopping the latest trends from my favorite stores, one-of-a-kind vintage pieces will always have a place in my closet (and heart). However, finding unique vintage items isn’t always easy, so I thought I’d share a brief guide on how to shop vintage clothing…
HOW TO SHOP VINTAGE CLOTHING
For beginners, there’s a difference between a true vintage item and thrifted piece. You might remember my star print denim jacket from a few weeks ago… That’s what I would consider a “thrifted” piece. I found it in a second hand stall outside of Fashion Institute of Technology in New York.
Vintage is all about finding special items that are classic, quality, and holds value. In today’s outfit, I was able to score a beautiful vintage beaded jacket that’s completely relevant, high-quality, and timeless from City Opera Thrift Shop. For only $60, I knew right away that I had to snatch it up because it wouldn’t last long on the market.
It’s not every day that you can find exquisite garments like this, so I got extremely lucky. If you’re wondering how you can shop vintage clothing like I did, here’s my advice…
Look for classic pieces
If you’re just starting out shopping for vintage pieces, the easiest things to look for are classic pieces. Think a blazer, a little black dress, or a silk blouse. Fashion is something that always changes through the years, but the classics will always be classics. That means you’re bound to get maximum wear out of them and they’ll always stand out as unique garments in your wardrobe.
Know where to shop
Shopping for vintage can prove to be an extremely difficult jaunt if you don’t know where to shop. Bigger cities like NYC and LA have a plethora of places to scour, but even then, you really have to look for the diamond in the rough. Some of my favorite places include Ritual Vintage, New York Vintage, What Goes Around Comes Around, Beacon’s Closet and City Opera Thrift Shop. Also make sure to keep your eye out for vintage expos in your area (e.g. Manhattan Vintage Clothing Show) as well as pop-up vintage fairs like A Current Affair.
Don’t be discouraged if you reside in a less metropolis city because you just never know what you’ll find. When you find your place though, try asking when they restock so you can pop in when things are fresh. Also, take advantage of the internet. The great thing about the web is that it’s brought forth plenty of shopping opportunities – like online vintage stores. As long as you’re willing to do some research and look, it can be worth it.
Make sure you’ll wear it
“Vintage” has become a bit of a buzzword through the years, but perhaps the most important factor to consider is whether or not you’d actually wear it. You have to be realistic. As soon as I saw this beaded jacket, I could already imagine how I’d style it… You can see how it elevates a simple jeans and white blouse. However, I can see it pairing just as beautifully with a mini skirt or form fitting dress. Even if you spot a statement piece, make sure you’re not just buying into trends and that it’d be a lackluster addition to your wardrobe.
Another way to make sure a vintage item is right for you is by thinking about how you can accessorize it. If it is loose in fit but you really love it, try throwing on a belt to cinch your waist. Or if you feel like it’s lacking an ‘oomph factor’ pin a brooch (like I did in this outfit) to jazz it up!
You can always get it tailored
When you stumble upon that one piece that you just can’t keep your eyes off of, remember that you can always tailor it. Pants and sleeves can be taken up, dresses can be nipped at the waist, and shoulders pads are a quick fix. Sometimes, it really is worth spending the money on a vintage item just to have it tailored because it can be the make it or break it factor in taking something from rags to riches. My only suggestion is to be careful not to pick something that’s already tearing, fraying, and falling apart. Depending on the quality of the garment, you may not be able to reclaim it.
What are your tips on how to shop vintage clothing?
| Photography by Susan Hang – LE JOLIE |
You can get more styling tips for fall here:
Or master the art of denim on denim here: