How to Buy Vintage Clothes

A few tips and hints on how to buy vintage clothesThere seems to be a great deal of mystery behind the purchase of vintage clothing. There does not have to be though. You see, shopping for vintage clothing is actually a great deal easier than you may think. On this page, we are going to go through a few hints and tips which will ensure that you end up with absolutely perfect clothing for all occasions!

Know what you are purchasing

It is never a good idea to go and purchase vintage clothing blindly. Well, you can, but it is unlikely that you will ever end up with anything decent.

At the very minimum, you are going to want to know which era of clothing you are going for (there are plenty of guides out there in cyberspace which can point you in the right direction). If you know this, you will find that it is a great deal easier to know where to shop for your items. You will also find it easier to really hone down on what you want in the shop. Basically, it is going to save you a whole lot of time when it comes to shopping!

Shop in the right places

Vintage clothing has climbed up in popularity over the past few years. This means that finding vintage clothing is dreadfully simple. However, if you want to get the best possible deal, you should think long and hard about where you want to shop. Aim for the following:

  • Stores which have been set-up to deal with just vintage clothing. Many of these stores are packed to the brim with all sorts of wonderful goods. The sellers tend to know the clothing that they sell inside out too, which makes it perfect for those who have plenty of burning questions.
  • A number of on-line stores have been set up for the retail of vintage clothing. You, obviously, can’t try the clothing on before you buy it.
  • Auction websites such as eBay.
  • Thrift stores and charity shops. Much of the vintage clothing in these places tends to come in at a rather cheap price.
  • Garage stores and yard sales. You may even want to check out flea markets in the local area.

Know how to select good quality clothing

Vintage clothing is old, obviously. Sadly, not all vintage clothing is kept in the best possible shape. In fact, much of it is in absolutely abysmal condition. Some of the damage may be obvious. Other damage, not quite so much. It is important that you know how to select clothing which is of a high quality. That is the only way in which you can be sure that it will give you many years of happy use. Try to look out for the following:

  • Insect damage is a big no when it comes to vintage clothing. Small holes on the clothing are a sure-fire sign that an insect has had a little bit of a nibble on it at least once. Ditch these clothes. The insect may be long gone, but they may have left their eggs behind, which means even more damage will be caused to that clothing.
  • For some people, fading colour is something that has to be avoided. There is a good chance that you may not care about it, but if a lot of the colour has faded, then it may ruin the look of the garment.
  • If there are any embellishments on the clothing (buttons etc.), then try to make sure that they are not damaged and that there as many as possible still in place. It is going to be difficult to find replacements for embellishments on garments, so you don’t want to put yourself in that position.
  • Look for any odours or stains on the clothing. Whilst you may be able to remove them, this is not always going to be a guarantee. You will want to make sure that, in the rare case you can’t clean the stain away, you can at least work on it.

Try on clothing

Vintage clothing sizes are obscure. Just because it says it may fit you, it does not necessarily mean that it may fit you. This means that you are going to need to try the clothing on. If you are purchasing vintage clothing on-line, do try and purchase from a reputable retailer. The best vintage clothing stores will offer a rough size guide in modern sizing, which should make the purchase a bit easier. Obviously, this will not always be 100% accurate so you will want to check the terms and conditions of the site to see how easy it will be to return the clothing if it does not fit.

What is your budget?

It is incredibly easy to get carried away when it comes to purchasing vintage clothing. Therefore, before you head out to the stores, try to have some sort of budget in mind. Know how much you are going to spend and stick to it. This way you will think long and hard about what you actually want. There is nothing worse than spending tons of cash on vintage clothing only to find that you will most likely never even get around to wearing it.


Just a brief note to round off; it is unlikely that the clothing that you purchase will be perfect. This means that you absolutely must be prepared to make alterations. In most cases, it is going to require nothing more than a bit of sewing to make it look perfect. However, you may need to make slightly more extravagant alterations from time to time. Thankfully, there are plenty of guides out there on-line for providing assistance. If you are still stuck, there is likely to be a number of clothing specialists in your area who are able to make the changes that you need for you.

More About Where to Shop for Vintage Clothing

Where to shop for vintage clothingOver the past few years, vintage clothing has become immensely popular. This, of course, works to your benefit. After all, popularity means that it is going to be fairly easy to get hold of. Let’s take a little look at some of the best places to shop for vintage clothing in detail.

  • The best place to start is with stores that have been specifically set up to sell vintage clothing. You will find these all over the place nowadays. One of the benefits of shopping at one of these stores is the fact that the people selling the clothing tend to know their stuff. This means that they will be more than happy to answer any questions that you may have.
  • You can also head online. Many vintage clothing shops tend to have a website nowadays. The main benefit of this is the fact that the clothing tends to be a whole lot cheaper. The only downside is that you can’t really see the size of the clothing before you make your purchase. Some stores have attempted to get around this by giving a ‘modern’ sizing to their clothes, but this is always not going to be 100% accurate. Always make sure that you check out the return policy of the company before you splurge a ton of cash.
  • Charity stores and thrift shops tend to be a haven for vintage clothing, quite often at competitive pricing too. The only real downside when you go down this route is the fact that you can never really predict what is going to be there for sale. In addition to this, these clothing stores tend to have a lot of different clothing on offer, much of it pretty poor quality. You are going to need to sift through all of this poor quality clothing before you find something that is suitable for you.
  • As your own family! There is a good chance that some of the older relatives in your family may have some clothing that they do not use any more. Many of them will be more than happy to see it put to good use too. The obvious benefit here is that this clothing will be cheap. Sometimes it will even be free.
  • Always check local markets and garage sales in your local area. You may even want to head to any sales that a school is having. You are sure to find something. Most of these sales are based upon donations, and you will be surprised at just what people donate!
  • Look into eBay and other auction sites like that. You will, again, be surprised at just what you may uncover. Sadly, most other people are going to have the same idea as you. This means that you may not be able to score something wonderfully cheap. However, you can rest safe in the knowledge that whatever you purchase is going to be of a fairly decent quality, in most cases at least.

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