Vintage Shopping - Tips & Tricks
Tuesday, 27 May 2014
Most of you are familiar with love of vintage shopping by now- and that I sometimes get very very lucky (American Apparel mom jeans anyone?). I thought it'd be fun to share some tips with you guys - not that I'm an expert or anything, but hey, I pretend to be ;)
1. Browse, browse, browse
Wherever you go, be it the IJhallen or just your local thriftstore, no succesful purchase magically falls out of heaven. Don't just skip a rack of clothes just because a couple of clothes seem musky: you never know what might be squashed between them. Also,try to develop an eye for jewels (practice makes perfect): look for good fabrics, well-made seams and even attached tags. It's funny how, after a while, you sift through a pile of jeans and pick out that one pair of Levi's amongst 30 others. Trust me, it's worth the work (and the headache)!
2. Don't believe the labels
With vintage clothes, sizes aren't everything. I might very well have a size XL for a sweater which fits me like a Small. So if you find an item of clothing (especially with trousers), don't just leave it hanging on the rack even though the label doesn't say your usual size. Hold it in front of you, on your body and, if you can, try it on. If you don't have that luxury, it might be useful to take your measurements (bust, waist, hips) with you, plus some measuring tape. But most importantly: don't trust old labels. Sometimes I try on 5 pairs of jeans, all supposedly my size, and none of them fit. And sometimes I try on a jeans, supposedly 2 sizes down my own, and it fits like a glove. Sizing has changed over the years, it doesn't say anything.
3. The Internet is your best friend
Even though a musky smell has its charm, there's nothing more convenient than browsing the web for vintage clothing. Of course, again, the sizing can be troubling. Know your body and know what shapes of clothing fit you. Also: you can of course always ask the seller to take the garment's measurements for you. Honestly, it's worth taking the risk. I have scored my denim jacket, for instance, for around 10 euros including shipping. I'm not saying that you should limit your vintage search to the world wide web, but it can be great to find what you're looking for quicker, rather than sifting through tons of racks at a vintage event. Try Facebook groups, eBay (and local variants) and Asos Marketplace for instance.
Ah okay, rather dramatic title - I know. It's true though! Sometimes I go thriftshopping and half way through, I don't feel like it anymore. There's nothing wrong with that; I mean, let's face it, most of the stuff in thriftstores is junk - it can be overwhelming. It is good, however, to regularly visit (your local) thriftstores, to keep 'up-to-date' with their stock and be the first to snatch up that gorgeous overall or pair of loafers.
I think I can conclude with one final advice: vintage shopping is definitely more intense than 'regular' shopping, but when you find yourself wearing those 5-euro-Levi shorts or leather backpack - hell yes, it's worth it. :)