Vintage Shopping Tips for Fall
It’s now easier than ever to shop vintage and preloved clothing without having to dig through disorganized racks or go through the tedium of thrifting.
I’ve been noticing a trend recently: all the new trends … are old. They say fashion trends come back around every twenty years and they’re right. Y2K is worlds cooler than it was in the 2000s, 80s-era scrunchies, and leg warmers are somehow back in. And the perpetually cool 90s are always influencing some trend or another.
Scrolling through the most popular retail sites and social media ads, I see cheaply made versions of designs that are direct copies of hit outfits from vintage celebrity paparazzi pictures. Hell, Urban Outfitters these days is just a Delia’s catalog. All of which to say: everything you want, you can buy vintage.
Shopping vintage is the best way to shop. Not only is it more sustainable, it’s often cheaper and cooler. My favorite outfits are the ones that are mostly vintage — because unlike the latest Khy jacket or It Girl brand, I can guarantee that no one else is going to be wearing it. Plus, there’s no better feeling than saying, “Thanks, it’s vintage,” when someone compliments an item of your clothing.
But vintage shopping has one major drawback: it feels so tedious.
Many of us were introduced to the concept of pre-loved clothing through hand-me-downs or scavenging through Goodwill bins. And while these are good options (host a closet swap with friends! Or make a weekend out of Goodwill diving!), sometimes you just want to be able to order clothes online and wear them out immediately.
Well, thanks to the limitless possibilities of the internet, it’s now easier than ever to shop vintage and preloved clothing without having to dig through disorganized racks or go through the tedium of thrifting.
But how do you shop vintage online without getting scammed or coming away with something that’s way worse quality than you thought? And, with the popularity of some resale sites and online vintage markets, isn’t shopping vintage more expensive?
The answer is, it’s all in what you’re looking for. Some sites offer great deals on high-ticket items, some offer cool t-shirts at good prices, and others offer convenience.
Here are my holy grail tips for shopping vintage online.
Check the reviews — and leave one!
I never buy from anywhere unless they have a ton of good reviews. I’ve found fantastic stores online — from Instagram storefronts to Etsy bestsellers — and, because I know how much of a rare deal I’ve found, I make sure to leave good reviews when I do. It helps out the small business you’re supporting, and it helps out the shoppers that come after you.
Know your measurements
Sizing is tricky in general. And, when you don’t have a store size guide chart to base your best fit against, shopping vintage can be intimidating. This is why you have to know your sizes. Arm yourself with your waist, hip, and inseam so that even if vintage sizes don’t correlate with what you’re used to, you can make a good bet that your hard-fought finds will fit you.
Get a good tailor
On the chance that they don’t fit, find a tailor that you trust to make every vintage purchase fit you better than anything off the rack ever could. Once you start tailoring your clothes, you’ll never go back.
Get good at spot cleaning
When I’m at the flea, I laugh when I see a $50 t-shirt with a coffee stain all down the front. Nice try! But for many dingy colors and small stains, a good wash can make your vintage feel brand new. Find the right tools and cleaners to spot clean and brighten your pre-loved finds and make sure to wash everything before you wear it.
Find curated online vintage
I can be as lazy as anyone. But there are so many online marketplaces and apps that make finding vintage as easy as typing a brand or product into a search bar. If you want to get really granular, you can search for apps and sites that curate a specific aesthetic. Or, follow creators and fashionable people you admire and buy their clothes from marketplaces like Vinted, Basic Space, Depop, and Vestaire. There’s something for everyone, even the pickiest among us.