Okay, you're interested in vintage fashion, but every time you go vintage shopping you come home empty-handed. Don't worry, this is a universal experience among beginners. Vintage shopping can be overwhelming. But how do you approach it? What is vintage clothing?"
What is vintage clothing?
First, it's important to know what truly qualifies as vintage. The word 'vintage' simply means 'from the past'. In terms of clothing, items that are older than 20 years are generally considered vintage. Vintage clothing is usually secondhand (previously worn). Nowadays, vintage sellers also use social media to sell their clothing. Apps like Vinted, Instagram, Asos Market place, Marktplaats are perfect for this. In addition, vintage has become popular in recent years because it is sustainable. Vintage or sometimes secondhand is no longer seen as outdated, but rather as a way to be fashionable in an ethical way.
Why vintage fashion?
Nowadays, trends dominate retail in a way that makes it difficult to keep up with. This makes regular fashion less unique and perhaps too generic for you. That's why vintage fashion is the solution for many to escape fast fashion. It's the perfect way to find unique pieces and form a personal style.
Where can you buy vintage clothing?
From vintage boutiques to kilo sales to thrift stores, there are many types of vintage clothing shops.Vintage boutiques
have a curated selection of unique vintage clothing that fits a specific aesthetic or era. A boutique may specialize in vintage haute couture, streetwear, or be completely inspired by the 1950s. It really depends on the store.
A thrift store is an organization that typically sells secondhand clothing. You can find quality vintage if you're attentive, but it may take digging through many items to find your size and style.
Vintage kilo Pop-Ups
Vintage kilo Pop-Ups are events where you pay a fixed price per kilo for vintage clothing. Kilo sales often have a large selection of vintage items, giving vintage enthusiasts the opportunity to score vintage on a large scale at an affordable price.
If you're lucky to have a large flea market in your city, it can be a great place to find vintage clothing. Flea markets are usually held outside and vendors sell a wide range of items, including furniture. You'll have to search for vendors selling vintage clothing, who often have giant racks of unsorted used clothing. Be prepared to negotiate for your vintage items.
There are many online stores that specialize in selling unique vintage clothing, sometimes directly from multiple vendors(Asos Marketplace). The advantage of buying vintage clothing online is that you can search for specific keywords to find exactly what you're looking for. The disadvantage is that you can't try on the item, and buying vintage online is almost always more expensive.
4 tips for when shopping for vintage clothing
Keep an open mind!
Unlike stores that sell new clothing in every size and color, vintage stores are filled with unique items in all shapes. So don't judge too quickly and try on an item. Over the years, sizes have also changed, so something may fit differently than expected. Keep in mind that vintage fashion is also about daring, so don't be afraid to take a chance on an item.
You're a fashion lover, but you can't explain what your personal style is. Use social media for inspiration. Pinterest is really perfect for this and on TikTok you can find many fashion influencers inspired by vintage fashion (@_emmajaay @ellieaddis @sophie.seddon).
Try on everything you like
Sizing between brands varies greatly, especially when it comes to vintage clothing. In the past, sizes were much smaller, and also washing can shrink pieces. When it comes to vintage shopping, the size on the label is almost useless. To know if a piece of clothing really fits, you have to try it on. In cases where there is no fitting room available, such as online or at flea markets, it is best to know your own measurements. For online finds, ask the sellers for the exact measurements of the item.
Look for flaws
Unlike new clothing, vintage clothing sometimes has flaws: stains, tears, missing buttons, stuck zippers. Before making a purchase, thoroughly check for any flaws. (If you shop online, look for items with many high-quality images and ask the seller directly if the item has any flaws.) If you fall in love with a flawed item, ask yourself if you can live with the damage or if you will always be bothered by it. Some flaws can be repaired, such as a pants that need to be hemmed. Don't expect to be able to remove all stains yourself and don't buy items that need to be repaired unless you are going to repair them.