What’s Old Is New Again: How to Shop Vintage

The appearance and the success of auctions dedicated vintage fashion items is just proof that in fashion what’s old is new again. And I can’t say I blame the people bidding on these vintage items, especially with the current state of fashion where the newest thing to come out this century are the knee belts.

But shopping for vintage items isn’t just limited to spending tons of cash to raise a paddle and hope that no one else will outbid you in auctions, a more exciting way to score vintage finds is to scour thrift stores. Any recessionista will tell you that second-hand shops and thrift stores are a gold mine for vintage finds, ranging from all era’s when fashion actually made sense. None of this knee belts nonsense.

Tips When Shopping Vintage

Double-check your purchase and then check it again. Since these are items that have previously been used, it’s always possible that they will not come in mint condition. This is actually for two somewhat competing purpose. On one hand, you’re checking for tears, missing buttons or stains in your purchase to make sure that you get a product in good condition, but on the other hand, you’re also searching for the same things so that you can ask for a discount from the shopkeeper too.

Always exercise the hygiene before fashion policy when buying in thrift stores. Make sure that you thoroughly wash all items of clothing that you buy before using them. Most people advise to let it sit overnight in water and detergent to loosen the dirt before washing (machine or hand wash) it in lukewarm water and detergent mix.

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Remember to shop with a mission. There are so many clothes, bags and accessories that you can choose from in thrift stores and it’s so easy to buy every piece that you fancy. So before going in there, I suggest making a list of the stuff that you really want to buy and stick to your list. It’s called a “find” for a reason, because not everything inside a thrift store is a fashion gem.

What Vintage Items to Shop For

If we’re going to look at the trend in these fashion auctions, there are several fashion items that are an instant hit among its patrons. It’s not bad at all to invest in items that would later prove to be a coveted piece of jewelry, clothing or accessories.

Vintage handbags have proven to be a smash hit in vintage fashion auctions, with a vintage handbag like a Hermes Birkin originally priced at $8,000 going for $10,000 or more. It may be a little difficult finding a Birkin in a thrift store, but there are lots of vintage bags with the same silhouette. Right now, box-shaped handbags are making a big comeback, so if you’re shopping for handbags you may want to look for that 40s inspired shape.

Vintage accessories such as vintage sunglasses, jewelry and scarves are also good pieces of “fashion investments.” I personally know someone who got a vintage Hermes scarf in a second-hand shop and it’s price tag? Two dollars.

When shopping for vintage clothes, stick to classic silhouettes. For example, a shift dress hasn’t changed much since it became big in the 60s and bell bottoms are now just called wide-legged trousers. Jumpsuits are also coming back. These are pieces that you should search for and keep in your closet.

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