In With The Old: Conquering Vintage Shopping
Coco Chanel once said, “I detest what is new.” Now that vintage fashion shops and websites have become increasingly successful, it’s safe to say that today’s consumers agree. Whether you’ve decided that classic vintage pieces fit into your style, you’ve got to remember that many of today’s trends have blossomed from the designs of yesterday. The flapper era, the gowns of the 1930s, and the chiffon visions of the 1950s have been acknowledged as far more eye-catching than some of the things we see on the street nowadays.
With that said, it really couldn’t hurt to hop on the vintage style bandwagon, but what’s very important to know is that you won’t find these timeless pieces unless you’re a smart and savvy shopper.
Although many would dispute otherwise, the term “vintage” refers to garments and accessories dating from the 1920s to the 1970s, kicking anything Victorian out of this category. The best places to find these items are your local flea markets, thrift stores, consignment shops, and vintage boutiques. It’s also a good idea to skim your newspaper and shopping guides for possible listings of antique shows and estate sales in your area. Those of you who prefer not to leave your house can always check out eBay.com and Sothbys.com that offer continuous auctions of vintage accessories and clothing.
The key to getting your money’s worth is determining the quality of the clothing. It may not be ideal, but taking your time to notice everything is important. Pay attention to sizes because sizes were different back in the day. Make sure to look for damage and smells because some smells, such as cigarette smoke, cannot be eliminated. Checking the authenticity of your pieces is also very important. Real vintage clothing should use snaps, zipper or metal buttons instead of plastic. Also, look at seam finishes. Overlock finishes did not come around until the 1970s. Note: Finding a garment that is handsewn hints you may have found a very valuable piece!
If you want to make sure your clothes last cotton is often your best bet. Finding pieces in classic colors is also a good idea so your garments can be worn every year at any time. If you’re out and still a little hesitant about the clothing items you’re finding, try starting with accessories. Vintage jewelry can be pricey, but it also can be very affordable. In addition, they’re more likely to last you longer than clothing.
Not sure if the price is right? Prices will usually depend on condition of the item, the seller, the age and current trends. Designer clothing will most likely command higher prices as well as clothing that is in high demand. On the other hand, if you find a piece that is finely crafted and you have fallen in love, the price will be well worth it.