Power shoulders, and a how to guide on buying the best vintage.

This whole look, It’s vintage.

If you have lived on Aussy shores or even been here and vintage shopping is your jam like it is mine, you have heard of the likes of St Vincent, Salvation army, and seen a whole array of little vintage and consignment stores littered all over the place. They are where the good stuff is at.

I am a self confessed vintage shopping expert. I’ve done it for so long, It has become second nature. Knowing when to look or when to walk away. knowing where to go, knowing how to spot the good stuff worth buying. I thought I would share a bit of insight to help you along the way.

Step 1:

Vintage shopping is not a once off experience.

You won’t find something good every single time you go and, that is ok. That is the excitement of it. Sometimes you go in and find 10 great things whilst, another time you’ll go in consistently and not find a single thing you like. That’s ok too.

Step 2:

Piggy backing off step 1, be consistent.

I maybe try and go in once a week. Especially now that I’m looking for specific winter things. It’s close to home, so I’m not going very out of my way, so it doesn’t feel like a chore.

Step 3:

Be in the right mood.

A lot of things I hear about vintage stores is that they are too full, and messy and dirty. Which is true and also why you take your hands sanitizer, always. But going when you are in the mood to find something will be your biggest motivation to stay.

Step 4:

Pick up things with an open mind.

Sometimes you will pick up something that looks straight ugly on the hanger. Don’t look at it from one angle. Look at the possibilities it could become. A lot of the pieces I have did not look like that in the beginning. Find a great tailor frond and rework them into something you’ll love. Sometimes all it takes is some tailoring or fixing the waist, or rehemming the legs. Think outside the box.

Step 5:

Buy things for the fabrics.

To continue on the line of step 4, a lot of things I buy vintage might not look like something you would wear, but the fabric is such great quality therefore, you would be a fool to put it back. I buy a lot of pants vintage, which are from long ago but the cut and the waist and the look is just perfect. Most of the things I buy I don’t even have to be altered because they are cut for my body shape.

Step 6:

Look at the tags.

You will be shocked to see the quality of the fabrics in vintage stores. A lot of things are designer and made with such great quality fabrics that if you went to a normal store you wouldn’t find for that price. Most of the things I own from vintage stores are silks and cashmeres and tweeds. Tougher fabrics. None of that polyester crap. I would avoid buying things that could have been made cruelly in a store, but I would buy it thrifted because you are giving a garment a second life. Also look at care instructions. If you don’t want to dry clean, don’t buy the delicate things, you’ll ruin them.

Step 7:

Don’t overdo it.

Good things especially, when overdone, can also turn bad. Don’t over buy just because it’s cheap. Learn from me because, you will end up throwing it away it again, which is not a bad thing, but why waste that money in the first place.

Step 8:

Know yourself.

Know what you reach for consistently, what you usually buy, what you wear the most. The key is first of all, to know your style. Hunt for those things and you will wear them for life. For me, I’ve never met a high waisted pant I didn’t like. I have a stupidly small waist and, knowing that and my body and the things I wear consistently makes the finding process so much easier.

Step 9:

Happy hunting.

Enjoy it. It is exciting when you find something whilst a bit sad when you don’t, but that is the joy of it. You are helping the environment by not contributing to fast fashion and helping a lot of causes if you shop at goodwill type places. Plus, if you have stuff to donate, look at it as a trade, your old for something new. Win win.

Step 10:

Don’t forget your local weekend markets

They are a haven of treasure. As a result, truly the saying rings true, another mans trash is another mans treasure. Plus if you don’t find anything good, you’ll will definitely find lots of great food.

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