How to Approach Vintage Shopping

Vintage shopping can net you some truly fabulous finds, and whether you spend every Saturday at the swap meet or you just occasionally shop around for that perfect dress, jewelry or retro eyeglasses, you’ll find that there are some things that you should keep in mind.

Consider these tips to make sure that you don’t get burned when you are shopping for the perfect vintage outfit.

Inspect the Zippers
While zippers are easy enough to replace, you should always check out the ones on the clothes that you buy. Rub the zippers up and down, and make sure that they move easily.

There should be no snags, and all of the teeth should be even and straight. Check the fabric to either side of the zipper as well; if it has runs or small tears, that’s a sign that the zipper should be replaced.

Examine the Seams and the Hems
Start one edge of the garment and just follow the seams around. Seams wear out easily, and if there is a hole anywhere on the garment, it will tend to be on a seam. Seams are fairly easy to fix if you know how to sew, but holes are another matter.

The hems themselves should also be in good shape. If you see some fraying or some wear, consider how to fix it, if you want to fix it at all. A small amount of wear on the seams or the hems can be a good excuse to do some bargaining as well.

Skip the Sizing
Given the fact that today’s fashion designers can decide on a single sizing rubric, you’ll find that vintage designers are even worse. Ignore the tags, and instead look at the garment itself.

If it looks large enough to go around you, it is worth a try. The numbers are nearly meaningless, so simply use your gut to figure out if something is going to fit you well.

Be Willing to Resize
If something is too large but still gorgeous, consider purchasing it anyway. Alterations can be quite inexpensive if you go to the right shop, and in the end, it will still cost you less than you would pay for something entirely new.

Consider where a vintage garment needs to go in if it is going to fit you. Even if you alter it, you will still be able to preserve all of those lovely vintage notions and that vintage trim.

Professional Cleaning
If you are someone who buys vintage clothing on a regular basis, it is worth your time to find a good dry cleaner. Many vintage items have a slightly musty smell, usually from long-term storage.

If the item was worn by a smoker, it might have a very pervasive odor that is difficult to remove without expert intervention. Remember that the more invested you are in keeping your vintage clothing looking good, the more careful you will be when you are washing it in general.

Many of these clothes do not do well in the modern washer and dryer, so hand-washing and line drying are a great way to keep things in order.

If you are tired of looking just like everyone else, consider an infusion of retro styles. When you go shopping, keep an eye out for the deals and steals, and remember that these items are one of a kind. If you like it, snap it up!

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About Author (Sheila R. Wright)

Hi, this is Sheila R. Wright, AstylishFashion's digital fashion editor. I love to write. The blog covers everything from the latest style news to trend and shopping features, red-carpet fashion and designer profiles, and being responsible for styling celebrity and fashion shoots for the site. Get Started To Read …