Your Guide to Buying Vintage
After relocating from Harlem to Williamsburg, fitting in hasn’t been a problem. Everyone seems to be a vintage style snob just like me. I find the apparel difference between Brooklyn and Manhattan is style. In Manhattan you can find the label whores and trend junkies, and nothing is wrong with that. Who doesn’t love seeing what Gucci has walking down the runway this season, but wearing the same outfit you saw on Chanel Iman is not style. Style is personal, style is what you make it. When buying vintage there’s only one way to wear it; YOUR WAY. That’s the beauty of starting a vintage closet. You won’t see anyone else wearing the same 60s plaid skirt that you found at The Flea. Another great reason to shop vintage is the quality of the clothes. There was less mass production, so garments had to last longer. Many companies have noticed they let a good thing go, and are now chasing their past loves by recreating their old styles from the 60s and 70s. You can walk into Versace and buy the same shirt they have been making for 40 years or you can have fun and pay less by hunting it. I have your recipe right here.
- Know where you are shopping.
True vintage stores: This one is pretty self-explanatory; vintage stores will sell only vintage. You won’t find modern pieces mixed in here, as you would in some of the store types below. However, whether prices are high or low will depend on the shop itself.
Consignment shops: Consignment shops will not necessarily just sell vintage, but will be a mix of modern and throwback items. However, as Villard points out, they tend to carry much better quality items and have better finds, so they’re definitely worth exploring
.Thrift stores: Again, thrift stores can have a mix of new and old, depending on the shop. However, they tend to have quite a huge selection to choose from, if that’s what you’re looking for (or avoiding). Bas mentions that they tend to carry a lot of pieces from the 90s, which, up until recently, was sacrilegious to consider as vintage.
Estate sales: According to Bas, estate sales (or when the belongings of a family or estate are liquidated) can be hit or miss, but when they’re good, they can be good. Villard points out that they can be great places to score vintage or antique jewelry.
Flea markets: If you’re not looking to dig, a flea market may be a good choice for you. Bas mentions that many of the vendors will do some sourcing and curate beforehand, so their selection will likely be pretty solid. Villard mentions that flea markets tend to have great vintage denim selections.
- The beauty of online shopping.
- There’s most def some annoying parts about being apart of this media age, like the girl in front of you texting when she should be walking, because you’re trying to jump on the L train. But there are also really great parts, like shopping vintage without smelling mothballs. My best advice when it comes to online shopping in general is knowing your measurements. One of the beauties of vintage is that oversized can be cool. If you’re unsure of a size ask the seller more questions or buy it bigger rather than what you “think” is your size. Some of my favorite online vintage shops are:
- Big city vs small town
- I’ve had the privilege of living in both a small town in Georgia and now the second biggest city in the world. There are perks to both, and what you find in those stores are true to people that live there. Use yelp and check reviews try going on a vintage shopping road trip with friends.
- Keep an open mind
- This is the most important. You have to really open your eyes and have patience when you shop vintage. If you want easy go to H&M or Zara. Usually, I’m not shopping with a purpose, this makes it so much harder. I have a wishlist of what I would like to find, but I don’t look for it. You will miss out on all the other great pieces along the way. Doesn’t quit fit, or has an ugly detail that you won’t get use to? Make it your weekend DIY project to make it personally yours.
Now you’re ready to rock the old school.
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