How to Shop Vintage

an infographic of 5 tips for shopping vintage and thrifting

 

1. Be Creative

a rack of colorfully patterned sweaters, cardigans, and jackets.

Shopping vintage and thrifting is the perfect time for experimenting with your personal style. Stepping into a vintage or thrift shop, you will encounter clothing from different brands, time periods, and cultures. Buying a unique jacket that you may never have before is an easy way to redefine your wardrobe. 

Shopping vintage is also a time to reimagine the old into something new. Taking an oversized button up shirt, adding a belt, and wearing it as a dress or cutting up jeans to make shorts are just two ways to add creativity into our wardrobe. The possibilities are endless!

2. Have a Budget

a woman with red nails reaching into her wallet and pulling out big bands

Before shopping in-store or online, set a budget. For beginners, it may be tempting to grab every cool item you find. By setting a budget, you are able to choose between items you absolutely want versus those you are only lukewarm about. It's easy to overspend in a thrift store when a budget is not set.

3. Know your measurements

a woman with very curly hair measuring a white button up shirt on a mannequin

One of the most important tips when shopping vintage online is knowing your waist, chest, and hip measurements. A size 10 in a pair of jeans made in 1992 may be a size 8 in a skirt constructed in 1982. Since sizing is varied among different brands and clothing eras, you are able to shop seamlessly with your measurements on hand.

4. Embrace imperfections

a pair of denim jeans with measuring tape and other sewing tools laying on top

Just like us human beings, some thrifted items may need a little TLC. You’re out shopping and you run across that perfect oversized, cozy sweater. You examine it for any issues and realize there is a small rip in the sleeve. Remain open-minded to small imperfections in an otherwise great clothing item. Instead of discarding it, take it home and sew it with an at-home sewing kit. Over the past two decades, clothing waster has doubled for Americans with almost 14 million tons of clothing headed to landfills every year. Although textile recycling has drastically improved, our current shopping practices still prove to be unsustainable. Shopping vintage aides global efforts in reducing textile waste.

5. Be safe

a woman with colorful bracelets on each wrist hand washing a white t shirt in soapy water with a sponge lying in the water

After purchasing any items secondhand, it is important to clean and sanitize before wearing. Some items may require washing by hand or dry cleaning to preserve an item’s integrity. It is also important to know your limits and boundaries when thrifting and shopping vintage. Take a personal inventory and identify what type of items you feel most comfortable buying. In the beginning, you may only feel comfortable buying jackets and tops with shoes being off limits. This may change once your comfort levels change, but always keep your personal preferences in mind.

Above all else, remember to have fun!

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