Vintage Inspiration- How to Shop Vintage

This week I am sharing some of the ways I get inspired to style outfits as well as shop for pieces I love. I am a firm believer of buying what you love – even if you aren’t sure where you’ll wear it. That may not be a popular opinion but in my experience these things serve me well. They’re the things that jump out at me – they beckon my attention as if they are speaking my name. Today I’m sharing what inspires me about vintage pieces as well as two I’ve recently added to my wardrobe.

What is Vintage Clothing?

According to Wikipedia: Vintage clothing is a generic term for garments originating from a previous era. The phrase is also used in connection with a retail outlet, e.g. in vintage clothing store. Hopefully that helps with the understanding of what vintage really is; this seems a good time to mention that there are many ‘vintage inspired’ pieces available now – they are brand new. So if you’re uncomfortable with buying pre-loved pieces then this might be a viable option for you. Check out sites like Shein and Modcloth.

My Pieces

I found my dress at an antique shop one weekend when we were out and about with our friends. We love treasure hunting! I noticed the print and color first, this stunning dress was sandwiched between other vintage pieces. I had a pretty good idea it would fit but was thrilled when the shop owner told me I could try it on! It fit perfectly and at under $30, I considered it a steal.

This dress is just perfection in my book. I love the tie detail and even tried it ties in back! This would work so well at an elegant affair – a summer wedding maybe? Or a backyard bbq – anywhere you want to be fabulous!

The wicker purse was another find on a different day while out and about with the same friends. Handbags have always been a favorite of mine. Unlike shoes and clothes, they always fit and never hurt! The ladylike shapes of vintage handbags are a bit of an obsession for me – I am always drawn to them.

While the bag is vintage (similar one), I added new accessories otherwise. My necklace, my bracelets, my earrings – all new. My Tory Burch Miller sandals were purchased pre-loved on Poshmark but you can buy them new here.

When my friend Jess, shared what she wore for family beach pictures last week, it immediately reminded me of my outfit! Take a look! Jess’ dress is not vintage btw.

Things to Keep In Mind When Shopping Vintage

There are a few things to keep in mind when shopping second hand/vintage.

  • fit – long ago designers didn’t engage in vanity sizing so clothes run much smaller. Also? Women were built smaller and wore girdles so if at all possible try it on! Your size 4 self may end up wearing a size 8 or 10 in vintage clothing.
  • return policy – not all pieces can be returned so be sure to check out the return policy prior to purchasing
  • check out the label – a quick google search can tell you a lot about a brand – you may be buying a designer pieces for mere pennies but by the same token the shop owner may be charging too much
  • price haggling – you may be able to negotiate the price with the shop owner, especially if you are buying multiple items
  • thoroughly check the piece – be sure to check for stains, tears, holes, loose seams – once you get it home it’s yours!
  • while you’re checking, look at the care label – you may not want a piece that is dry clean only

Shopping for vintage pieces can be so much fun and you’ll be wearing a piece that is unique and attention grabbing. It’s good for the environment and you’ll be supporting a small business in most cases. If there are no vintage shops near you, check Ebay, Poshmark, Facebook Marketplace. You never know what you’ll find!

Happy Hunting!

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