Vintage clothing is growing in popularity. So here are some tips and tricks to help you find that perfect item of clothing for your wardrobe.
1: What are you looking for?
Before you go shopping you must have a good idea in your head of what you want. What is your style? What are the key points of a piece of clothing that makes you go OH MY GOD! I NEED THAT OUTFIT! For example, for me its colour, I love a bright colour. My favourite item of clothing is a pair of bright red shoes with sequins covering the top of them.
Is there a particular era your after as well. Is there an era you are a fan of the style of. Do your research on the era so you know what your after. The style of the tops, skirts, trousers or accesories.
Even though I have given the impression that you have to go with something set in mind. You still have to go with a fairly open mind. You will not get the most perfect top, skirt or dress etc. You must remember that these items of clothing were once owned and loved by someone before you. These items will not coming in pristine condition. However this does not mean you cannot have certain standards. Let me try and explain this properly. Take a note of the damage to the product. It helps if you have a little sewing experience because you do usually have to repair or on a handful of occasions modify vintage clothing. ALWAYS check the certain areas of the clothing for wear and tear (this will be brought up in another point of this article). If you can try the item of clothing on all the better because as we all know from trying on brand new clothes in stores. Each company has a different idea of what a size 8,10,12,14,16,18,20,22 etc. is and the same goes for earlier generation of retail. A size 14 in one shop may not be the same as a size 14 in another shop.
2: The garments condition
When you have found the garment that you like there are a couple of things that you want to check first before you try it on and hopefully fall in love with it. Firstly if you can hold the garment up to light it will show any thinness of the fabric through wear and tear and helps you see if there are any holes in the item of clothing. There are certain areas of clothing which are important the check. For example armpits, inner collar, groin and on trousers check the hem of the leg. These are the areas that are touched, friction, weather damage and sweat damage of previous owner (Don’t worry the garment would of been washed but a lot of these items of clothing were worn in the days before deodorant and this would of damage the clothing over time from the acids in the sweat)
3: Buttons, Zips and fastenings
Check all the fastenings and any garments that you wish to buy because more often than not you’ll have to replace these. This is were it is good to have some sewing experience because you normally get missing buttons, zips that are damaged, elastic that has lost its stretch. Make sure you give the garment a good once over and make sure that you have all the buttons, zips aren’t damaged also on trousers make sure that none of the belt loops are damaged either. If you want to buy vintage clothing on a fairly regular basis or more than I suggest if you don’t already have the skills then purchase a sewing book that will have lessons on how to repair these damages.
4: Shoes, shoes and more shoes
When it comes to shoes it can be tricky to find a pair in good condition due to the major wear and tear that they are under in a everyday use. There are a few things to look out for. The damage at the heel of the shoe can be the most unrepairable. You can sometimes get the heel replaced however this must be done by a cobbler and can be quite expensive. Check the ball of the shoe and examine the battering the shoes have received from the previous owners stride.
Check the leather for stretch especially around the bend of the shoes. You will also want to check around the buckle of the shoe and the shoe laces to see if they need replacing. When you have found a pair in which they have passed all of these criteria you need to see if the heel can still take weight upon it and the only way of testing this it trying the shoes on (I know this would be hard, lol)
Most importantly like when you go shopping for clothes that aren’t vintage try on one thing that you wouldn’t normally wear you will be surprised you may like it and HAVE FUN!!!!