Tips On Shopping For Vintage Clothing

Rather than spending a ton of money on new clothes, many women choose to invest in vintage items that no one else owns. The great thing about going vintage is that you can score one-of-a-kind designer pieces for less than you would spend in a modern boutique on similar items. Classic designs from high end manufacturers tend to stand the test of time. 

The trick is locating the perfect vintage dress, overcoat, purse, or sweater. Then it is a simple matter of mixing and matching with the clothing and accessories that you already have. When shopping for vintage fashions, consider the cut and color of the piece and how it will go with the other items in your wardrobe. When worn the right way, classic looks should blend seamlessly with the season’s hottest  looks. We took a cue from the fashion experts at Nasty Gal to learn more.

Vintage Sizes

Believe it or not, there are significant differences between sizes from now and several decades ago. That is, a size 8 from the 1940s is very different from a size 8 now. You should have your measurements taken and double checked before purchasing a vintage piece. Make sure that they correspond with the size of the vintage item that you are considering. Since shopping for designer vintage is considered to be an investment, do not be afraid to alter or tailor something if you really love it. In these situations, you are looking at something that's one of a kind. It is not like you can just exchange it at the store for another size or color.

Historical Periods

Many thrift store fashionistas have a preferred decade that the stick to, such as the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, and so on. Eras like the 1940s and 1950s were a great time for curvy women, especially in the bust. Petite women can rock the mini dress and hot pants of the '60s and '70s. Tall, skinny women with small chests look great in 1920s and '30s period clothing.

There are a lot of interesting ways to determine if a unique piece of clothing is vintage. Most clothing in the United States was manufactured by American factories up until the 1980s. So if you see a Made in the USA or union label on an old timey dress, it's likely to be authentic. Of course, this excludes foreign designers like Chanel, Versace, Dolce & Gabbana, or other European houses.

Mixing and Matching

For inspiration on how to incorporate vintage finds into your everyday wardrobe, you can turn to fashion blogs, designers, and celebrities. Try to think if the item you are looking at will go with the clothes that you already own. What would you wear this with? A breezy blouse or rock tee works with everyone’s favorite jeans. Pair a vintage dress with contemporary accessories such as pumps, belt, sunglasses, and a handbag. On more formal occasions, look for dresses from bygone eras when hand-stitched details and embellishments were the standard practice. Today, you would have to pay a small fortune for a similar dress from the same designer.

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