Shopping is an art, so hunting for vintage items is like being a master in shopping.
It isn’t from today that buying vintage and thrifted items became a trend between fashion lovers and buyers, but let me say something, hunting unique and special items isn’t an easy task for those who never did it or never thought about spending hours inside one shop only looking for a piece that catches your eyes, so let me start this article by saying that this is a step by step guide on how to do your first vintage purchase.
Going on a hunt for the perfect item that you’ve been looking for isn’t easy, but if you’re open-minded to everything that you’re about to see, you’ll probably find something that fits your body perfectly and matches your style. Buying and thrifting are supposed to be fun, spend a whole day looking for the perfect and unique piece for you, finding things that you never thought you would like, trying new shapes, and new silhouettes.
Vintage shops are just like any other clothing shop, there will be the ones that match your style and there will be the ones that don’t, and of course, there will be shops that are a mix of everything and you will probably find something from your grandma wardrobe to something you would see in a Vogue cover, and that’s why you need to know exactly what you’re looking for and where to look at.
Buy less, buy better.
An important point to focus on buying vintage and pre-loved items are that we’re also discouraging fast fashion companies to do mass production of items that are ready to wear instead of producing sustainable and made to last. I wrote a whole article about why you should buy vintage and less fast fashion, if you’re interested in reading it, just click here.
TIPS AND TRICKS TO BUY VINTAGE
- KNOW WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING FOR
The most important thing about vintage shopping is knowing what you’re looking for, and to achieve the goals of buying what you want is important to list the items you’ve been looking for, save references of those items, and believe me, it will be way much easier to go for what you want and don’t get lost in a pile of clothing. My personal tip is to have a board on Pinterest, where you save all your outfit inspirations and pieces that you would love to have, and it will save you a lot of time when hunting for the perfect piece.
Do a research, list your items, get your wallet and be ready to hunt.
- SEARCH FOR DIFFERENT SHOPS IN YOUR CITY
Since vintage shops are a trend, there must be a couple of different vintage shops in your city, or even in your neighborhood, so take some time of those days you have nothing to do and just go for a walk and list the thrift shops you find, or take pictures of the front door, and if you have some more time, just go inside for a quick look, sometimes it’s not worth saving it but sometimes you will fall in love with everything and you’ll want to take all home.
- TRY IT ON BEFORE BUYING IT
When I first started buying vintage, and it was like 4 years ago, I didn’t want to try it before buying, but believe me, it’s important to try it on before spending some money on it, you never know if it will fit your body, waist or shoulder, so it’s better to give it a try. Most of the vintage shops have a changing room, most of them only have one, but I know small shops don’t, so just ask someone if you could try it over your clothes.
After some time you will gain experience with sizes and you won’t need to try it again or wait on the line for the changing room.
- BUY WHAT YOU NEED
That’s one of the things that I’ve only learned after a long time shopping and that’s one of those things you won’t listen or learn from anyone, you will have to learn by yourself. Buying what you need doesn’t mean buying only essential items but buying exactly what you’re looking for instead of purchasing only for trends or because it’s cheap. Being cheap doesn’t mean it needs to be yours.
I know, everyone likes to buy cheap items and I mean, who doesn’t? But buying better and buying less is much better than wasting your money on something you would never wear. It’s a challenge when you’re going to a vintage shop and everything is cheap but you need to focus on what you want and what’s on your list, because again, you can get lost in a pile of clothing.
- CHECK BEFORE PAYING
It’s one of the most important steps before actually paying for your pieces, check each and every one of them, inside and out, there are countless times where I came home, opened my bag, and find a shirt with a whole, or an unraveling pocket, so better safe than sorry, check everything.
Since vintage shopping became a trend and buying pre-loved items is something that almost everyone already did, people forgot that in the past, when vintage wasn’t a trend, buying used items was something that people did to help charity units to raise money for a good cause. There are still places and shops that remain with the same purpose: helping people by raising money selling pre-loved items for a cheap price; and these are the shops where I like to go, even knowing that it’s harder to find something that I’ll love, I know that I’m helping someone that needs it and also decreasing the number of new items being produced.
As I said, buying vintage and going on a hunt for the perfect and unique piece isn’t easy but it’s worth it, and you can check my previous article about why you should buy vintage and there you will find the right reasons why you should start buying vintage and adventuring yourself on hunting unique pieces.