You can take the pride of being a fashion trendsetter in your social circle by including a smattering of vintage clothing in your wardrobe. Other than dressing entirely in a vintage style, you can use a vintage item as a highlight to accentuate contemporary dressing, or you can dress vintage with a modern accessory thrown in. The advantage of vintage clothing is twofold. Most of the items that you will find are likely to be one of a kind, and even if there are a few other pieces out there, the likelihood of them showing up in your neck of the woods is almost negligible. The other advantage that vintage has is in the superior quality of the clothing items and accessories that have been made prior to the era of assembly-line pret. However, buying vintage is neither easy, nor is it simple. One has to invest time and energy hunting through thrift stores, yard sales, and flea markets to get to a good buy. However, here are seven expert tips that can turn you into a vintage shopping ace.
1. Take time
Vintage shopping is a time consuming affair. Set aside a day to check out the stores or sales you have targeted. Reach the store early. The gems of vintage clothing tend to disappear as soon as they are put out for sale. She who hesitates is lost. If there is something that you definitely want, pick it up right away. Do your shortlisting for other items you might like to buy. Take a break, and have a relaxed lunch of your liking. Come back after lunch and see if you get a better price for the items you shortlisted. Many vintage stores reduce their prices in the hours before closing in order to move their inventory.
2. Take tape
Vintage clothing stores don't always have ample space for trying on the items. You will be better off carrying measuring tape with which you can measure the dresses directly even if you cannot try them on.
3. Take cash
Many of the smaller thrift stores or sales might not accept credit cards. Carry cash with you so that you don't have to return empty-handed. Cash also helps drive bargains in a way no credit card can. Many store owners would not mind taking a slightly lesser price than lose a potential sale.
4. Don't go by size numbers
Sizes change with the eras, and with country or continent of origin. Don't go by the size numbers on the original labels or by converted numbers that may have been sewn on, since even these might not be accurate. Use the good old fashioned measuring tape, or better still, try it on.
5. Scrutinize closely
Fabrics often undergo drastic change with time. Feel all over the dress to ensure that no part of it has decayed or become unwearable. Hold it up to the light to look for tears or moth holes. Check all attachments and accessories and mechanical parts for bags or footwear.
6. Bigger is better
Finding clothes that will fit you just right is not something you should be aiming towards when going vintage shopping. If you find them, you are lucky. But don't lose heart if you don't. Instead, look out for items that you like but are a size or two larger than yours. You can always get them tailored and resized later.
Vintage clothing is one area where there are no fixed prices. You stand to lose nothing by asking for a discount even in large format stores that expressly prohibit bargaining when it comes to vintage clothing. Smaller stores, flea market stalls, and yard sales typically factor in a bargaining margin into their pricing, and even that can be beaten down a little by the expert bargainer.