Vintage clothing might seem like it’s everywhere nowadays, but finding the best pieces amongst years of stained, torn, and forever out of style clothing can be a bit challenging. Bloggers and social media stars seem to find those gems every time they go to the thrift store or flea market. Your collection can look like this too, you just have to know where to look.
Step 1: Find Some Inspiration
Vintage stores can seem really overwhelming if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Pinterest, Instagram, vintage bloggers, and even vintage stores themselves can provide a lot of inspiration for your own wardrobe. When you go into a shop without a wishlist, you can end up feeling a little lost and more likely to impulse buy something you don’t need.
Pinterest is usually the easiest, so try searching for terms like vintage outfit inspiration or vintage clothing to see what type of pieces you’d like to have in your wardrobe.
Pinterest also usually provides secondary terms you can click on to further explore trends or other popular searches.
Step 2: Shop in the Right Place
Believe it or not, the big cities aren’t the best places to find vintage gems. Thrift stores in major cities like New York or Los Angeles are usually overpriced and a lot of people frequent these stores. If you head to the nearest smaller city or town, you’re more likely to find gems that the other thrifting hipsters would have already snatched up.
If you’re from a small town and are thinking to yourself, my local thrift store isn’t like that!– don’t worry. Online vintage stores are your new best friend. While you might not be able to hunt for the items themselves, it gives you a lot more options than your local mom and pop would have.
Step 3: Go Often and Learn the Schedule
This might not be possible for everyone, but going to the thrift or vintage store as often as possible – think once a week – will ensure you won’t miss anything. You’ll probably even become friends with the shop owners and they might be able to hold for any of the items on your wish list as well. Knowing the schedule of when they put out new pieces is also important, so you can be one of the first to see the new items. If you’re shopping online, sign up for newsletters to learn when they add new items to the site.
Step 4: Look at the Patterns and Materials
Just because a garment is too large or too small doesn’t mean it can’t be used. If you fall in love with a material or a pattern, tailoring the piece to fit you perfectly is an easy fix. Additionally, you can also repurpose the fabric into something new. A silk skirt can be repurposed into a mini dress and vintage flares can become a pair of shorts. It’s all about recycling clothing instead of buying brand new.