How to Shop for Vintage Clothing

These days, vintage clothing seems to have come back in style for a number of reasons. Whether you’re looking for vintage because trends that were once in style are coming back, for a unique piece to add to your wardrobe, or to reduce your carbon footprint while shopping, it’s important to know how to effectively shop for vintage clothing.

One of the delights of shopping vintage is that you’ll find interesting pieces that aren’t cookie cutter – these are clothes you can’t simply order off of Amazon in several colors and they’ll be shipped to you in a number of days. They’re one of a kind, semi-historic, and often present a bit of a challenge to find.

Here are our top 3 tips for shopping for vintage clothing: 

Double check the fabric’s feel

Although you can instantly be drawn to an elaborate floral vintage dress or beaded vintage top, make sure that the fabric is still in good condition. The fabric should still have life in it! Vintage clothing pieces can often easily get brittle and dry over time. 

If a piece you’re eyeing looks like it’s falling apart, fading or pulling, it’s probably best to simply leave it. You’ll want to make sure that whatever vintage garment you invest in won’t fall apart on you.

Red embroidered mexican cotton tunic blouse

Vintage Red Embroidered Tunic

Begin with a simple classic

If you’re new to the world of vintage clothing, it’s a good idea to ease in and seek out something timeless for your first find. Start with something basic before you move on to the bigger fish.

Two great options for this would be a little black dress from the 1960s or a beaded cardigan from the 1950s. These are items you can wear over and over again that won’t lose their effect right away.

Vintage 1950s navy blue day dress

Vintage Navy Blue Day Dress

Tailor it for a perfect fit

If you fall in love with an item but it doesn’t fit perfectly, remember that it can always be tailored. Investing as little as $25 or $30 into having the waist slightly taken in so a top isn’t puffy, or having the cuffs shortened, can make the difference from a piece looking oddly-fitting to looking like it’s tailor-made.

However, there are some vintage items that can’t be altered no matter how much you love them. No matter how much you may be drawn to the fabric of a pair of pants or the pattern of a dress, if they’re too short or long-waisted, tailoring won’t solve the problem that they simply don’t fit.

Don’t be afraid to put a little money into a piece of vintage clothing that you want to last! Spending a little more up front will make you even happier with the piece in the long run.

Vintage Nautical Steamship Boats Skirt

Vintage Nautical Steamship Boats Skirt

And there you have it, our top 3 tips for shopping for vintage clothing! Whether you’ve just discovered the vintage world or you’ve already begun looking for items, this can help you know exactly what to look for and do when shopping vintage.

If you’re ready to dive in, This Blue Bird offers a wide variety of vintage items from kimonos to tops to jewelry. There’s a vintage piece for everyone!