End of an Era: Online Vintage Shopping Tips

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A few years ago, the last episodes of “Mad Men” began to air. Can we chat for a minute about how this show affected our culture? Not just for the viewers (and yes, I’m obsessed) but in how it affected fashion. Styles always come back around –evidenced in the resurgence of the 70s on the runway–but this show made vintage, and vintage inspired dressing cool. I’ll admit–I’ve always loved vintage, there’s something about clothing that has a story that speaks to me. However, let’s be honest–it can be hard to shop for–both online and in person. The good news is there are a ton of amazing vintage shops out there–and if you find one by all means go in and look (don’t forget to try on!). With the advent of Etsy, some online shopping for vintage has gotten much easier–and the finds can be amazing. Here are some of my favorite Etsy finds as well as tips to online vintage buying!

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1. Know your measurements, not your size.

Clothes were cut and sized differently in different eras, not to mention that certain body types go in and out of fashion (a whole blog on its own). Make sure that you measure correctly (or get someone to help you!)–and go by those. Also, depending on the fit of the dress, give yourself an inch of wiggle room–there’s nothing worse than ordering a dress and having it be too tight to breathe.

2. Research Shop Policies

Some shops take returns and exchanges, others won’t–most that I’ve found are happy to dialog with you about everything. Ask questions, send them your measurements–make friends. Knowing upfront some of your options if things don’t work out can make the purchasing process easier.

3. Have a budget and understand what you’re paying for

Some vintage is really expensive–when you factor in the rarity quality. Some is really affordable, either way make sure you know what flaws the item has–and what other costs such as alternations and shipping with cost you.

4. Buy things you will wear

This is probably a rule for life, but when I get deep in vintage holes I can lose myself in just beautiful pieces. Realistically however, there may not be a place to wear that pristine 1900 wedding dress–I know, shocking! If you are just a collector, amazing-buy at will. If you’re looking to add to your closet realistically assess whether or not you could wear it without feeling like you’re in a costume (unless you want a costume). Yes, this means that you may pass on some things, but what you’ll buy will be great when you wear it!

Some of my favorite vintage shops (where you can shop online)?
Bloomers and Frocks
RecessLA
The Kit Vintage
Timeless Vixen
Garment Modern</>
Miriti
Of course
Etsy

And so many more!

Want more shopping tips? Don’t forget to join me here!

All clothing vintage

First picture photo credit Kate Richards

I’d love to know: how do you shop for vintage online?

Xo RA