Have you ever been scrolling on Tik-tok or watching Youtube and find someone that looks like the won the lottery on the coolest vintage pieces? Its probably because they have been thrifting for a very long time and know how to scout out the pieces that will work the best for their personal style. These pieces are often mixed with more contemporary clothing as a way to spice up a look while also staying up to date with the latest trends. Vintage shopping can be boiled down into a science, so here are my top tips on how to score your newest vintage piece.
1. Shop for statement pieces. You’re going to have a harder time finding quality basic pieces at the vintage shop because since they are worn often, they tend to be too worn to purchase at good quality second-hand. I suggest searching for pieces you find unique to your style and a little outside your comfort zone.
2. Keep a shopping journal and visit your favorite shops often. Because the merchandise is second hand, that cool unique piece is probably the only one of its kind in that shop. Visit your favorite stores often, so that you never miss out on the latest vintage pieces. This will also help you keep track of when your favorite stores get in new merchandise, by using the journal you can write down what days are best for what shops, and if they excel in stocking certain items, (for example, Melrose Vintage restocks on Wednesday and they have great unique patterned trousers).
3. I would also recommend that you go into the vintage store with a goal. This can be almost like a “Wishlist” of sorts, that puts you in the right mindset when you are shopping. I personally like to browse on Pinterest or Tik-tok before going shopping to look for new pieces that I am interested in purchasing.
4. Fit is key. A vintage piece will look boring and outdated if it doesn’t fit perfectly. Perfect tailoring and fit also shows an attention to detail that will elevate your outfit as well as your overall style.
5. Look for fabrics that last. When I am shopping, I scan the isles looking first at fabric and durability of the fabric, and then looking at the style and silhouette second. Since vintage items have been previously worn, you want to make sure that you are purchasing fabrics that are meant to stand the test of time. I suggest looking for clothing made of a long cotton blend with a small amount of polyester (20-40%). Other fabrics that have proven to have longevity are linen, leather, silk, and denim.
6. Mix vintage pieces with more contemporary jewelry or other elements. Sometimes, if you mix a bunch of vintage pieces together, your outfit can begin to look old and drab. By mixing trendy pieces with statement vintage ones you keep your look new and interesting without looking outdated and boring.
7.Check and search all sections of the store. Many experienced thrifters know that the best pieces are often found in places where no one is looking. You could find a perfect vintage slip dress in the lingerie section, some cool vintage glassware in the home décor section, or even funky coats in the outerwear section.
So the next time you’re thinking of investing into a vintage piece, consider these factors. Who knows, it might be your best thrift yet.