Whether it’s the challenging economic times, the exposure it has gotten on social media thanks to Gen-Z, or the fact that it’s great way to find unique pieces, vintage shopping has had a seriously big resurgence as of late. However, despite all of its benefits, a lot of people are deterred by the fact that visiting vintage and second hand shops does include a lot more sifting than at regular retailers. These tips will help you make the most of your time at vintage stores while still uncovering the best hidden gems that others may be overlooking.
The first thing you want to do is to determine the styles you’re most interested in. This way, you can go into the whole experience with an idea of what you’re looking for, which will make scanning a lot easier. Of course, if you come across items that interest you outside of these particular styles, you can absolutely take a look at them. This is just meant to help guide you through the sometimes overwhelming collections.
You can also try to figure out which areas and neighborhoods the vintage shops are located in and use that as an indication of what kind of styles you might find at the stores ahead of time. For example, an area with a lot of retirees may mean a lot of older brands, while areas with a lot of schools could mean a goldmine for kids’ clothes.
There are also a lot of vintage and second hand stores that take the time to curate pieces in order to fit into their design concept. A lot of stores also do authenticity checks, which is important if you are interested in higher end and designer pieces. These shops tend to be smaller and independently owned. The plus side of visiting the larger chain stores is that there will certainly be a huge selection of items to choose from, but these tend to be a lot less curated and sometimes a little less organized, so it’s important to keep that in mind.
As you’re browsing, make sure to check the condition of the item before you purchase it. Look for any damage or alterations, and if you find any signs of wear and tear, either move on to the next piece or determine whether you’re willing to live with these imperfections. Sometimes you can even ask for an additional discount.
One of the most exciting aspects of second hand and vintage shopping is stumbling across a high end piece that is hiding in plain sight. Check labels and the materials that the clothes are made of. You’ll sometimes come across a high quality item at a price that will knock your socks off.
Make sure that before you buy any piece, you try it on. This is to ensure that it will fit you as you wish. It’s difficult to rely on sizing in these situations, as sizes on labels are not a great reflection of how the item will fit, especially since sizing has changed so much throughout the years.
While vintage shopping is not as straightforward as normal retail shopping is, you’ll find much more interesting clothes and accessories this way. Try to enjoy the journey as well as the final hidden treasures you might uncover along the way!