April 14, 2011

Consignment & Vintage Shopping Tips

Hey everyone! Recently I have been really into shopping vintage and vintage consignment shops. Here are some of my tips that help me (and hopefully some of you) when I hit my local vintage boutiques! One thing that bothers me is that the word vintage is incorrectly overused, vintage typically means that the garment is 25+ years old.

  1. Know your measurements, but ignore sizes. Standardized sizing didn't come around until WWII, so it's important to know your waist, bust, and hip measurements when going into shops to avoid trying on tons of things that you know don't fit. For men, know your chest and neck size. Bring a tape measure if necessary.
  2. Shop early Fall & Spring. Most vintage consignments get in their best stock in the early spring and fall when their customers clean out their closet, so try to get to your favorite stores fast. (hint- there will be lots of sales before a new season to get rid of old merchandise, make sure to ask about sales and promotions!)
  3. Make relationships with owners. Making a relationship with a shop owner could be one of the most important tips of all. They can let you know if they are expecting some things in your size, let you in on deals, and they are most likely knowledgeable when it comes to vintage shopping. Make sure to sign up for a mailing list as well!
  4. Inspect before you buy. Pass on anything with a rip, odor, or cracking leather/material. These are not easy fixes, and it could end up costing you more than the actual merchandise. Smaller fixes are okay, such as a broken zipper, missing buttons, a too long or short hem. These easy fixes can be done at home or with a quick trip to the tailor.
  5. Skip the shoe rack. It's hard to find vintage shoes in really good condition that won't require a trip to the shoemaker. Just like with clothes, avoid shoes with an odor, cracking leather, or a rip.
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