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  • Writer's picturehouseofchenelle

6 Things To Know About Shopping Vintage

I have always had a love for vintage fashion and I honestly believe that I was meant for a different era. Before I discovered thrifting about seven years ago my mom's closet was my go to for vintage finds. Now I am obsessed with it and decided to turn it into a business. Nothing compares to the high I get when I find a rare piece at an unbelievable price! Every thrift store experience offers limitless opportunity and discovery. Vintage fashion offers countless potential for creativity and has a great sense of sustainability. It is truly timeless. One of the greatest things about vintage is that no one else has it, nor can they get it. I have compiled a list of things to know before you buy vintage so keep reading for some great tips.


  1. An item is not considered vintage unless it's 20-100 years old and is usually a clear representation of the era in which it was made so every decade presents new items that fit this category.

  2. Vintage clothing can be anything from haute couture to mainstream fashion labels and is often made of high quality materials such as silk, leather and wool. Most items will have to be dry cleaned because of this. Construction is key when searching for vintage items. The attention to detail is what makes the items unique so look for items that are finely crafted.

  3. Because women's sizing has changed over time, vintage pieces tend to be sized bigger than how they actually fit so when buying an item take this into consideration and buy a size up from what you actually wear. The era in which it was made will also help with sizing. Pre-1960s fashion was often handmade or tailor made so there will be no label. Know your measurements.

  4. Labeling is also an important thing to look for when shopping. Vintage labels are often bigger and/or flashier than today's modern, sleek labeling. You may also see a series of numbers on the labels usually the style or stock number. This is how designers kept up with their designs before modern technology.

  5. Check the tags for the origin of the item. Brand labels with major cities such as New York, San Fransisco, Paris, London, etc. will be listed alongside the brand name. This was done to note that you were buying a piece originating from a major city. In past era's this was something to brag about because they were not duplicated or mass-produced. Vintage labels may also include a Made in the USA tag, which meant that as the unions started to lose production and manufacturing to Asian countries some companies opted to produce in the USA without a union which resulted in higher production costs. Some items may also have a union tag.

  6. You don't want to look like you're wearing a costume so make sure the items you purchase will fit easily into your existing wardrobe. You want to be able to incorporate vintage into your closet for a modern look. Stay away from too far out items unless they are accessories. They key is to be able to have these items in your closet forever and even pass down to your children.

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