Vintage clothing is a fun, unique way to show off your style. It allows you to play up your best assets and create a distinct look.
If the latest fashion trends don't suit your personal taste or your body type, vintage clothing can be the perfect medium for expressing yourself.
These days, it seems like there is a vintage boutique in every neighborhood and there are even vintage runway shows popping up. As fast fashion is becoming more and more criticized for its terrible effect on the environment, vintage and gently-worn items are becoming more appreciated and easier to find.
One great place to source pre-loved and modern designer clothing is an online consignment shop like Decades, Inc. There is something for everyone when it comes to shopping online and you can feel good about doing your part to lessen the waste in the world. However, shopping for anything online can be challenging, especially if you are not familiar with the item. Here we'll walk you through a few tips for buying designer and vintage pieces online.
Tips for Buying Vintage Clothing Online
Here are a few tips to help you get started:
1. Consider Your Body Type
People come in all shapes and sizes, and it can be difficult to find clothing that suits everyone. However, there are styles from certain decades that tend to flatter certain body types. If you have an athletic figure, the shift dresses from the 1920s will look great on you. If you have a voluptuous shape, try looking for a 1950s dress with a full skirt. You can also mix and match pieces from different eras to find a look that works for you. You may even find something you love and don't mind if it doesn't fit perfectly.
When you choose the right vintage fashions, you'll find a great way to bring out your best assets.
2. Choose Quality Over Quantity
When it comes to buying, choose quality over quantity. That doesn't mean that you have to buy one piece that costs more than everything else in your wardrobe put together!
It means that you should research and look over each purchase before making it. A bad vintage garment can be a complete waste of money, so examine every piece carefully. A quality piece of clothing from a great brand will last you a lifetime and will go with anything else in your wardrobe.
How to Find Quality Vintage
Follow these tips to ensure you get the best vintage clothes possible.
Avoid Hanger Appeal
If something looks good on the hanger, it doesn't necessarily mean it's a good buy for you. Be sure to try it on or double check that it will fit your measurements. Also think about how it will fit into the rest of your wardrobe. Would you really wear something covered in sequins and feathers? Or are you more a trousers and button-down type?
Buy Pieces with Strong, Memorable Features
You want to buy vintage clothes that look unique and can attract attention. Lace, bright prints, eye-catching adornments, and other features like these will make any outfit shine. People should notice your fashion sense and not the clothes themselves.
Shop at Reputable Stores and Websites
Don't buy anything from a dealer who isn't reputable. While vintage fashions are fun to collect, you want to ensure they are authentic and don't fall apart or fade after one wash. That mostly happens because of low-quality materials or improper care.
Many websites are more than happy to answer your questions before purchasing.
Buy Vintage Clothing Online
Vintage clothing is becoming increasingly popular, especially online. If you're not comfortable shopping for vintage clothes in person, there's no need to worry! You can find some fabulous pieces on the web.
Look for Dated Pieces
Vintage fashions may not always come with a date, but if they do, it's usually somewhere on the fabric or inside of a garment. These dates indicate something about the age and time of the piece.
Checking the dates will help you determine when the item was made and how appropriate it will be in your wardrobe.
3. Buy What You Need First
Don't be tempted to buy everything you like all at once, especially if you are on a budget. Try to think about what you need first before moving forward with an order. Ensure that the items are wearable for more than one occasion.
When you don't buy something you don't need, that's money that you can save for your next vintage designer dress or pair of shoes.
4. Check Out the Reviews
Not all vintage websites and online consignment shops will offer reviews of their products on their page. That is why it is important to research carefully before purchasing. You should find out what real people think about the garment in question and any issues with fit, size, or quality.
Some of the best places to find reviews about vintage clothing sites and the products they sell are on social networking sites such as Facebook or Twitter. They will allow you to see the experiences of other buyers, which will help you make a decision. You could also do an internet search for the brand or even specific garment to learn more about their clothing.
5. Take Advantage of Discounts and Sales
Remember that all vintage sites occasionally put items on sale or run a special promotion to get rid of excess stock. Ensure you take advantage of these opportunities because they can save you a lot money.
Below are the benefits of shopping on discounted vintage clothing sites:
Allows You to Do More Shopping
When you have extra money to spend, you can afford to shop around more thoroughly for that special piece.
Discounts Make New Styles Accessible for You
If you want to try something new, but can't afford to pay full price, discounts and sales provide the perfect opportunity to do so.
You can find great vintage pieces at affordable prices if you look around for discounts. Always take advantage of these offers.
6. Look for Deals on Shipping
If you plan to buy more than one item, look around carefully for deals on shipping costs. It can be expensive to send multiple pieces of clothing simultaneously, so find out what each site or store charges before making your purchase.
Always search online for coupons and discounts before making your order. That way, you can use the coupon to lower your overall cost or get free shipping if it's available.
7. Use Social Media Wisely
The internet is a great place for finding deals, but it is also full of people who are happy to share their experiences with sites and products, both good and bad. Use social media forums wisely before you make your purchase.
Facebook, for example, offers a large number of free classified sites that deal in vintage clothing and accessories. They're a great way to find out what others think about the same products you are considering buying before making your final decision.
You can also find reviews of the shops or online sites themselves. See what other people have to say about the condition of the clothing, the speed of delivery, and the quality of the customer service.
8. Check Measurements Carefully
One of the most important things to do before buying is to check the measurements carefully. Think about how you plan on wearing your vintage clothing and make sure that each piece will suit your body type.
You don't want to get stuck with something that doesn't flatter you, so double-check everything before buying.
9. Don't Be Afraid to Ask Questions
Asking questions is one of the best things you can do and ensures that you get what you want or need. If there is something wrong with a garment, such as a tear, most vintage sellers are willing to alter this for free if possible. Some of the questions to ask include:
- Does this piece come with accessories?
- Is there any damage to the garment?
- Have you altered it in any way?
- Does this run small/large, and how would I change it?
- What fabric is this dress made of? Is it stretchy, or does it fit like a glove?
Asking some of these questions will help you avoid purchasing a garment that doesn't fit or isn't as it seems.
10. Read the Fine Print
Many vintage pieces will require some tailoring to fit you correctly. Ensure you read all of the fine print and follow any instructions your supplier provides before purchasing a garment. If you don't, you may not be able to wear it.
Failure to go through the correct process could also result in something damaged, which means you wasted your money.
11. Don't Buy Only for the Label
Sometimes you can get into trouble if you buy vintage purely because of the label. Many people make this mistake when finding something to wear to a special event such as a wedding or gala. Although it would be amazing to wear a haute couture dress from Christian Dior or John Galliano, it probably won't look the same on you as it looked on the models.
The most important thing is to find something that fits you and your style.
12. Mix and Match When Possible
If you love vintage clothing, one good idea is to mix and match pieces from different time periods. You can find some amazing combos if you try this method out. None of your garments will seem dated and you can experiment with fashion trends from different eras.
13. Do Your Research
If you have an interest in the history of vintage and designer clothing, you should research it before your next purchase. Knowing the garment comes from a certain collection or fashion show will make you appreciate it that much more. You can also learn what was popular during the same time and give you an idea of what items might go well together.
You might find yourself becoming more enthusiastic about buying vintage if you know how it fits into the larger picture of fashion history.
14. Don't Go Overboard
You don't want to buy too many vintage pieces at once because you might end up buying similar pieces and get tired of the same look. Have some variety in your wardrobe and be sure to mix in some modern-day clothing as well. Combining vintage with modern can be invigorating and offer a cool personal style.
15. Keep Track of What You Have
If you are building up a collection of vintage clothing, it is important to keep track of what you have bought and how often you wear it. When your collection grows too large, you will need to get rid of pieces that are no longer your style. It can be amazing to think of how the next person who owns your clothing will wear it differently!
How To Save Money When Buying Vintage Clothes?
Vintage clothing is pricey, but there are many ways to save money when buying your next favorite outfit. Here are a few to get you started!
Don't Shop for Vintage All at Once
It doesn't make sense to go on massive vintage shopping sprees because you could end up spending way more than you can afford.
Instead, set aside a little bit of cash every week/month and let your budget build up over time. This will ensure that you can take full advantage of opportunities when they come along and feel good about buying an investment piece.
Consider Shopping for Vintage on the Internet
You might find it is faster and easier to shop for vintage clothing on the internet than in person, especially if you are looking at different pieces from various sellers. There are some amazing deals out there that you won't see by just walking down the street, so take advantage of this fact!
Buy Vintage Pieces That Will Never Go Out of Style
Invest in vintage pieces from designers and brands you are familiar with and have stood the test of time. You can keep this clothing in your closet as long as you like and still be able to wear it on special occasions.
Don't Be Afraid to Negotiate
If you are in the market for an expensive piece of vintage clothing, don't be afraid to negotiate. This is especially true if you buy from a seller who has multiple pieces they are trying to sell.
Sellers know that customers are looking for great deals, so give them a call and ask them what they can do for you.
Search for Vintage Clothing at Thrift Shops
You might be surprised at the treasures that you can find on racks of second-hand clothing stores, especially if you live near large cities with lots of vintage shopping opportunities. This might not be the best place to get formal dresses or clothes for special occasions, but you could find the perfect vintage outfit to wear out for a night on the town.
Consider Up-Cycling Vintage Clothing
Instead of tossing your old vintage clothing, consider taking it to a tailor and asking them if they can make it look new again. Or take it apart and remake it into a completely different piece. The next time you go out, you might want to show off that old dress and turn a few heads.
Don't Let Price Tags Drive You
Some people lose sight of how much they are spending on vintage clothing because they fixate on the price tag instead of the value that it can bring to their wardrobe.
You might end up loving an expensive piece, so make a list of all the outfits you plan on wearing it with and see if it is worth the money.
Understand How to Buy Vintage Clothing Online
Thanks to new technology, vintage shopping has never been easier, especially when looking for specific pieces that pop up from time to time. You can easily search by size or style on online consignment sites, giving you more opportunities to find exactly what you desire.
Consider Designer Consignment Clothing Stores
You might be surprised at the wide range of vintage clothing that is available in most areas with large gently-worn clothing markets. These stores usually have knowledgeable staff who can help guide you to pieces that look fantastic with your existing wardrobe.
Get Classic Designer Vintage Today!
Vintage and previously-worn designer clothing is amazing, and there are different types out there. If you love dressing up, this can be a wonderful choice for your wardrobe. Just keep these tips in mind and do some research before buying anything.
When you are looking for the best place to buy vintage and pre-loved designer clothing, be sure to visit Decades, Inc. We are an iconic destination for vintage and modern designer looks and have been an LA institution since 1997. All of our pieces available online have been curated and hand-selected by our dedicated staff. Browse our selection today to find the perfect look for you!