Knowing where and how to shop for designer vintage fashions requires understanding what qualifies as vintage. A vintage piece must be at least 20 years old. But just because an outfit is old doesn’t mean that it’s a worthwhile investment. Anything that’s threadbare, damaged or stained has lost its value.
So where can you buy vintage jewelry, retro clothing,and other accessories? Well, ever since the vintage craze started heating up several years ago, a lot of retro clothing stores have popped up around the country and online. And of course, you can always find some cheap retro pieces at thrift stores. But I want to show you some other places where you might not expect to find retro threads, jewelry, purses and more.
Amazon.com – Did you know that you can purchase vintage clothing on Amazon? I went on the site and found several pairs of retro, cat eye sunglasses, as well as several evening swing dresses from the 1950s, several one-shoulder dresses, A-line skirts, blouses, shoes, and vintage handbags. Click on some of the photos, and you can see the back and the side of some of the garments. You can also read reviews written by customers who’ve purchased vintage merchandise from the site in the past.
Etsy.com – The selection of vintage clothing on Etsy.com is quite large. So large in fact, that the site reminds me of Pinterest. Just go to Etsy.com and type the words “vintage clothing” in the search bar. Among the items I found were antique nightgowns, leather boots, a 1950’s Heatonex coat, an art deco beaded jacket, cocktail dresses from the 1960s, floral print dresses from the 1950s, maxi dresses from the 1970s and a man’s double breasted jacket. When you click on a photo, you can zoom in to get a closer look at the garment. Each entry also gives you details about the garment such as whether it has a lining or a zipper, as well as the measurements, the name of the label, the material used to make the garment and the condition of the piece. Read the size descriptions carefully so you don’t end up with something that doesn’t fit you properly.
Ebay – On ebay, potential buyers have to place bids on the merchandise. This process can be a little time consuming because you have to monitor all the other bids and determine if you want to submit a higher bid to ensure that you get to buy the product. But as with Etsy, each garment displayed on ebay comes with a detailed description of its style, label, fabric, pattern, color, size and condition.
Estate Tag Sales –At estate sales, you can snag some really nice second hand vintage and antique clothing and jewelry, especially at estate sales in wealthy and upper-income neighborhoods. To find estate sales in your area, visit websites like estatesale.com or estatesales.net. You don’t always find vintage clothing at estate sales, but you do sometimes, so I think that it’s always worth it to look. For example, I bought several hand-beaded, vintage flapper bags from the 1920s at different estate sales.
Your Mother/Grandmother – Ask your mother or grandmother. It’s fun to add some of my mother’s old skirts, jackets and blouses to my own wardrobe. And talking to mom about the old designer skirts, jackets and dresses that she owns and asking her questions about when and where she bought them always gives me the perfect excuse to get together with her for some girl talk about fashion.
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