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Guest post by Hannah Littler Jones
Vintage thrift shopping offers a totally unique shopping experience in comparison to what you encounter in everyday high street stores. The most exciting part is that you just never know what you’re going to find and what will soon become your new favourite go-to piece! Entering a vintage shop is like walking into a treasure trove emporium, you are instantly immersed into a world of fashion history and forgotten gems, each item patiently waiting to be discovered by its new loving owner!
Today, I am offering you some helpful tips and tricks to vintage shopping, hoping it allows you to achieve the most out of your shopping experience.
My first tip is one that some may not naturally hold a trait to, patience. If you’ve never entered a vintage shop before (you’ve really been missing out) the best way I can describe it to you is through the comparison of the ‘sale’ periods. Now, no need to panic, they’re tidier and calmer, so erase that unpleasant image of the Zara Christmas sales. The comparison I’m making is purely down to the vast variation of clothing that can all be placed on one rail, which is where the patience comes in handy. Vintage shopping isn’t a walk in, see it, buy it, job done experience. It requires a little more time and patience to explore and discover the perfect pieces. If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed, start from the top or bottom; Shoes and accessories are much easier to browse than clothing, so start there to get into the swing of things!
Tip number two, although you never know what you’re going to discover (which is the beauty of vintage shopping) try to keep your styling ideas in mind, and if you don’t have any set, be realistic about your shopping, will I wear it? What can I style it with? With such a diverse selection of clothing, even vaster than your normal high street stores, it can be easy to forget what you were hoping for when entering the shop. If you’re not sure you’re going to wear it consistently, could it be recycled into something new or by someone else?
Tip number three, forgetting gender labels, go check out the opposite sex section. Just because its labelled male/female, doesn’t mean they’re the only ones who are allowed to wear it. You can find some perfect fits from oversized to fitted pieces. So, keep that in mind and broaden your shopping horizons!
Which also leads onto my final tip, sizes. Ignore all size references on tags and labels. From time to time tags can be placed on the incorrect item, but even more worth remembering is that people tended to be smaller back in the day so vintage clothing sizes often come up smaller than they would be today, so don’t panic if you don’t fit into your usual size 10 (it’s not down to that slice of cake you ate the night before) it’s just we’re all bigger now than our 1950s counterparts! If you pick up a piece and the size turns out to be incorrect let your creativity run wild, consider alterations and customising to fit your style.
I hope these tips are helpful and allow you to thrive in your shopping experience. Before you venture off, why not take a look at our vintage clothing in our vintage shop? You never know what you’re going to find.
By Hannah Littler @hannahlittler1