Friday, October 8, 2010

5 Useful Tips for Vintage Shopping

5. Don’t Be Afraid of DIY Alterations

Sometimes, a vintage garment just needs a nip here or a tuck there to fit perfectly. Tying, cutting, and pinning things are also interesting ways to get a good fit and add some character to your outfit.

This doesn’t mean you should try to get all Project Runway if you don’t know what you’re doing. If that dress you just bought is a few inches too long and you try to hem it when you’ve never sewn before, the situation will probably end in tears. It’s best to leave the technical alterations to a friend who sews, or a tailor.

4. Mix Old with New

Buy things you can pair with clothes you wear every day. Some of the coolest outfits out there are the ones that combine vintage pieces with modern trends. If your favorite skinny jeans are already great, imagine how killer they’ll look paired with some vintage boots. Love your new blazer? How cute will it look with a vintage mini dress!

3. Check the Fit

While DIY alterations can help with little fit issues you may have, it’s really important to check the fit of a garment before buying. Sizing has changed considerably over time, and varies greatly depending on which country the garment originally came from. So if you’re buying from a store, always try things on. And if you’re buying online, make sure you check the measurements (and know your own)! Most online vintage sellers will estimate which contemporary size the garment will fit, but you should always double-check the measurements anyways, just to be safe. If you don’t know how to measure yourself, find out how here.

2. Check the Condition

Vintage clothes have been worn before. That’s part of their charm. Don’t expect brand-new clothes items. But make sure you’re getting your money’s worth as well. Check the garment over for flaws/blemishes, and if you’re buying online, read the description! If you’re unsure of the garment’s condition, talk to the seller. They should be able to help you determine whether or not it’s something you want to buy.

And the golden rule of vintage shopping is…

1. If You Feel Like a Glamazon, You Look Like a Glamazon

Ever see somebody walking around in clothes you can just tell they’re really uncomfortable in? That’s because when we’re feeling self-conscious, it comes across in our body language. We tug at hems. We position ourselves awkwardly to hide body parts. We walk funny. Never, ever, ever, ever buy something that you feel like a clown in just to be trendy (this goes for vintage and contemporary clothes alike). Just like you can tell when somebody's uncomfortable with what they're wearing, everybody else will know you don't like the way you look. Buy something because you love it, and you feel good in it. And then rock it! Your style should reflect who you are.

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