With the emergence of fast fashion, shopping became cheaper than ever. In addition to that, lately we have this throw-away’ mindset to stay on-trend.
But as we become more aware of the impact of fast fashion on the environment, a lot of us have started looking for more sustainable options. So we found ourselves going for vintage clothing as one of the most known sustainable fashion methods. Vintage clothing is a term used to refer to items that are over 20 years old. If the item is mimicking past trends whether it’s vintage or vintage-inspired then it is retro, not vintage.
The question remains, is it really sustainable? vintage items only become vintage after remaining in use for more than 20 years. This comes down to the fundamental principle that recycling and reusing clothing that has already been produced seriously saves resources, thus being more environmentally sustainable.
It is not only a way to save our planet, but also a great way to find unique, fashionable, and classic pieces that no one else is wearing.
Nowadays vintage clothing is available everywhere from thrift stores, consignment stores, vintage boutiques, flea markets, and online stores. Here is how to master the art of vintage shopping.
1 || Keep An Open Mind
Unlike other clothing stores that offer new clothing in different sizes and colors, vintage stores are stocked with one-of-a-kind pieces. This means you can’t go with a certain item in mind because you’re most likely not gonna find it. When you decide to shop vintage you either go with some inspirations in mind (you can get inspired by looking for vintage styles on Pinterest) or just go with the idea of finding unique pieces that suits your style.
2 || You’ll Need To Set A Time Limit
If you went to a thrift shop or a flea market before, you know why is that important. Finding hidden treasures in large thrift stores can be overwhelming, literally. It’s because sellers rarely organize pieces by style so you will have to flip through every single piece to find something really unique for you. And yep, “vintage shopping fatigue” is a thing that you can simply avoid by setting a time limit for yourself to source the pieces before going to the fitting room to try them on. Half to one hour would be enough.
3 || Try Them On
To get it right you need to try the pieces you’ve chosen on. Keep in mind that sizing differs from one brand to another and that vintage clothes sizing differs from today’s clothes. That said when it comes to secondhand clothing the size on the label is useless so you have to try that dress, shirt, or pant you went crazy about on to make sure it fits you well. If you are shopping online or from a flea market the best thing to do is to know your measurements. Ask online sellers for exact measurements of the item, and when shopping in person, bring a small measuring tape so that you can measure the items yourself.
4 || Expect To See Flaws
Unlike brand new items, it is clear that secondhand clothes might come with some flaws like stains, missing buttons, stuck zippers, and rips. So make sure to check the item thoroughly for any flaws. While some flaws can’t be fixed or lived with like fraying silk or stains others can like long pants for example. So if you fell in love with an item, ask yourself whether you can wear it with the damage or not.