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A Modern Guy’s Guide to Vintage Shopping



The vintage style has experienced a surge lately, and it’s getting harder to tell the hipsters and the old-schoolers apart. While how you choose to comb your moustache and what kind of glasses you’d like to top it up with is completely up to you, we’re here to take care of your need for vintage clothes.

 

That way, you won’t be looking like you just travelled forward in time when stepping outside – and it will be a lot easier to find quality vintage clothes too.

 

High street or charity shops?

 

It’s easier than ever to find vintage look-alike clothes on the high street today, and you’ll know that they won’t have any wears or tears. Classic Dickies coats, for example, are popular this season and you’ll find their vintage style in regular shops as well.

 

Start with the high street and work your way over to the second-hand shops when you know what to look for. You can find a lot of hidden gems there; it’s no doubt about it. Many timeless leather bags have found a home after staying at charity shops for a while, but you need to dedicate a bit of time if you’d like to go home with the biggest scoops.

 

If you live in London, you’ll easily find a number of excellent charities where the garments are unique and of proper quality in comparison to the mass-produced stuff you find on the high street – or the questionable quality of some second-hand shops.

 

How to tell it’s good quality

 

With some experience, you’ll be able to spot good quality from afar – and when you go abroad, it’s a lot easier to tell when someone is trying to sell you something fake as well. “Look at the stitching,” you’ll tell them, pushing those fake Habaneras right back into their hands. Or what about the label on the inside of the second-hand bag you’re considering?

 

Keep your eye out for quality details such as a care label on the inside, proper stitching, spare buttons, and fabric patterns that match up at the seam – kind of like your wallpaper pattern should match up on the wall. Get it right a few times, and you’ll be the go-to-guy when you girlfriend wonders if those overpriced shoes are worth her money.

 

Have a look on the label too, if you’re in a charity shop, and see what they say about its condition. ‘Good’ could indicate that it actually has a few tears in it, so you want the label to say ‘mint’ or ‘excellent.’

 

A problem with actual vintage clothing is that they often don’t wash very well. Just make sure you don’t pop in that sweater from the 70’s with the rest of your regular clothes and you should be alright – dry cleaning is usually the safest option.

 

Remember that the bigger the charity is, the more clothes you’ll find but the quality may also be lower; a small one, on the other hand, may have a narrow but handpicked selection.