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Vintage shopping can be an arduous task, but there’s a way around the sneeze-inducing flea market hunting—online shopping! However, you’ve got to play it smart to make sure that you’re getting your money’s worth.
Don’t miss these tips when you’re shopping vintage online:
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- Know Your History: Quality, Design, Label: Vintage is all about history’s hidden treasures. When it’s time to shop, it’s good to have somewhat solid knowledge that will help you along the way.Determining when the dress was made will give you information on its materials and quality. For instance, a lot of pre-1960s clothing have been tailored and finished with greater care than post 60s garments. This is because mass manufacturing came into full swing after WWII, so clothing from the 60s to the 70s have varying degrees of quality, especially with the onslaught of synthetic fibers. To buy these pieces from this era would rely heavily on your eye.However, finding a rare 20s dress might not be worth it because of the level of age degradation. However, if you’re still bent on that style, then you can always shop online for 20s inspired clothing.On that topic, every decade has its own design or trend. Dresses from the 50s with their cinched waists and full skirts, would better suit a curvy body, while 20s fashion fit better on slim or athletic figures.
If you fancy a certain decade, it’s also good to familiarize yourself with the labels in that era. It will help you determine if the piece you’re looking for is a true vintage item. Good designer labels are well sought after and hold their value through time.
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- Buy from trusted online stores:
Choose a reputable website ran by experts. Read the About us section, if you must. They will be better equipped to answer your questions. Also, the good stores will curate their items with more care, and that means you won’t purchase clothes or accessories that are seconds (or one ship away) from falling apart. If you don’t trust online reviews, you can visit online forums that has intense discussions about vintage clothing.
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- Ask questions:
Your item is a product of history. You will need to know the full instructions of caring for your vintage product before you buy it. Hence, before you put your items in your cart and pay for it—be sure to be meticulous and ask everything you have to know from the seller. Ask for the condition of the material; remember, brown moldy spots cannot be undone.
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A reputable shop will provide you with good information on the vintage sizes. You’ll need a tape measure to accurately measure yourself and compare it to their provided information. This is really important, because you can’t trust the printed size on the dress. For example your UK10 can be the same size as long ago’s UK14. Always be careful not to buy anything too small, as old garments don’t have stretch and there wouldn’t be material to tailor.
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- Go for the best you can afford, but don’t buy anything that needs a lot of repairs:
Is the online shop offering an item that needs minor repairs for a cheaper price? You might be tempted to do your own repairs to save money, and we strongly advise against it—unless, of course, you’re an expert.Remember, vintage items are investments. The more you alter, the more you’ll spend and worse—the more you lessen its quality and value.And in terms of saving money—it would be wise to avoid specialist vintage auctions—as tempting as those are, because they’re for dealers and often sell the items in bulk (for example, you can’t be certain about the size). What you can do is scour online auction sites, markets, and car boot sales. The pieces, however, may not be as authentic.
With these vintage shopping online tips, you’re more than ready to get that piece you have your eye on! Happy vintage shopping!