If you’re a vintage virgin wanting to release your inner Dawn O’Porter, here are six things to consider when buying vintage clothes.
Always make sure you set yourself a budget before setting off on your vintage journey. It’s so easy to overspend as vintage shops tend to be cheap, but it’s easy to pick up a lot of cheap items and end up over spending. . Limit yourself to spending a realistic amount, which won’t result on you living on Pot Noodles for the rest of the month.
Try and pick a statement vintage piece that suits you. You’ll probably fall in love with almost everything in the shop and you’ll be so stuck on what to buy. So plan your outfit in advance. Think could I dress that up or down? or what have I got hanging in my wardrobe that will go with this perfectly? Picking a statement piece, whether it’s a bright pink shirt from the 80s or a 60s handbag, is essential when vintage shopping. The last thing you want is to sulk on the journey home because you wished you’d bought that special something, make sure you have no regrets.
Try it on
Some people love to try before they buy, but for others it’s just a chore. With high street shopping in most cases you can get it home, try it on and if you don’t like it you can take it back. You’ll find that with vintage shopping you probably wont be able to take it back. One piece of advice is to take advantage of changing rooms provided in vintage shops. Especially if you’re a student, money is an absolute essential, and you don’t want to spend £40 on a beautiful dress that doesn’t suit you and you can’t take it back.
Most importantly check the quality of items. Most garments in vintage stores are in great condition but you have to make sure it’s perfect for what you’ll be paying. Although go ahead and buy if the imperfection can be easily fixed, seams can easily be stitched and zips re-fitted. If you can see potential in the piece you want to buy, go ahead and make something special.
You might see a dress in a vintage shop that you love but it might have buttons that you don’t like. Why not take it into your hands to re-vamp the garment to make it into a complete one off? Replace the old buttons with newer ones, alter the length, alter the fit. If you’re confident with doing it yourself give it a try, or try and find a local tailor to do it for you.
Keep in touch
Depending on whether you go to a vintage fair or vintage shop, in most cases the shop owner will have a business card. If you’re at a vintage fair collect different cards and follow them in social media, it’ll be useful to blog about and also you can see what new vintage delights they get in their shop.
VINTAGE STORES IN SUNDERLAND/SHIELDS
• Scout! Vintage – 10 Olive Street, Sunderland
• Corner 93 – 93 Station Rd, Fulwell, Sunderland
• It’s Vintage Darling – 4a Imeary Street, South Shields
Words: Alysha Stirling