Vintage and thrift shopping can be great when you know what you’re looking for, but it can also be stressful when you haven’t a clue how to sift through all those piles and rails of clothing. Over the years I have gained a little bit of knowledge when it comes to buying second hand and vintage items, so to go along with my latest Secondhand Haul video that I uploaded today, I thought I would put together some of my top tips when buying second hand items.
1. Know where to shop
Researching the best places to shop in your area is probably the best place to start. Whether that be flea markets, charity shops, vintage stores or kilo sales, knowing where to go and where is GOOD to go will save you hours of looking in the not so good shops. Look on Instagram, Facebook, etc for places with good reviews or images of their stock, or ask around anyone you know that likes to thrift shop.
2. Check the Fabric Content
This is a big one, and something I only started doing lately. Sometimes if you think a certain piece is overpriced, check what it’s made from, because it could be cashmere, silk or something equally as luxurious, and will last you a lot longer becasue of the quality. On the other hand, if something is 100% Acrylic or polyester you probably won’t get as long out of your item, so perhaps it’s not worth the (however small) investment.
3. Check for Holes / Tears / Stains
Another thing I used to forget to do is check for any faults in the item. I would get so excited about finding something nice that I would just race to the till and delight in it finally being mine. Until I would get home and notice the tears or marks. Before you even consider buying the items, check for any flaws, big or small. Some may be repairable, like a tear in the seam, and some may not, like a hole in the middle of the garment.
4. Does it fit?
Or can it be altered? Sometimes you can be lucky and find pieces in your exact size. However, most vintage pieces I find are a few sizes to big for me, so ask yourself ”can this be altered?” and ”how easy it is to alter?”. Sometimes the darts can be deepened quite easily if you only need a minor fit adjustment, or sometimes the whole piece will need to be altered. Also, are you going to need to pay for it to be altered or do you know someone who can sew?
*I would love to do a post on sewing basics and alteration basics for beginners, so let me know if you guys would like to see this.