Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Vintage shopping made easy

If you read my blog or follow me on social media, then you will know of my love for vintage clothes. I've been a fan of vintage since I was about 14 and am always scouring shops, both online and physical, to find that perfect, one-off piece.

Aside from the thrill of finding something completely unique, vintage shopping has become a bigger part of my life since deciding to shop more ethically. I won't go into all of the statistics in this post, but fast fashion is awful for the environment, it's actually the second worst industry after oil, and it really makes me sad to see how wasteful fashion has become.

This is where vintage shopping comes in, you're buying secondhand clothing so no new garment has to be made and it's a form of recycling, as it's not creating anymore waste in landfill sites.

Without further ado, I thought I'd talk you through some of my vintage shopping tips, in the hope that it'll encourage people to not shop fast fashion as much, even if it is only a couple of vintage/ secondhand purchases, in the words of Tesco; every little helps.

1. Where to shop

Depending on where you live, there may be lots of amazing vintage shops or even charity shops with vintage sections, really nearby. I was in Camden a couple of weeks ago and the market there is amazing for vintage, as it's London not everything is cheap, but digging through the sale rails meant I found a real suede jacket for only £10! (I'm still pretty giddy over that purchase) Sometimes vintage shops can be a bit pricier, but they will still have sales on and often have a 'bargain bin' where you can find some real gems, as long as you're prepared to rummage through all the clothes.

I generally do most of my vintage shopping online, Depop and eBay are great places to find relatively cheap vintage, with the added bonus of being able to search for what you want. There are other shops online such as Beyond Retro, Rokit and Cow, which all have a good range of clothes and accessories. ASOS Marketplace is also a good shout, although it can be a bit pricier, depending on the seller.

As well as vintage shops and websites, there are other ways to buy vintage which I have used before. We have a local market at Tynemouth Station, where I have found some great vintage bargains in the past, markets such as this are a really great place to find vintage, but it is best to go down earlier before they get busy. The dress I am wearing in this post is my most recent vintage find and was a bargain at £5 from the Trendlistr stall at July's Kommunity Market in Newcastle. I am yet to go to a car boot sale but these are also a haven of vintage clothes, homeware and accessories, as well as being pretty reasonably priced.

One of my newer favourite places to shop vintage is kilo sales, there are a few companies which do these and you pay for your clothing per kilogram, rather than per item, which works out a lot cheaper. I usually check Facebook events for upcoming sales near me and have found some real bargains before, they also often need promotional or floor staff which is a good way to earn money and/ or free clothes!

Dress | Vintage via Trendlistr
Bag | Vintage via eBay
Sunglasses | Monki via ASOS
Boots | Dr Martens 

2. Don't give up on something you love. 

If you've been shopping and found something amazing but it doesn't quite fit or is a bit stained, then don't worry! I've never needed to get something tailored but it doesn't have to cost a fortune and professional cleaners can usually remove stains from clothing or brighten the piece up a bit. Tears in seams or fabric can be easily repaired by yourself or a family member/ friend with sewing knowledge. Shoulder pads are easily removed so don't be put off if a jacket or dress has them, they either need to be quickly unstitched, or some might be removable anyway! If it is something that you love, then it may just need some TLC after purchasing to make it the perfect piece for your wardrobe. 

3. Vintage doesn't have to smell! 

I always hear this about vintage clothes/ shops, and it's not always true! Vintage clothes are old so may smell a bit, but this usually fades if it's hung out to air, failing that, a handwash or trip to the cleaners will sort it out. In fact, the five most recent pieces that I bought didn't smell at all. Some sellers/ shop owners actually get their items cleaned before selling, which means that there isn't as much of a cost passed onto the buyer. 

4. Sizing can be weird. 

Having recently bought a pair of vintage Levi's off Depop, I understand this pain. Vintage sizing is different to modern-day sizing, so make sure to try things on whilst in store, even if it's not in your usual size, as it may fit! When shopping vintage online, a lot of shops will list the measurements of the garment, so make sure that you check your own measurements against it, as I mentioned before, if it's too big then you can always alter it, but it is more difficult with an item that's too small.

5. Be prepared to try something new!

Vintage shops are a plethora of colours, prints, and cuts, so may not contain the type of thing which is on trend or that you'd typically buy, but don't let that put you off. The dress in this post instantly attracted me because of the print, however, it is not the cut of dress that I'd usually go for. As someone with a more 'rectangular' shape, shift dresses are the most flattering, this dress is more of an Audrey-Hepburn shape but I still love it. If I had seen it online then I doubt I'd have bought it because of the shape, but instantly felt great in it when I tried it on- you never know what you might find that suits you!

I hope this inspires you to shop vintage more, whether it is to help the planet or just to find a unique piece!

Holly Olivia x 

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