Starting A Vintage Collection: Beginner’s Basics

If you’re somebody who is new to vintage styles, it can be difficult to know exactly where to get started in terms of clothing.

After all, there are so many different styles out there, some of which may not suit you. 

Starting a Vintage Collection Beginner's Basics

Vintage shopping can be overwhelming, and you need to find the right places to shop in to get the best quality garments.

Never fear though, because we’ve compiled a handy guide that you can refer back to whilst you’re conducting your vintage shopping spree. 

To find out some useful tips and advice about this topic, simply keep reading below. 

Research Where You’re Shopping

The first piece of advice that we’d give when conducting your vintage clothing hunt, is to know where you’re shopping.

The style and era of vintage clothing that you’re interested in will be a big factor in determining where you shop. 

You can ofcourse, find vintage clothing stores that specialize in a whole host of different eras, but it can be a good idea to find a few specific clothing stores that appeal to your personal style. 

What Kind Of Vintage Stores Exist?

Not all vintage clothing stores are made the same, and it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with each of the different varieties before you do your shopping.

Below we’ve listed some of the different ones that you’ll come across on your search. 

Consignment Stores

Consignment stores will sell vintage clothing most of the time, but chances are, it won’t be exclusive to only these types of clothes.

Consignment stores will likely sell modern pieces, as well as vintage ones, so you’ll probably find a decent mixture of both. 

Although this may feel off putting, because you might want to just shop in places which exclusively sell vintage clothes, you should still take a trip to some consignment stores.

The reason why they can be so useful is because the quality of the clothes that they sell tend to be a lot higher than those you would find elsewhere. 

So, you just might come across a high quality vintage piece that you might have missed elsewhere. 

True Vintage Stores

As you may have already guessed from the name, true vintage stores exclusively sell vintage clothing items.

This makes it far easier to shop for vintage clothing items, as you won’t have to sift through the more modern items. 

Thrift Stores

Most of us are already familiar with thrift stores, and know that they tend to sell a mixture of modern and vintage pieces, depending on the donations.

They are similar to consignment stores in this sense, but the quality of the clothing in thrift stores might not be as good. 

The prices of clothing can also vary greatly in thrift stores depending on the item in question. 

Flea Markets

Flea Markets

Another method of finding vintage clothing that shouldn’t be discredited, is visiting local flea markets.

You never know what treasures might be hiding in flea markets, and you might just come across your dream vintage piece. 

Flea markets are also renowned for selling incredible denim pieces, so if this is something that you’re interested in, make sure that you take a look. 

Make Sure That You Have The Right Undergarments

Another tip that we’d like to give you is to always try on vintage pieces before buying. This specifically pertains to vintage dresses from the 1960s and earlier.

The reason why it’s always good to try vintage dresses from this era on first, is because the shapes of women’s bodies during this period differs greatly from today. 

For example, you might find a dress that’s in your size, and you try on only to find that the waist is too small.

The reason why this happens is because of the undergarments that women during this period would wear. 

They would often wear rigid shapewear that would help to pull them in at the waist.

These included corsets and girdles, as well as cone bras to make their breasts seem more pointed. These would all help them to acquire that perfect silhouette. 

Therefore, it’s a good idea to purchase some vintage undergarments before you go trying on the dresses. 

Visit A Tailor 

We’ve all been there where we’ve fallen in love with a vintage item, only to find that the sizing is a little off.

This shouldn’t make you shy away from buying the item in question, as many vintage clothing items can be tailored to fit your specific proportions. 

This is especially true for items that are on the larger side, as the tailor will be able to suit it to your size by altering the fabric.

Bear in mind that this can prove to be costly, based on the amount of tailoring your item needs, as well as the intricacies. 

Handle Your Clothing With Care

Another thing that you’ll need to consider when purchasing vintage clothing is that they’ll require different levels of care to your normal clothes. This is especially important for clothing from the 1950s. 

Make sure that if the fabric looks delicate, that you don’t wash it like you would regular clothes.

Instead consider dry cleaning your vintage clothes, so that they stay in the best possible condition. Although it’s more expensive, it’s definitely worth it. 

Final Thoughts 

To sum up, starting a vintage collection isn’t actually as difficult as it may initially seem. You just need to make sure that you’re aware of each of the different stores that sell vintage items, and be prepared to do some sifting. 

As well as this, make sure that you always dry clean very old items from the 1950s backward, as the delicate fabrics might not be able to sustain normal washes.

Willa Price