I’ve mentioned my affinity for vintage. It started when I was a kid. Every summer we visited my grandparents in Alabama and as a treat I saved my money up to go shopping at thrift stores. There was something nostalgic about scouring each rack for treasures. My family grew up in the military, and although my parents always provided nice things for us, we also had a very limited budget. Going to thrift stores gave us the ability to get high quality for a lesser price point. My Mom taught me how to check the items for blemishes and good construction to make sure we came home with a bag of things we loved.
Fast forward to now and as an adult I still love vintage shopping. Vintage is really just a pretentious word for thrift store shopping. But it seems to have caught on as a trend for some when it’s been a necessity for others. After nearly twenty one years of shopping “vintage” (celebrating my eleventh anniversary of my twenty first birthday this year), I have a few tricks to share today to help you come home with a few goodies of your own.
3 Tips for Finding Great Vintage
Don’t have a plan – Nine times out of ten I walk into the store without a specific idea in place of what I’m seeking. You really can’t in this scenario. You can come in to look for shoes, or a fancy dress… but it pretty much stops after that point. You can have to be willing to be flexible. It does help to look for things that would fit into your color scheme or your style. For instance, I wear a lot of blush – so seeking items in pinks or florals are fitting for what I might like.
Do not look at sizing – They are off. A size twelve from 1950 is going to be a small size these days. Look at the shape, cut and hold it up to see if it would be appropriate for your sizing. Try it on if possible. Thrift stores are usually final sale, so if you do have the opportunity try it on.
Take your time – Thrift stores are not always organized and you have to have the patience to scour. I prefer to go during hours that are not busy (I hate to shop during busy times). Bring the appropriate undergarments to try things on. And do not judge yourself by the lighting (fluorescent lights do not make for a lovely skin tone) – look at the fit of the clothes, the fabric, the construction of the seams and the way it sits on your body.
Here's a Few Vintage Looks:
My most recent finds added to my closet was this soft leather cognac cross body from Coach and a pair of two toned pointy flats. If you are in the Austin area, two of my favorite stores are The Blue Hanger (ridiculously cheap but unorganized) and Feather’s Boutique (not so cheap, but great quality and I always come home with something). If you are in Houston, Treasures of the Heart - NAM Resale and a new location that popped up in Cypress called The Hope Chest. If you are in Austin/Houston – please share some of your favorite finds! I’d love to scour them too!