In a month where I've pledged to do buy nothing new I must admit that hunting for and buying second hand and vintage clothing is one of my favourite past times. I often get a lot of questions about where I find my clothes, finding them for the right price and getting the right fit. I thought, in tune with Buy Nothing New Month, that I would bestow some of my own personal methods of hunting down quality vintage as well as sharing with you some of my most beloved and treasured pieces.Being a self-confessed vintage/retro clothing addict I use special occasions in my life to justify the hunt and purchase of another dress. Most recently I've been searching for a dress to wear to my cousin's wedding later on this month. Sadly, because of my full time work, it was a one day adventure which was thankfully very fruitful (see blue beauty to the left). Since I was on such a mission I went through all of the methods I'd used in the path to find the perfect dress.
Know your local Vintage resellers
Thankfully since my obsession with vintage began the increase in vintage resellers in Brisbane has been immense. Even though you can buy online, because of a lack in sizing consistency I still find it way better to purchase in person. There are a plenty of stores popping up around Brisbane but here are a few that I like to frequent.
There are a lot more around town but these three have been the most fruitful and reasonably priced.
Also, if you have time, why not take out the middle man and scour the thrift/op shops. It is so satisfying to find your own special vintage piece in amongst everything else that ends up in those stores. I've found plenty of pieces so anything but a lack of time as an excuse is completely invalid.
Know your Vintage Size
After wearing vintage for so long you begin to learn the differences between modern day sizing and those of the past. It may not sound like a body-image friendly tip but one of the most important things to remember is that these clothes are all (almost) one offs and if it isn't your size it wasn't meant to be. There is no point getting sad about a garment that doesn't fit and you can make it easier for yourself by looking at the size first before becoming attached the garment. Sorting out garments that will potentially fit before sorting out garments you will potentially like is a great way to stop the disappointment that many people tell me stops them from vintage shopping.
Don't be afraid of different
The last thing you want to do is be afraid of the clothes you're searching through. If you've made the decision to shop vintage you've already decided to be different. If you see a garment you like an aspect of, be it the fabric or the shape, don't put it back for another reason. Embrace the weird and wonderful garments that vintage shopping can behold; you never know until you try it on.
These next few garments are just a few up-close examples of finds I am particularly proud of (thats not to say I'm not proud of them all). I remember loving the green 1950s dress so much I put it on lay-buy. The soft silken texture of the fabric had me transfixed much like the black velvet 1980s number you see next to it. I'm also very taken by the elaborate embellishments on the sleeves and love an occasion to whip it out (even lending it to friends so I know it is thoroughly enjoyed).
I hope some of you find this useful in your vintage endeavours. It really is a great way to shop and dress. The clothes are often of much high quality (yes, things really were made better in the past) and you won't see anyone else in your fancy duds.
Does anyone else have vintage hunting tips to add? Let me know in the comments.