Apr 22, 2010

21 Tips for Shopping Vintage

some goodies I found on a recent thrifting trip - also my first attempt at a vid
view it here as well


  1. check the cuffs, collar and sides for pilling. Minor stuff can be shaved off with a razor but sometimes the wear is so bad it effects the appearance of the fibre.
  2. check the pits and collar for yellowing.
  3. when choosing 100% wool - which you should - carefully inspect it for little holes (caused by moths) by running an open hand on the underside. You'll see the hole easier as your palm will show through.
  4. check the side seams. Twisted seams mean bad quality.
  5. check for holes in the pockets. If they're on the seams that's easy to fix.
  6. check the lining. It'll cost you about $75 to replace the lining of a leather jacket.
  7. smell it. Seriously. Old cheap leather stinks.
  8. stay away from purses, hats and shoes with plastic lining.
  9. when buying denim go for labels that say 'Sanforized'. This is an older, softer and, in my opinion, better quality denim.
  10. read the labels. Stay away from polyester unless it's that very fine soft jersey that's similar to what DVF uses. Stay far away from acrylic - it pills and loses its shape.
  11. check side seams and cuffs of sweaters for unraveled wool. Also check for snags. Most can be pulled through with a crochet hook but if there's a hole under it - ba-bye.
  12. silk likes to fool you. Really inspect the piece for oil stains. Take it outside if possible. I don't know how many stained pieces I've bought to my chagrin.
  13. if you really want the old stuff the zipper will be all metal Talon or Lightning. In the words of my Japanese clients, 'No YKK."
  14. look for hand rolled edges when picking scarves.
  15. really inspect those men's ties for food stains.
  16. check that all buttons and snaps are there and in working order. It can be difficult to find matching vintage buttons.
  17. be creative. Shoulder pads can easily be cut out and hems can be taken up. It's not as easy to let them down however as there may be discoloration where the old hem was. Remember your tailor can be your genie in a bottle.
  18. chiffon is beautiful and delicate. You need to really inspect it for snags, holes, fraying and yellowing.
  19. check all the seams. Unopened seams are easy to fix but a pain.
  20. I've found Pucci dresses in the lingerie section - just saying...
  21. Contact me here. I'll teach you how to do it.

Here are his and hers links to some of my favourite vintage pieces on Etsy:

For men go here.
For women go here.

The Satanic Majesty's Request