Tips for Vintage Shopping
Shopping for and wearing vintage clothing and accessories is one very popular fashion trend. However, when shopping for vintage items, you should keep these tips in mind.
* Sizing can vary.
Over the past fifty or sixty years, dressmakers and designers have changed the way that clothing sizing works. What used to be a size 12 in the 1960s may be a size 8 in modern clothing sizes. Additionally, just like today’s sizes, the way an outfit will fit can vary from designer to designer. You should always try on a piece before you buy it. Many thrift and vintage clothing stores will not allow you to return an item after purchase, so make sure that you can wear it before you take it home.
If there is no fitting room available, you can use measurements to determine how well an article will fit. Before you shop, write down your waist, bust and hip measurements. Using a dressmaker’s measuring tape, you can measure the outfit to ensure a good fit even if you cannot try on the item.
* Know a good seamstress.
When shopping for vintage items, you will often come across pieces that have been overlooked by others because of some sort of damage. Missing buttons and fallen hems can easily and inexpensively be repaired by a skilled dressmaker. Additionally, if a piece doesn’t fit well, a good tailor can customize the fit so that it will look as if the piece was made for you.
* Understand the limits of repair.
Even a very talented seamstress cannot fix everything. Damaged zippers and tears in the seams can be quickly and easily fixed. However, large rips in the fabric in a prominent place can seldom be repaired. A seamstress can take in an item that is somewhat large for you, but letting out a piece that is much too snug may not work so well. If a piece is a bit too tight, you can examine the side seams. If there is extra fabric, your seamstress may be able to help you out. Keep in mind, however, that fabrics may be very delicate and big changes to the size of the garment may ruin the whole look of your ensemble.
* Have the right undergarments.
Styles from the 1940s and 1950s relied on heavy-duty undergarments to get the proper silhouette. This means that for many of these styles you will probably need some sort of body shaper, an excellent bra and a slip. Don’t ruin the look of your vintage style with improper undergarments.
Shopping for vintage pieces can be a fun way to add to your distinctive style. However, knowing the limits of what you can do with these pieces will keep you from wasting your money on useless items.