So what exactly is ‘vintage’? Vintage clothing is anything at least 25 years old, and any clothing item over 100 years old is considered antique. I am the furthest thing from a vintage clothing expert; I just know what I love, and I absolutely love polka dots, black and white, and dresses from the 1950’s. And if it’s all in one dress, then look out – I’m buying it. But if you’ve never purchased a vintage garment, then it can be a bit overwhelming. So we’ve come up with a few basic tips to help you get started.
- Look at these items to know that a garment was manufactured before the mid 1960’s -- metal zippers, side-snap closures, saw-toothed edges or pinked seams, and union labels printed in blue.
- Two things have changed greatly over the years – sizing standards and undergarments. Many times the appropriate undergarments make all the difference in ensuring that a garment actually fits correctly. Some vintage garments may not look the same today if you don’t have the proper undergarment to wear with it. It’s also important to point out here that if you just love something but it’s not proportioned just right, it is likely that you can have it tailored to give it a more custom-looking fit.
- Do research, know your eras, and make sure what you are choosing fits into your style. This is so important. Vintage items can be quite pricey, and you want to be sure you are making a purchase that is a good value. This also means knowing whether the garment is in good condition or not. Be sure to feel the fabric and make sure there is no cracking, pulling, or fading or that the fabric is fragile.
- There are lots of places to begin shopping – obviously online, but check out local auctions, vintage shops, flea markets…….and your grandmother’s attic. There’s no telling what she has stored up there.