I owe my marriage to vintage clothes! Okay, so I’m exaggerating a liiiiittle bit, but hear me out! On our third date, while we were walking in Manhattan, my husband-to-be and I decided to pop into a Housing Works thrift shop. To be honest, I never had much of an interest in vintage clothes but he was cute (!) so I decided to go with it. While we checked out the selection of goods my husband, Andre, explained his rationale for becoming a vintage connoisseur. He says that by the time you see it on the rack at a vintage store, it’s already been chosen twice. First, the original owner liked it enough to purchase it and then it was chosen again—this time by the vintage shop, which thinks they can sell it. So, by Andre’s logic, these people have already done the initial vetting for you. I really can’t argue with that. Plus, the Housing Works mission is noteworthy too. With the money raised from their thrift shops, they work towards ending the, “dual crises of homelessness and AIDS.” Anyway, I gave vintage shopping (and Andre) a shot. And, girl, it worked out on BOTH things! LOL! In the beginning, I was truly awful at vintage shopping. I could never seem to pick the right item but Andre would just make suggestions like, “try adding a belt” and then I got used to the idea of remixing what’s available and really making it my own. That’s all I needed—I was allll about it after that. Once, I snagged a size 16 top and turned it into a fitted dress that shows off my legs. And ya’ll know I like to show off my shoes. The best part? It only cost me $10 bucks! Anyway, if you need a few more tips, here are five more to get you started. Now, go, already!
- Go with no expectations. Maybe you’ll find the perfect thing, but maybe not. Don’t stress yourself. Vintage shopping requires more time to find just the hidden gems.
- Think outside the box. Just like my example above, you might discover that a blouse for someone else is the perfect dress for you. Be creative. And develop the ability to remix and accessorize.
- Be prepared. Wear comfy but fitted clothes when you go thrift shopping so you can try on clothes right over what you’re wearing. Sometimes there is no dressing room or you just might want to save time.
- Pay attention. Choose your vintage supplier by the type of people who live in the area. Are they fashionable and trendy? If so, it’s likely the clothes in the local vintage shops will be amazing. In a shop on the Upper East Side, for example, I grabbed two gorgeous fur coats for next to nothing!
- Pay it forward. It never hurts to be nice to the sales reps. It’s good karma. Plus, once they get to know you, they’ll start pointing out things you might like.