Updated: Jul 19, 2022
Online shopping has never offered as many options as it does right now, and of course that also applies to vintage clothing. There are so many online resources for buying vintage online which is super exciting but can also be totally overwhelming. I am been buying and selling vintage online for almost 20 years (that is pretty scary actually, but I digress!) and I have heard so many horror stories about disastrous online vintage purchases and seen some pretty questionable listings. Avoid unnecessary fashion dramas by being savvy when buying vintage online, a few simple steps can make such a difference.
So follow my simple 5 tips for buying vintage online to find your perfect pieces without the hassle.
Tip #1 - Getting to know you
When you're buying vintage online, you aren't buying from big corporations but most often from small businesses and independent shops. This makes it even more important to find out who you are buying from. There are many fantastic vintage sellers out there and we work super hard to bring excellent quality vintage to our customers, but there are also less experienced sellers who may not offer quite the same level of quality and service. Just do a little research and find out who you are buying from. How long have they been dealing in vintage, do they have a shop, etc - the most reputable sellers will have information about their background that is easy to find and will help you make better judgements before you shop. You can also get a feel for their style and expertise on their social media accounts- it's a great way to get to know them better and ask any questions you may have!
Tip #2 - Material matters
When you are buying clothing online you obviously cannot feel and touch it, let alone try it on before you buy. That's where checking the fabric makes a huge difference. Many vintage items will not have fabric labels but the seller should list the type of fabric, things like the thickness and most importantly whether is has stretch. Other details such as the lining will also help you to determine what kind of movement the garment has and if it will be suitable for you. If any of this information is missing from the item listing, just contact the seller and they should be happy to help you.
Tip #3 - Condition is key
One of the most important factors when it comes to vintage clothing has got to be the condition. If you have established that you are buying from a reputable shop or seller then you already have some confidence that the items will be of a good standard, that is why Tip 1 is so crucial. Here at My Vintage, we don't sell substandard quality items and we also have a simple condition guide which grades the item. We also mention any flaws such as missing buttons, marks etc. This is something that all genuine sellers will do, as this keeps customers informed and happy with their purchases. Often vintage garments will already have been repaired/restored but if there are any major flaws this should also reduce the price and can be a savvy way to buy if you are happy to undertake these fixes yourself.
Tip #4 - Size matters
Clothing size is obviously the most important factor to consider when buying online. It can seem like a minefield but it can be quite simple to ensure a good fit. Firstly, any experienced vintage seller will tell you that labels sizes should always be disregarded. There are way too many varying factors when it comes to vintage size labels, including the country of origin and the way sizing standards have changed over the decades. At My Vintage, we try to make it even easier by showing you the approximate modern day size for each of our items, and this is all done from the measurements. Measurements are the most important thing to check when buying vintage online, but it doesn't have to be stressful or complicated to work out. Simply measure a garment that you already own and is a similar shape/to the new one. Lay flat and measure across the waist, hip and bust lines. Double this up and you have your garment measurements. By the same token, be sure to check the length of items too. Finally, remember that most items of clothing can be altered to fit. Just a small cost with a seamstress and tweaks can be made to fit you perfectly.
Tip #5 - Be open minded
My final tip is to open your mind when it comes to buying vintage. Try to avoid very specific searches as you may stop yourself from discovering some absolute treasures! Also remember that there are so many vintage shops that offer on-trend styling and real staple pieces. It isn't always about fancy 1950s vintage dresses - sometimes you can find a vintage jacket or pair of vintage jeans that will last you for decades. Keep in mind items you already have in your wardrobe that you can mix and match vintage pieces with - whether they be plain or statement garments.
Buying vintage online can be so much fun and super exciting when the post arrives! It is available 24/7 and there are just so many undiscovered gems out there just waiting for you. To shop for vintage clothing online now - just click here and happy shopping!
Until next time
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