Monday, 19 January 2015

✿ My Vintage Buying Guide - What to look for when Treasure Hunting ✿

I have some exciting news, I made it onto Company online last week, after they asked me to write a fun guide on the basics to look out for when buying vintage/secondhand clothing, which I thought was such a great idea, and so I thought it would make a great idea for a blog post too.

Being a vintage buyer and a vintage store owner, this is always something I get asked a lot, so I've listed my tips and tricks below (you can also find it on Company here) so I hope this little guide helps when you go treasure hunting!  For me, there’s nothing better than the thrill of discovering a hidden gem. And don’t forgot, vintage pieces are one of a kind, so if you do love it, get it or you’ll regret it.

Wear suitable clothing when vintage shopping
This is kind of an obvious one but the amount of times I’ve got a kimono fringe or something similar caught when rummaging for gems (I never learn), so make sure to wear a comfortable, simple basic outfit when going shopping that you can take off or are able to try things on quickly over. Minimal to no jewellery and basic to no makeup too if you're really getting into the zone.

Always check a vintage piece thoroughly
 Make sure to be on the look out for stains/tears/holes, as a lot of vintage isn’t in the greatest condition. For example, sewing a missing button back on is one thing, but replacing a zip or a million moth holes is another. If there are any noticeable tears etc that you spot and they haven't been written on 'sold as seen', don't be afraid to ask for a discount.

Also another key thing is to learn your vintage labels before you go and make sure you check them to be sure you're buying a true vintage product. For example, 'St Michael' is actually just old M&S, which I personally wouldn't class as true vintage but I am forever seeing listed as just that on eBay.

Smell it
This may sound weird but honestly it’s an important one. Take a sniff of the armpits- as vintage fabrics, like polyester, the smell of a previous owner can linger, and so can stains. The standard musty vintage smell is an easy one to wash out, but anything else usually isn’t! If you are desperate to buy it and it doesn't smell too great in the armpit area, this incredible baking soda trick (second down on this article) usually works like  dream.

Always try things on
Although something may look great on the hanger, it might not on, and vice versa, you don’t know until you try it on. Get out of your comfort zone when it comes to trying on different styles and you might find something you never thought would suit you. Also remember that vintage will fit a lot differently to today’s clothing, so ignore the size labels and try it on for yourself to make sure. It's so much fun to take your best friend and have a trying on session of vintage clothing you wouldn't usually go for too!

Get creative
Now this I do a lot. If you find a vintage piece you love and can’t let go of but there’s something not quite right about it, think to yourself: if you buy it, can you customize it to suit you? If you’ve fallen in love with a dress but it’s too long, shorten it! Take out shoulder pads of 80s blouses, cut the sleeves off a jacket to turn into a waistcoat, altering an amazing printed dress into a kimono or a two-piece, having a vision to rework vintage can bring old pieces a new lease of life.

Think outside the box

Always keep an eye out wherever you go- You’ll never know where you might find incredible pieces. Get hunting in your mum or nanas or even your dads wardrobes, charity shops, and car boots are always a great one too.

All images are from Waiste Vintage, the above image is my wardrobe last year until I decluttered. I was going to originally have all the images of Waiste pieces I've found and loved but there are far too many, so make sure you have a look on the instagram where vintage treasures are posted daily. If you ever have any questions about vintage or me or anything like that, feel free to ask me on the waiste tumblr or leave them below and I'll do my best to answer them!


  1. Loved this post! Great tips, saving it for my next vintage hunting trip <3

    Andini xx
    Adventures of an Anglophile

  2. love this! The best kind of shopping xo

  3. Such a great post babe! You are the ultimate queen of vintage so this guide is awesome x

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  5. These tips are so good ! And the pictures gorgeous !

    Giveaway, win a pair of Polette glasses !

  6. Love these tips! I need to get back to vintage shopping! X

  7. So true! I've adhered to many of these as well as done the silly trying things on whilst wearing inappropriate clothing. Last week I turned an unwearable, huge indian top into a beautiful wearable kimono and am so proud!! The more you practice your aewing the better it gets girls (and guys!)

  8. Second hand shopping is so cool! You can discover gems that you'd never have found otherwise! I really need to go vintage shopping again!

  9. This post gets my hands itching. All I want to do now is to get out and go treasure hunting... ;)

  10. I used to love shopping second hand and vintage. I need to get back into it! Also, super jealous of your wardrobe.

    Cats In Crop Tops


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