OKAY! So you’ve finally decided to embrace your inner vintage-self. You’ve pushed yourself to ignore the glares of random passers-by who gawk at you as you rock that victory roll that took you damn near 2 hours to achieve. It’s taken you a while to get to this point, but you’ve done it!
Everyone’s path to Vintage-dom is paved differently. Some of us start early in life; some of us much later on. If you’re starting out and are ready to begin building your vintage wardrobe today, allow me to offer some helpful tips as you get started.
1. Find your style icon
When it comes to deciding what to wear, I really can’t stress this one enough. Finding a style icon who you identify with most will help you shape your wardrobe; it will also help you:
1.) Decide which era you want to model your style after
2.) choose the perfect silhouette for your body type. To learn more about this check out my post on:
3.) Select classic pieces from that era that will make you look authentic
2. Flip through family photo albums.
Sometimes our best reference for vintage is right under our nose. Looking through family photo albums can be a great way to get ideas on what items to be on the lookout. Whether it be clothing or home décor, family members can be our best resource.
3. Speaking of Family–—hit up your Grandparent’s closet!
What better way to connect with your grandparents and enjoy some excellent storytelling, than going through their closet with them! When I raided (it was a lot less attacky than it sounds!!) my grandma’s closet, she told me the backstory of all of her pieces, and I learned more and more about what life was like back in the day. After we were finished, I was fully stocked with blouses, berets, and brooches……and of course memories 🙂
4. Social Media— There’s no denying the diversity and abundance of information social media gives us, good or bad. Youtube, Pinterest, and Instagram are all great resources to help inspire you along your vintage journey. Personally, I LOVE the following Youtubers.
1.) Lily Jarlsson
5. Visit your local thrift and consignment stores
I think it kind of goes without saying that Thrift stores or Consignment shops are the most likely places to score vintage or antique items. Vintage and consignment shops are a treasure trove of throwback finds. Thrifting, however, can be a bit overwhelming if you’re not big into spending a whole lot of time shopping (like me), and it’s easy to get trapped into buying a lot of unnecessary items, as well. Stay tuned for a post on tips that I use to make the most out of the thrift store/consignment jungles.
6. Go yard sale shopping in “older” neighborhoods
If you’re not the type who likes to venture into a store, consider finding neighborhoods in your town where it’s majority senior citizen. I’ve noticed that yard sales are abundant in older neighborhoods since people are generally downsizing quite often. You’ll also find an array of genuinely authentic pieces from past decades, and for an added bonus, nine times out of ten, they’ll offer you snacks while you look around 🙂
7. Hit up flea markets and auctions
Not only will you score some incredibly UNIQUE vintage or antique pieces, but you’ll also have a lot of fun doing so. Flea markets are a madhouse (in a good way!) and not to mention, usually HUGE! The selection of items are endless and if you ever get a chance to take part in an auction DO IT!!! You don’t need to be dripping in money to place a bet. An item that you find attractive may not be so attractive to others; therefore, you may find yourself as one of only two bidders and snag an item for cheap!
8. Visit local university drama departments
An unlikely source, I found that if you hit up the drama departments at the end of a semester or speak to a graduate who is cleaning out their workspace, then for just a couple of dollars, you can score yourself a vintage reproduction piece well made, and super affordable!
While living in South Korea, I found it challenging to buy vintage items for the simple fact that they’re CRAZY expensive. Vintage prices abroad are not vintage prices stateside, let me tell you. I always “heard” about Etsy, but never really gave it a go and once I did, I wondered why on earth hadn’t ordered from this site sooner. It’s like the HUB for us vintage lovers.
The best part about Etsy is that you’re dealing with sellers who take pride in the services they provide their customers, so ( though it happens) rarely that you’ll get some dodgy dealers. Etsy also has some nice features to help customize your search so you can find exactly what you’re looking for.
One of those, “Why didn’t I think of that??!!” ideas, Redbird Vintage box is a business focused on providing items tailored to subscribers’ vintage interests. When you set up an account, you fill out a brief survey which asks you questions about your favorite color, which era do you connect with the most, what kinds of items do you like most (i.e., brooches, handbags, dresses). After you fill out your information and submit it, you then choose a subscription plan. Based on your plan, each month they will send you a box of goodies that they have hand-picked to match your taste!