Dress for Success: A Clothing Blog

Tips For Buying Vintage Clothing At A Consignment Shop

by Clifford Fowler

Are you tired of modern styles and so-called "fast fashion?" There is an alternative! You can instead shop for vintage pieces at consignment shops and create your own unique style from whatever you find. There is a bit of a learning curve involved when you first start shopping for vintage clothing through consigners, but with the tips below, you'll adapt and have a great time.

1. Start by browsing.

Before you buy anything, plan on spending a couple of hours just browsing a few consignment stores in your area. This will give you a better idea of what each one has to offer and the prices you can expect to pay. If you buy without first browsing, you might settle on a pair of shoes you kind of like at Store 1, only to arrive at Store 2 and realize they have a whole wall of shoes at better prices. If you're the note-taking type, you can make note of what each store has to offer so you can reference these notes later when you shop.

2. Buy with an outfit in mind.

You don't want to fall in love with a piece, buy it, and then have it sit in your closet for five years because you never find other clothing to wear with it. So when shopping for vintage clothing, do so with an outfit in mind. If you find a shirt you love, make sure you have pants to match — or can find pants to match — before you buy that shirt, for example.

3. Talk to the shop owners.

When you are shopping, make sure you take a moment or two to talk to the shop owners and employees. Let them know what kinds of clothing you are looking for; they might set something aside for you if it happens to come in, or they might have extra stock that they have not shelved yet, but that they can show you on request. It pays to get to know the owners.

4. Visit often.

Consignment shops get in new items regularly. So to make sure you find the best pieces, you need to visit often! Make stopping by the shop a part of your weekly routine. You'll slowly amass a collection of great pieces that allow you to dress your best.

If you're ready to embrace a vintage style, start shopping with the tips above.