Thursday, May 26, 2011

5x5 Loves Vintage Shopping

My favourite vintage scarves.
5x5 Clothing

The other 5x5 dames were outraged when they found out I had done a spot on my best vintage shopping tips for another online zine, so I immediately agreed to remedy the case and share them here (including some I did not get to mention!)

Doesn't it irk you when you see someone wearing the most fab 'fit and realize what wonders it would have worked in your own wardrobe? Here are some tips for snatching the most amazing finds for yourself:

1. Before you even start shopping, break into your parents' closet. Rummage through your grandma's jewelry. Seriously, some of the most amazing gems are lurking there, waiting to see daylight once more.
2. When you do go out, try to stay clear of trendy areas. But don't give them up altogether. These things happen in waves: once a relatively unknown thrift shop becomes popular, it gets picked over and you're likely to have less and less luck there (unless you know exactly when its new product arrives) until everyone catches on and abandons it. Then it's a safe bet once again. You just have to stay on top of it.
3. Check out an estate sale. Although you might have a few uncomfortable moments with a teary-eyed relative, estate sales are a great place to snag great pieces (it's kind of like the parents' closet theory) before the buyers from your favourite vintage shop do and mark them up. 
4. Make friends with employees. They are there to help you, promise. If you're looking for something in particular (maybe something outrageous)--a 90s done 60s-style snake print mini dress, for instance--buyers will often keep an eye out for you when they're out making their rounds. 
5. Be prepared to try clothes on! Even if you know your measurements to a T (which I suggest you do if you're a serious vintage shopper anyway), you still won't be able to get a good feel for the fit or flow of the fabric until you get it on your bod. I'd even say the same for accessories, be they belts or bags, brooches or bangles. It really helps to build an outfit around an item when you can visualize the proportions accurately. 

Finally, be patient and prepared to be thorough. Although vintage boutiques are so wonderful you probably wish you lived in one, take the plunge into a bigger thrift or second-hand store. Some of the best finds are hiding right at the end of the rack you were just about to give up on!
An array of my vintage favourites-- deadstock German shades, Ralph Lauren gloves, grandma's opera binoculars, grandpa's flask, and the recent addition of a beautiful quill from Paris (c/o a lovely friend).

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