From left to right, all vintage: sequined Valentino jumpsuit, Malcolm Starr dress, sequined Halston dress (same as Miranda wore in the Sex and the City movie).
I have a confession. My shopping superpowers end at vintage shopping. This is really hard for me to admit, I hope you can appreciate that. It’s difficult to come to terms with such an incompetence that is so strongly linked to your life’s work. I am surrounded by "those" people, people who breeze in and out of Beacon's Closet with an armload of mint condition designer wears for like $75. I, on the other hand, spend hours digging through racks and come up empty-handed, save for a few regrettable "Golden Girls"-esque beaded sweaters. And shoulder pads. Oh. The shoulder pads. I finally had to admit to myself that I need help. I wanted tips from an expert. And I thought why not share those tips with you? Maybe you're as hopeless as I am, which is doubtful, or maybe you just feel you could always up your vintage shopping game. Vintage shopping opens up a world of more affordable high fashion and true, one-of-a-kind treasures that will shine like museum pieces in your closet. And Veronica Amarante of The Refined Pursuit knows how to get those treasures. Her awe-inspiring blog is filled with the images of her incredible vintage finds - we're talking how-is-that-possible-I-
Vintage Gucci lunchbox bag
Quality - Quality in vintage means pieces that are in good shape, items that are gently worn or new, clean and in good condition. If an item needs little repair or alterations and the price is right, it may be a good investment.
- Is the price reasonable? Do you feel like you are getting a good deal or made a good investment in a classic piece?
Authenticity - If you are shopping luxury designer vintage then you'd want to make sure the pieces are authentic. Major vintage boutiques for the most part make sure all of their designer pieces are authentic. However, if you are hunting for a specific designer or item, do some research first.
Vintage Yves Saint Laurent jacket
Frequency - If you find a store you like, visit frequently. Ask the store manager or an employee how often they receive new inventory. Vintage pieces do not get re-stocked, and you don't want to miss out on a special item. Which brings me to my next tip.
Make Friends - Become friendly with the staff and store owner. Make them aware of what kind of pieces you are interested in. That way if an item you'd love arrives they will call you. Also it doesn't hurt to let them know what you love, sometimes they keep special pieces in the back or new inventory may have arrived and didn't make it to the sales floor yet.