La Femme

Top Tips For Vintage Shopping

When it comes to fashion and style there are many lessons for which I am grateful to have learnt through the years.

 Fashion trends come and go. Style is forever.

Invest in a capsule wardrobe and build from there.

The path to personal style is through experimentation.

If there is a lesson, I am most indebted to it is that preloved pieces are not predestined to be purposeless. In fact, it is in the preloved sector of the fashion industry in which hidden gems await to be uncovered and hopes for a more sustainable future found.

As many of my readers know, my love for vintage started as a 19-year-old Aussie having her London expat experience and for me it is one of the reasons why it remains my favourite city. The sense of individuality I observed there and quickly embraced changed my approach to fashion forever and years later I founded The UnCommons Vintage.

In starting The UnCommons I am determined to give customers access to expensive style without the expense, hence why our focus is on sourcing designer and high-end pieces. Most importantly I want to encourage the consumer, especially young women to experiment with embracing non-traditional forms of shopping. In a world where conformity is encouraged, fashion trends, the cycles of which appear to be moving at increasing speed, can inhabit individual expression. As such, enjoying hunting for vintage pieces and being thrifty is often met with judgement particularly here in Australia. It is something I noticed upon moving back from London where those sentiments do not seem prevalent. Times are changing, and as mindful consumerism takes centre stage and with-it sustainability, the vintage marketplace is enjoying a renaissance.

So, for vintage lovers, both seasoned pros and fresh-faced hunters, the question for today’s post is how we can create more informed consumers? What tips can be imparted so that you are investing in fashionable finds rather than flops. Over the course of the next few weeks, we will be discussing in more details about how to authenticate designer pieces etc but to commence with let us go back to basics of what to look for when shopping all things preloved.

What’s In A Name

Do not be seduced by the label. Not only do you have to do your due diligence authenticating a product, but a label should not determine your love for the piece at hand. Ask yourself would your feelings be the same if the label was not there and assess the wearability of the piece regardless. Some of the most interesting pieces I own are labelless.

Know Thyself

Particularly when shopping online where you do not have access to the product, be sure to be familiar with international size conversions and your exact measurements in relation to the garment.

Exercise Scrutiny

So as not to get caught up in a shopping frenzy, before deciding be sure to run your eyes over the entirety of the garment. Check the quality of the material, the smoothness of the zippers, how tightly fastened the buttons etc. Mostly avoid purchasing anything with stains. You want to avoid investing in something that will cost more to repair or have professionally dyed.

Tailor Made

Should you fall for something that is perfect in every way but the size, invest in the services of a tailor who can fit the garment to your measurements. Naturally, this can be an expensive endeavour so be sure to weigh up the cost of the product and outgoing expenditure.

The Right Material

When it comes to investing in vintage and thrifted finds quality is paramount all of which can be influenced by the condition of the piece, craftsmanship and what it is cut from. Look at the care label to understand what the fabric composition is as this will determine the longevity of the piece and how it will sit on the body.

Start Small

If you are just starting your vintage journey embrace that the process of treasure hunting can be overwhelming at times. To avoid these feelings, start with something small like gravitating towards accessories. From vintage earrings to a statement Dior scarf, though small they all have the power to make a statement and express individuality.

Take The Bad With The Good

As someone who professionally hunts for vintage finds for The UnCommons Vintage, my eye is always searching. However, I have accepted that some days the odds are not in my favour. Do not let a day of limited finds deter your love of vintage. Embrace the hunt and all that comes with it.

Bag It Up

Part of the joy of shopping vintage is that you are contributing to a circular fashion economy so be sure to avoid plastic bags. Some stores will charge you for the use of bag so be sustainable and savvy and bring your own.