Since I created a YouTube video in regard to how to buy vintage clothing I thought I would accompany that with a small summary here on Medium.
Thrift shopping or vintage clothing has increasingly grown in popularity over the years, it can still be difficult for people who may have never done so before, or are maybe slightly intimidated by today’s marketplace.
Ultimately, once you start you may not stop. Vintage and thrift shopping is one of my personal favorite hobbies, and once you catch that thrill of the find you may never stop.
I enjoy the hunt, others enjoy a great deal, and some are growing a collection, some may want to encourage more sustainable shopping habits.
On top of that thrift shopping can be incorporated into so many other aspects of popular culture, including crafting projects, repurposed products, housewares, minimalism, books, media, cosplay, and more. You never know what you might find, and it’s not just limited to clothing or fashion.
I categorize vintage into three categories. Thrift, consignment, and luxury goods. Thrift is when you don’t mind scourging racks and bottom dollar prices, consignment is a more independent businesses who offer medium prices and already curated pieces for your shopping convenience, and luxury is collectibles, antiquities, costumes and more.
Thrifting supports local charities, local communities, and even volunteer opportunities as your money tends to go directly to this demographic. It is also your most inexpensive option. The only downside to thrifting is, environments can be cramped, busy, and quality assurance of items will not always be there. Despite being graded by these companies to be sellable it is always wise to do quality control on your items. Inspecting it for stains, holes, or irreparable issues. Though oftentimes, it may also be a worthwhile investment to get an item tailored or repaired. You also have to be sure you are supporting a charity that may align with your personal values, because some have religious or moral values that do not align with your own.
Consignment supports local small businesses, local communities, and you may even be able to sell your own goods for profit, which keeps your items out of landfills and in the circular economy. Quality assurance will be better than thrift, and you will likely find more popular and sought after brand name items. Some cons of consignment include, not making a lot of money off the resale value of your own personal goods. Ever changing stock supply, which may mean some days offer less or more options. This will be a medium cost range depending on the items.
Lastly, are luxury or collectible items. Which can oftentimes be found online vs. instore. These are highly sought after goods, high end fashion brands, antiquities, or costumes made for media opportunities. These will be the highest price point, and offer the highest quality assurance. Cons of buying luxury include that the fact that they may not be made for everyday wear, you may need to store them effectively, you may have to insure them as well as get proper authentication. This can take some time to learn this specific market, and it’s not something you want to dive into without educating yourself first especially since most of these purchases occur online. Also understanding these resellers return policy is also important. As most vintage shopping is non refundable.
This is just a very basic overview of how I feel you can shop for vintage clothing. This does not get into how to identify brands, materials, or specific eras. As that does take some effort to learn and grow in. Though that does not mean you can’t vintage shop based on your likes and what you know and can bring to the table. This is why thrifting and vintage shopping is not just economical but wholeheartedly inclusive of everyone.