Thrifting vintage clothing has become increasingly popular in recent years as people have started to recognize the value of pre-loved clothing! Not only is thrifting an environmentally-friendly way to shop, but it's also a great way to find unique and one-of-a-kind pieces that you won't find anywhere else. In this blog post, we will discuss the benefits of thrifting vintage clothing, how to find the best pieces, and how to care for your vintage finds. If you're new to thrifting, or just looking for some tips on how to thrift vintage clothing, read on!
Firstly, let's define what we mean by "vintage" clothing. Generally, vintage clothing refers to clothing that was made between 20 and 100 years ago. Clothing that is more than 100 years old is considered antique. There are different eras of vintage clothing, each with its own unique style. Here are some of the most popular eras of vintage clothing:
- Victorian era (1837-1901)
- Edwardian era (1901-1910)
- Roaring Twenties (1920s)
- Depression era (1930s)
- World War II era (1940s)
- New Look era (1950s)
- Swinging Sixties (1960s)
- Disco era (1970s)
- New Wave era (1980s)
Benefits of Thrifting Vintage Clothing
There are many benefits to thrifting vintage clothing, both for the environment and for your wardrobe. One of the biggest benefits is that it's a sustainable way to shop. By purchasing pre-loved clothing, you are reducing the demand for new clothing and keeping items out of landfills. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, 11.3 million tons of textile waste were generated in 2018, and only 2.5 million tons of that waste was recycled. By choosing to thrift, you are doing your part to reduce textile waste.
Another benefit of thrifting vintage clothing is that you can find unique and one-of-a-kind pieces. Vintage clothing is often from a different era, which means that it has a different aesthetic and style than what is currently on-trend. This can be a great way to express your personal style and stand out from the crowd. Additionally, vintage clothing is often made with higher quality materials and construction than contemporary clothing, meaning that it can last longer and be a better investment.
Finding the Best Pieces
When thrifting for vintage clothing, it's important to have patience and to be willing to dig through racks and piles of clothing. The best pieces are often hidden among the less desirable items, so it's important to take your time and look carefully.
One of the best places to find vintage clothing is at thrift stores. Thrift stores often have a dedicated vintage section, but you can also find vintage pieces mixed in with the contemporary clothing. It's a good idea to visit your local thrift stores regularly, as new items are constantly being added to the racks.
Another great place to find vintage clothing is at flea markets and vintage fairs. These events are often held on weekends and can be a fun way to spend a day browsing through vintage clothing and accessories. You can also find vintage clothing on online marketplaces such as eBay and Etsy, but it's important to be careful and to read the seller's reviews before making a purchase.
When looking for vintage clothing, it's important to pay attention to the quality of the item. Look for any signs of wear and tear, such as holes, stains, or tears. While some wear and tear is to be expected with vintage clothing, you don't want to purchase an item that is in poor condition and won't last long. Additionally, pay attention to the sizing of the item. Sizing standards have changed over the years, so it's important to try on vintage clothing before making a purchase or to carefully measure yourself and compare it to the item's listed measurements.
Another thing to consider when shopping for vintage clothing is sizing. Sizing can vary widely between eras, so it's important to try things on or take accurate measurements before making a purchase. Keep in mind that vintage clothing often runs smaller than modern sizing, so don't be discouraged if your usual size doesn't fit. Additionally, it's important to consider the fit and style of the clothing. Vintage clothing often has a more unique and exaggerated silhouette, so it's important to make sure that the style flatters your body type.
Caring for Your Vintage Finds
Once you've found the perfect vintage piece, it's important to take care of it properly so that it lasts as long as possible. Vintage clothing requires a different level of care than contemporary clothing, as it is often made with different materials and construction techniques.
One of the most important things to keep in mind when caring for vintage clothing is to read the care label carefully. Vintage clothing may have different care instructions than contemporary clothing, so it's important to follow the label's instructions to avoid damaging the item. If the care label is missing or unclear, it's a good idea to do some research to determine the best way to care for the item.
Another important factor to consider when caring for vintage clothing is the storage. Proper storage is crucial for maintaining the quality and longevity of vintage clothing, as it can be delicate and prone to damage over time. Here are 7 helpful tips on how to store your new vintage finds:
- Clean Before Storing
Before storing vintage clothing, it's important to ensure that it's clean. Any dirt or stains can set in over time and become harder to remove, so it's best to clean vintage clothes before storing them. However, it's essential to follow the cleaning instructions carefully, as vintage clothes may require special care.
- Use Acid-Free Tissue Paper
Acid-free tissue paper is an essential tool for storing vintage clothing. It helps to protect the fabric from yellowing and discoloration by neutralizing any acid present in the environment. Wrap each garment in acid-free tissue paper before placing it in a storage container or hanging it up.
- Store in a Cool, Dry Place
The ideal storage conditions for vintage clothing are cool, dry, and dark. Exposure to sunlight can cause fading and damage to the fabric, while high humidity can cause mold and mildew growth. Choose a storage area that is away from direct sunlight and moisture, such as a closet or a drawer.
- Avoid Plastic Bags
While it may be tempting to store vintage clothing in plastic bags, this can actually cause more harm than good. Plastic bags can trap moisture, which can lead to mold and mildew growth. Instead, use breathable fabric garment bags or storage containers with lids.
- Hang Clothes Properly
When hanging vintage clothing, it's important to use hangers that won't stretch or damage the fabric. Avoid wire hangers, as they can leave creases and cause distortion over time. Instead, use padded hangers or wooden hangers with rounded edges.
- Rotate Your Storage
To prevent damage from insects or dust, it's important to rotate your storage every few months. Take the opportunity to inspect your vintage clothing for any signs of damage or wear, and clean and re-wrap them in acid-free tissue paper before storing them in a new location.
- Avoid Mothballs
Mothballs are a common solution for preventing moth damage, but they can also leave a strong odor on vintage clothing. Instead, use natural remedies like cedar blocks, lavender sachets, or dried herbs to repel moths and keep your vintage clothing fresh.
In conclusion, thrifting vintage clothing is an excellent way to express your unique style. Vintage clothing can add a touch of authenticity to your wardrobe that you simply can't get from new clothing. Plus, thrifting is an eco-friendly way to shop, as it reduces waste and helps keep clothing out of landfills.
Check out Paisley Lion for your vintage clothing desires!