How To Identify And Buy Vintage Clothing


Most of the clothing and accessories stores offer vintage products nowadays. A lot of people however think that vintage is old, thus used or that they should get a vintage piece because it is trendy. In reality vintage clothing refers to clothing created between the 1920s and the 1970s sometimes even 1980s. The specialty vintage clothing stores consider vintage clothing only the clothes created in the 1960s and 1970s. Sometimes people refer to vintage clothes as retro clothes. This is not necessarily true because for example a gown created by a world wide known designer can become a vintage piece of clothing after only three or four years from the date it was first presented.

If you want to buy Vintage clothing or accessories you should expect to pay the same price as the prices of the newest collection available or sometimes even more. The vintage market like almost any other market is divided in two parts: the first part is the authentic vintage products market which are more expensive but are both collectibles and let you make a fashion statement; and the second part is the reproduced vintage products market which offers cheap products that copy the design and the material, but that are actually produced very recently.

There are a few things you should keep in mind when searching for vintage clothes. Most of the times the size is given in terms of hip, waist, and bust measurements, thus if you only know your size you might not be able to buy the product. Carefully read all the details provided with the product. The authentic vintage clothes information will contain details about all the details of the product, existent damages, material made from, original color and present color, year of fabrication if possible as well as designer. They will also provide several pictures showing the product from different angles so that you can asses its condition.

A lot of times authentic vintage clothes are already worn, but in a great condition. They are called vintage clothes because they belong to a different period of times, and it rarely happens that people buy clothes and do not wear them at all and do not give them away. A new or almost new vintage clothing piece can be a very expensive item like an evening gown that one can wear only at certain occasions. A lot of famous people or not so famous but very rich people have event outfits they only wear once, but do not give them away because of different reasons. When this is the case their clothing products can become vintage clothing products that look extremely good and do not even look like they have been worn.

Know Your Vintage Clothing Condition

Because vintage clothing is not new, it’s important that you properly understand the condition of a garment. Some sellers rely on a naming system that will help you assess what you can expect when you buy vintage clothing and accessories on eBay. Here’s a listing of terms from the Fashion-Era Web site.

*Mint: An item is as perfect and pristine as when it was originally made and shows no sign of wear (mint condition is rare for vintage clothing).

*Near mint: An item shows only the slightest signs of wear.

*Excellent: An item shows typical signs of wear due to occasional use.

*Very good: An item is considered wearable but has some surface flaws (staining or soiling, for example).

*Good: An item is wearable but cannot be returned to excellent condition even if repairs are made.

Of course, the older a piece of clothing is, the more likely it will display indications of its age. Signs of wear should be expected. Although condition ranks as a main buying consideration for vintage clothing, it’s not as crucial for older items.

Don’t buy something that you consider inferior just because it has a well known brand name. Ask the seller to specify any damage or irregularities a garment may have. And don’t rely solely on a condition term if you are unsure of the quality of a garment.

As for size, it’s always a good idea to buy a little big. If a piece of vintage clothing is particularly old, it might not withstand stretching. What’s more, don’t rely on modern sizing. Because vintage clothing is from past eras, sizes will vary from decade to decade and from manufacturer to manufacturer.


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