Tips on Vintage Shopping: Rachael from It's Simple Love

Hello everyone-Today we have Rachael from It's Simple Love sharing her tips on vintage shopping. I asked Rachael to guest post on this topic because I would love to learn more about vintage shopping and because she truly is an expert on this topic. Have you checked out her adorable items on Etsy at Ande Monster Vintage

First off, thank you Naina for asking me to guest post! I am Rachael from It's Simple Love and I am pleased to be sharing about vintage shopping, A.K.A. "thrifting". I am crazy about vintage clothing and I am excited to share a bit on what I love. I have always shopped for vintage clothing since my childhood. My mom sparked the interest in me first by taking me to thrift stores when I was young. I loved wearing vintage cowgirl boots and I loved vintage floral dresses. I have always been a dress-lover. To this day, it is my favorite thing vintage item to buy and that's the first place I go to when I shop vintage, the dress section. I opened a shop up last year because I wanted to share my love for vintage clothing. You can find my shop, Ande Monster Vintage, on etsy

So, here are some quick and easy tips on shopping vintage:

Where do you find a good vintage shop?

1.The best way? Word of mouth. Ask around.

2. I use the site The Thrift Shopper. It will give you a list of thrift stores in your area and a rating of each one just by entering in your zip code. I highly suggest using it. I use it every time I visit another city. I love thrifting in every town I visit.

3.You can always go to national thrift stores like Deseret Industries, Savers, The Salvation Army, Thrift Town, or Goodwill

4. Yard sales and estate sales are also excellent places to find vintage clothing. You can find yard and estate sale listings in your local newspaper or on craigslist.

Quick Tips on Finding "The Good Stuff":

1. Take your time. Thrift stores typically have racks and racks of clothing so make sure you have the time to go through the racks thoroughly. Think of it as a treasure hunt.

2. You win some you lose some. Some days I come out with 3-4 dresses that I am in LOVE with. Other days I come home with none. Don't be too depressed if you don't find anything. Typically thrift stores get thousands of donations every day. Which leads me to my next tip...

3. Go often. I go a few times a week because I know the good stuff does not stay for long and the inventory on the floor rotates fast. Go regularly.

4. Get a schedule. I go to one thrift store on a regular basis and I know what time they put out new items.

5. Make friends with the employees. I go thrift stores often enough that I get to know the employees. This helps when I find an item that is slightly damaged the employees often times mark them down for me. I have also had employees "save" items just for me. Not because I ask them but they see an item, think of me, and show me when I go in. I love it!

6. Be picky! Hold the same standards you have for your clothing today. Make sure it fits you and it's flattering (unless your savvy with a sewing machine and can make alterations). Look for holes or stains. Ask yourself "am I really going to make use of this?" but be imaginative and don't be scared to try something new!

7. ALWAYS try it on. Always always always make time to try it on. It may turn out better than expected. Or it could turn out absolutely hideous. Try it on and find out before taking it home.

How do you tell if it is vintage?

1. Know your history. Knowing the history of fabrics and textiles will help you "date" your clothing. Knowing the styles of a particular decade will also help you date the garment of clothing. (Examples: 1940's 1950's 1960's 1970's 1980's)

2. The zipper. Before the 1950's most garments did not use zippers. If you find the garment has a metal zipper it is most likely from the 1950's-1960's. If the zipper is nylon then it will be post 1960's.

3. Check the hem. How the garment was made usually tells a lot about it. If it has a handmade look to it, even if it has a tag, this is a good sign it is vintage. It was more common to make your own clothes in years past. Typically speaking, vintage clothing was better made; " built to last".

4. Check the label. The label often will tell the circa date of the article of clothing. Look at the font of the label and the brand itself. You can look up the label and garment style when you get home and often find the year of the garment and some history. Labels may also have some wear or fade to them.

5. Washing instructions. Washing instructions generally were not added to garments until the 1970's. If the garment has washing instructions, it was most likely made after 1970.

I hope these little tips help you find the vintage clothing you have always been looking for! If you are not one to search thrift stores, there are plenty of vintage shops online and on the streets. Don't be afraid to shop and wear vintage. All styles come back! Whether we embrace them or disgrace them. Find excellent vintage stores on Etsy.  And don't be afraid to say hello on my blog It's Simple Love.