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Vintage Shopping Guides


If you are new to vintage clothing shopping, the these guides and tips will make it easy for you to get the most out of your vintage experience.

Vintage Clothing Quality Checklist

What types of damage should you look for before you buy a vintage item?
  • Mold and mildew
  • Moth damage
  • Wear, tear, fading, and deterioration
  • Stains and odors
  • Loss of shape, sagging, stretching

How to Shop For Vintage Clothing

What do you need to know to be a savvy vintage shopper?
  • Bring the right tools like a tape measure and cash instead of credit card or checks.
  • Dress in layers that you can remove to try things on in case there isn't a fitting room.
  • Try everything on because the sizes on the label don't have any correlation to modern sizes.
  • Remember that bigger is better.If something is too big you can always have it taken in, but it's near impossible to let it out.
  • If you think the price is high, try to bargain (this is where paying in cash comes in handy)
  • Go early to flea markets and tag sales to get the best selection, go later to haggle the best deals
  • If you love it, buy it. You may never see it again otherwise.

Guide to Buying Vintage Costume Jewelry

What should you look for when buying vintage costume jewelry?
  • Condition

    Just because it's old doesn't mean it should be beat up. Don't pay a high price if a piece is missing beads or rhinestones, has cloudy rhinestones, is chipped, scratched, or broken in any way.
  • Quality

    A heavy weight, smooth plating, sparkling stones, and pronged setting mean that the piece is high quality, even if its costume.
  • Perspective

    Is the piece you are considering really something you will wear? Sometimes the history and rarity makes an item so fabulous you just have to have it; but if it doesn’t match your style and personality, it’s not worth purchasing so that it can sit in at the bottom of a jewelry drawer.

Guide to Shopping at Garage Sales, Tag Sales, and Flea Markets

This step by step guide that includes information on how to find sales, what to bring with you, and etiquette. It explains the difference between the types of sales and has tips about what to bring and how to stay organized.

Vitnage Shoe Buying Guide

Vintage Vixen’s April Ainsworth knows a lot about vintage shoes. Here are some of her tips and recommendations for buying vintage shoes:
  • Sizing

    The good news is that vintage sizes haven't changed very much over the years so there is only about a half size up or down of wiggle room.
  • Manufacturing Materials

    Be aware of the state of the glues, rubbers, and leathers can become brittle and dry over time, even if the shoes were never worn. This is especially true of shoes made before the 1960s.
  • Quality Keys

    It is possible for shoes that are old or even used to still be of a high quality, expecially if they are real leather, is made in Spain or Italy, or has extensive sizing and manufacturing details on the shoe itself.
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