Your Vintage Shopping Guide: 5 Essential Tips

Posted on May 8, 2017 by Downtown Market

Whether you have a specific item in mind or just want to browse, vintage shopping is an exciting way to find items that are new to you.  Vintage shopping is the perfect way to freshen up your wardrobe with unique threads and accessories or add character to your home with thrifted furniture and antiques. If the idea of hunting for vintage items overwhelms you, you’re in luck! Since we host the Vintage Street Market each summer, we know a thing or two about finding hidden treasures.

Plan Ahead
When do you plan on going vintage shopping? Where are you going? Are you bringing a friend along or flying solo? These might seem like trivial details, but time is important when shopping for vintage. Expert vintage shoppers will tell you, the good stuff is sold quickly! If you have a plan for your vintage adventure, you might snag that couture bag before someone else does.

Be Prepared
Are you shopping for vintage clothing? Wear garments that are easy to take on and off so you can easily try on different pieces. If you’re searching for furniture and other home accessories, bring a tape measure so you know what will fit where. 

Be aware of what you already have and what you need. You don’t want to bring home a new-to-you dress to realize you already have something similar in your closet. 

Know What to Look For
You don’t want to take your finds home only to realize a clasp is broken or a zipper is stuck. When looking at vintage clothing, check for stains, tears, and holes. Some repairs are easy to fix but others will end up costing you more than you’d like to spend. Take the same approach with furniture. Will that chair take more time and effort to reupholster than what you are willing to commit? Then you should probably pass. 

The state of the vintage items can vary depending on where you shop. After browsing a few shops and markets, it will be easy for you to identify retailers that have the high-quality items and what places sell things that need a little more love and attention. 

Have an Open Mind 
So that sweater is a little big but could you have it tailored? Sometimes the vintage store/market setting can’t convey an item’s true potential. If you love something that is a little out of your comfort zone, be bold! Chances are once you purchase your unique item you will be satisfied once you see it on or place it in your home.  

Keep Hunting 
Even if you didn’t find any goodies, don’t give up after your first vintage shopping experience! Vintage items come and go so it is important to keep trying. May-September we are hosting our Vintage Street Market, the only one of its kind in the area, on the second Sunday of each month! Click here to learn more about the Vintage Street Market at the Downtown Market.