Vintage shopping is all the rage. Times are tight, and if you can find that perfect outfit for a fraction of the cost, why wouldn’t you?  It’s amazing what a little digging can turn up, but if you’re not born with the gift of foraging, there are a few tricks-of-the-trade that will acclimate your vintage shopping senses.


    • Always wear something you can slip clothes over.  I go for a tank top and spandex.  Most thrift stores don’t have dressing rooms, and unless you have Rain Man sensibilities when it comes to sizing, you need to try it on.  And carry a purse that you can sling over your shoulder. A clunky handbag only slows you down.
    • Stay patient. Those piece-de-resistance pants could be hiding on an overstuffed rack for a mere 7.99. It happens.

    • Don’t judge a garment by the tag. Sizing has changed significantly throughout the years and just because it says 12 doesn’t mean it fits like a 12.
    • Unless you just graduated from Parsons, those little bargains we make with the clothing, “Oh well I could just nip this here, and move this pocket,” aren’t going to work. If it’s a hem, grab it.  If it’s an overhaul, leave it.
    • Stay patient.  Those piece-de-resistance pants could be hiding on an overstuffed rack for a mere 7.99.  It happens.
    • If it’s scratchy, itchy, Polyester, has weird looking stains, or an old-time smell, leave it. It will wind up sitting in a plastic bag in the back of your closet until your next trip to Goodwill.
    • Be aware of your environment. That pirate blouse may be fabulous in the context of a thrift store, but that doesn’t make it a keeper. Gather as much as you can on your first pass around the store, but anything you wind up making faces at, goes back.  No matter what.

    And finally, go with your gut. You know you best.

     -Arianna Schioldager

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