Sunday, April 24, 2011

How to Shop Online Vintage Stores

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So you shop online all the time but for brand new items. Great news: Vintage stores are online so you can snag fabulous vintage looks even if you don't have a great store around you, or if you don't know where to look. What we love best about shopping vintage is the unique quality to each item you buy. If you want to continue to develop your own personal style, vintage pieces in your wardrobe will really set you apart. Now, are some tips on how to successfully shop vintage stores on the internet.

Browse Before Buying
Because vintage items are usually one-of-a-kind and there may not be a great return policy for vintage stores, make sure you browse before hunkering down and typing in your credit card info. Each store has it's very own collection and it's very own prices. You'll find vintage and thrift shops that are full of amazing deals while others will charge you $200 for a tee-shirt. It is a previously worn shirt, after all, and you do not need to pay high prices for great finds. Some great stores to peruse are Goodwill, eBay, Beacon's Closet, Fashion Dig and Vintage Trends. You can also google for these stores, especially if you're looking for local ones.

Do Your Research
A lot of brands are jumping on the vintage bandwagon and putting the word in their name, but this does not make them really vintage. Just because it looks retro, or the description says it's retro, doesn't mean you're actually going to get genuine vintage. So, do your research. Look up brands, learn great vintage brands that are no longer made, research the particular stores you're online shopping by reading reviews. Don't be caught spending a premium dollar on a fake vintage item.

Catch the Sales
Surprise! There are sales for online vintage stores too. As much as you begrudge that flurry of emails you get notifying you of deals, it's not really a big price to pay for saving a lot of money. So check the vintage sites regularly--especially around the holidays--or make sure to receive the newsletters and stay apprised of all the money-saving events that can make a great vintage deal even greater.

Remember that Times Have Changed
If you're buying anything online, you always run the risk of it not fitting correctly as you don't have the luxury of a fitting room. Because vintage stores usually only carry one of any item, you're not going to be able to order 2 sizes and return the one that doesn't fit. It is key to know your measurements and maybe do a little research on particular vintage brands to see if they run bigger or smaller than modern-day fits. If you're really not sure whether a dress will work, check out the exchange/return policy and make sure you're not stuck with something you can never wear.

Once It Arrives...
That a-MAY-zing vintage dress just arrived at your door, it fits and you look hot, but you're not really done. For one, a lot of vintage pieces have been fixed up, but as the name denotes, they've been worn before and maybe a ton. You love that really-worn feel on your tees, right? Well sometimes that comes with a price. Make sure your garments are washing machine tough or wash them by hand and skip the dryer altogether. Also be really careful with designer pieces or really unique items because if a button pops off, you'll likely be unable to find an exact match. This is also where a great tailor comes in handy. If a seam on your vintage silk Valentino blouse rips, that's a job for a professional.

**For more fashion tips and advice, please visit

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