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Pretty in Thrift: A Guide to Shopping Vintage Online

Pretty in Thrift: A Guide to Shopping Vintage Online

Published by Stefany Mohebban on Jan 27th 2021

For most of us, this past year has been weird and quite scary at times. Many of the things we took for granted were all of a sudden stripped away from us, and we were left wondering how to manage this new way of existing. One of my favorite things to do has always been browsing thrift and vintage stores–it’s kind of like a form of therapy.  Of course, with our whole city being shut down for so many months, this was no longer an option. Knowing well that the only way to get though these strange times was by incorporating small joys back into life, I found myself getting much more in tune with shopping online for vintage, and I’ve learned a few new tricks that I’d love to share with you!

1. Know Your Measurements. One really important thing is knowing your measurements and knowing the measurements of the pieces in your closet that you find the most flattering. This is especially important when it comes to pants! I tend to shop for pants and jeans in person 99% of the time because pants tend to be the least forgiving. But if you really want to experiment with buying jeans and pants online, I would suggest asking a lot of questions about the measurements, comparing them to a pant that is very flattering which you already own (also knowing the models measurements can be useful). When it comes to accessories, it is helpful to know the ring sizes of whichever fingers you are planning to wear rings. I also suggest getting familiar with what lengths of necklaces you're looking for by measuring some at home (especially if you like layering your necklaces).

2. Get a Feel for Fabric. I’ve always loved being able to feel fabrics and textures when I shop vintage because it gives me a lot of information about the quality of the piece, but when you’re shopping online obviously that’s not an option. I highly suggest making sure you get as much information about the fabric content of the pieces you’re interested in before hitting that purchase button. I know what my skin is sensitive to and also what I like the feel of by surveying what’s already in my closet, and I use that knowledge when I search for items online.

3. Accessorize! When it comes to accessories that’s where I have the most fun! Jewelry is one of my favorite things to shop for online. I’ve  learned that jewelry photos can be deceiving as far as how small or large an item is so always use a ruler or measuring tape to get a feel for what you’re getting (if the length and width of an item isn’t listed I always ask). Bags are also very fun to shop for and the stakes are pretty low since they don’t need to fit any part of your body. With buying vintage bags I always make sure there are adequate photos that show all angles and the inside too so you can make sure you know the condition, but otherwise have fun with it! I love to see what styles of bags are popular at the moment and then do a search based on the style and see what vintage version I can find.

4. Get in the mood. I can really get into different textures and prints depending on my mood (especially when it comes to tops and sweaters). Sometimes I like to search by a specific decade or texture, other times by cut or by the color (possibilities are endless but it’s good to have a sense of what you’re looking for so you don’t get too overwhelmed by the options) But if you’re looking for a specific vibe and for example you know a certain designer has mastered the look, it’s always fun to try to find their vintage pieces too. A while back I was on a vintage Norma Kamali kick and found so many gorgeous pieces by her, and same with Celine. You never know what treasures are waiting to be claimed, and the search and is often the best part of the process!