A Vintage Splendor x Forbes

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Vintage clothing and accessories are full of charm; whether it's the 60s mod era, the Studio54 disco decade of the 70s or the goth-esq minimalism of the 90s there is nothing like having the real, original thing. It can be tough when buying vintage pieces but we've taken the hard work out of it with these top tips from the experts to help navigate your way though retro dressing.

How To Buy Vintage Wears According To the Experts

  • Make sure your first vintage discovery is something that you can incorporate into your existing wardrobe, like a fabulous LBD or the perfect fall coat. It should be in a strong and solid condition as it is very easy to fall in love with something that has missing beads or buttons or requires further work, but that often requires a great deal of specialist skill, patience, and luck! William Banks-Blaney, William Vintage
GIVENCHY Haute Couture dress & coat ensemble, circa 1963 WILLIAM VINTAGE
GIVENCHY Haute Couture dress & coat ensemble, circa 1963off season WILLIAM VINTAGE
  • My top tip is to buy vintage fashion off season to get the best prices. Vendors are more likely to discount summer pieces heavily in winter and winter coats/knitwear during summer. Marcelle Symons, One Vintage
  • Don’t be afraid to alter something to fit.  My savviest clients never shy away from something they love because of small fit issues.  When there is no size run, sometimes you have to be willing to put the time in at the tailor to make it just right.  I love having a one of a kind piece that is fit just for me. Stacy Iannacone, Ritual Vintage
  • Go for classic, timeless items with a twist. Pia Anna Kierulff, Jérôme Vintage
  • Imagine the piece hanging in your cupboard and ask yourself if you can't wait to wear it (obviously after scrutiny). Vintage clothes are very seductive, think for a few minutes before you buy...Mairead Lewin, Mairead Lewin Vintage
  • Buy from a reputable dealer.  They have the experience to date, clean, and measure items properly and can answer almost any question one might have regarding a vintage item. Bonus: If you're concerned with either fit or care of vintage clothing, there's always vintage accessories.  Vintage jewelry or purses are a good way to start a journey into buying vintage. Andi Shelton, Raleigh Vintage
Vintage 1930s Gold and Green Rhinestone Glamour Necklace RALEIGH VINTAGE
  • For the novice, shopper be ready to really hunt for pieces which means digging through piles of clothes or racks and racks of stuff. I call it thrill of the thrift for that reason because you can find a vintage Gucci scarf or Manolo Blahnik mules in the clearance bin at the Salvation Army (true story). I find the most gems when I’m just browsing, but if you’re new to vintage shopping start with a plan. List about 3-5 current trends or pieces you love and shop for those items specifically. For example, if you love slip dresses then shop the lingerie section or search for dresses that have that look. I also recommend that you shop the entire store which includes the men’s section where you’ll find high-quality blazers, sweaters, and jeans. If you’re unsure of designers or if an item is worth the price, then look for quality - that means the fabric, detailing such as embroidery or sequins, and overall shape/silhouette. It’s easy to get overwhelmed when shopping, so stick to the classics if you don’t know where to start shopping. You’ll never go wrong with a leather jacket, oversized blazer, Levi’s, or cotton dress. Annette Vartanian, A Vintage Splendor
Felicity Carter, for Forbes