Vintage stores these days aren’t your mom’s Sally Ann. Hipsters have flocked to these stores for years and proprietors took notice, improving selection and hiking up prices. These days, vintage stores are as diverse as the clothes you’ll find inside: from Toronto’s impossibly hip Black Market, to the thrifty chain store Talize, to local consignment boutique Mesh.
Shop, rest, repeat
Successful vintage shopping will require dedication because you won’t always find something you like, something that fits, and something you can afford in one go. Repeat viewing is necessary.
Scour, young vintager, scour
There’s a technique to use when vintage shopping: Look. At. Everything.
These stores are always arranged in racks like a warehouse-sized closet, meaning it’s impossible to see whether that polo is a frumpy blob or a Lacoste gem until you take a genuine look. Spread those racks apart and start flipping as fast as you can to inspect the inventory in a reasonable amount of time.
Have a mind to mend
Not everything will fit perfectly, but considering you’ve saved $50 on that loose-fitting blazer, paying for a little tailoring is an elegant solution. If you own a sewing machine and posses the skills, tailor it yourself. Thrift stores don’t usually accept torn garments, so the most you’ll have to do is a nip here or a tuck there.
Know what not to buy
You can’t spring your entire wardrobe from Value Village. Lots of clothing you’ll find on the vintage trail are dated or donated by another generation, which is great for that vintage look but can backfire if you’re hoping to score something like jeans. A vintage sweater is one thing, but light blue high-waisted mom jeans are another entirely. Buy jeans, pants and formal wear at real store and spend the money they deserve.