Vintage aesthetic fashion, or clothing that is more than a few decades old. How do you even begin tackling the phenomenon? The fashion industry has transformed the concept of vintage from a small, specialized business to a multi-billion-dollar industry that has altered how many view clothing.
Vintage shopping is key to finding rare, one-of-a-kind, and high-quality items, as well as a more environmentally friendly method to purchase clothing.
If you’ve been doing a lot of sleuthing for antiques or vintage apparel, or even country-style aesthetic apparel, you’ve probably already found more than a handful of things that have piqued your interest. Otherwise, you might not have been looking in the correct locations – and that’s what we’re going to remedy today!
How to Shop Aesthetic Vintage Fashion?
In the world of vintage, not all venues are made equal.
Boutiques and Specialty Stores
These are the most fantastic destinations to find carefully curated collections of high-quality vintage apparel. Someone passionate about vintage items and has the skills and connections necessary to secure top-drawer vintage stock is likely to own a high-quality vintage boutique. Take note that vintage is not equal to retro fashion, but they do share some surface similarities due to aesthetics.
On the other hand, Boutiques tend to be more specialized, with a focus on items like WWII militaria or workwear from France. It is possible to inquire about the outfits and their age or uniqueness from the boutique owner or employees and better understand the garment.
The personnel at other, more generic vintage shops may be less informed, and the stores may be more chaotic or crowded, but there are still some hidden treasures to be found. Give these specialty stores a chance, and you’ll see.
High Street Stores
Visit High Street stores if you’re very new to the vintage scene. Urban Outfitters, a famous high-end fashion retailer, has begun carrying vintage clothing in its stores. But, for the most part, they’ll only feature older versions of current trends at a higher price point. Of course, the price point is higher, but it won’t hurt to look if you have extra cash.
Pop-ups and Vintage Markets
Traders of antiques and collectibles congregate at events like A Current Affair, Viva Las Vegas, Inspiration LA, and Rose Bowl Flea. On a more intimate scale, local pop-up shops are also likely to be discovered in your neighborhood. This is an excellent way to see a wide range of items from a wide range of vendors all in one location.
Online Vintage Stores
Online vintage shops on Etsy, eBay, or independent websites have recently increased in number. The management and personnel of these businesses, like those in traditional brick-and-mortar establishments, will determine the level of quality and service provided. If you’re buying vintage fashion aesthetic apparel, be cautious to check the tag size because the garment may have shrunk or been washed and dried incorrectly.
Now, if you’re looking for vintage jewelry, Xinar happens to have a massive set of collections of Far Fetched Imports that celebrate artisan jewelry designs from the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s. Also, many lovers of the vintage aesthetic craft their jewelry, and should you need the suitable materials, be sure to check out our genuine copper beads and findings, plus our rose-gold filled beads and findings.
Frugality, amirite? With regular visits to your local thrift store, you’ll be able to find some great finds.
Garage Sales, Auctions, and Estate Sales
Some vintage fashion aesthetic gems may be among the DVDs, snowshoes, and weird dolls. If you drive to these places early enough, you’ll be able to snag some of the finest discounts and top treasures.
Scanning Vintage (Or Would-Be Vintage) Clothing Using the ‘Hand Feel’ Test
There can be a sea of stuff in less curated venues, with over 95% of it being forgettable. Thumbing or running your hand along the garments in a crowded clothing rack helps sift through many items. By doing this, you can tell what’s important and what’s not. There are ways to achieve this visually if you’re familiar with common materials or pattern recognition.
This approach isn’t only about getting to know something; it’s also about discovering something you’ve never heard of or seen before, such as an unbranded piece or a stunning piece from an unknown company. That’s what vintage shopping is all about.
The List of Important Details for Vintage Fashion Aesthetic Buys
The age of a vintage fashion aesthetic garment can be deduced from its label. Is there a way to tell exactly what year it is? Things that are newer and barely “vintage” can be weeded out by looking at the label’s attributes to see if they’re old. In general, woven care labels denote an item’s age. Synthetic, printed labels are more common on newer items created in the previous two decades.
Fiber Content & Fiber Types
The same is true for the labeled garment’s materials. Natural fibers (cotton, linen, wool, etc.) were far more common in vintage clothing than today (polyester, nylon, etc.). A label that staes that it has a combination of cotton, polyester, rayon and two percent lycra likely indicates that the clothing was made in the modern era.
Fastenings & Trims
Trims and fastenings on a vintage item can be treated similarly. Keep an eye on older hardware makers like Scoville and Universal for metal zippers and snap closures rather than plastic or vinyl ones. Buttons and snaps made of horn, wood, mother-of-pearl, or metal are more common on vintage clothing than plastic.
You can approximate the age of clothing by comparing the logos and branding of other prominent brands. For example, Levi’s uses the phrase “For over [X number of years] years” on their pocket prints and other labels, which refers to their inception in 1873. Therefore, if this pair had been produced in 2013, it would have been 140 years old.
Things to Keep an Eye Out For
All Types of Damage
Some vintage fashion aesthetic clothing may have holes, cigarette burns, tears, and rips due to age and previous owners. Minor wear and tear can enhance a garment’s personality, but this is a matter of personal preference and what you believe to be ‘patina.’
Some less curated vintage shops receive bulk shipments of vintage apparel in large bags or cartons. This results in quality reduction of the items. In addition, the crease lines on some less ironable clothing, such as coats and shirts made of felt or wool, can be harmed by this.
Marks and Stains
These are a given. Stains and markings are more likely to appear on clothing that has been worn for many years. Before making a final purchase choice, hold the dress up to the light.
Fakes Are All Around
In a thrift store or a less-passionate vintage shop, you’re more likely to find a fake from a well-known brand. But, of course, you can always do some online investigation to see if the item is authentic.
Some vintage and thrift stores have a steam cleaner, so this isn’t as common as it used to be, but it’s still possible to get a subtle scent of mildew, cigarettes, or general “age.”
Don’t Forget About the Pockets
Checking your pockets for good and bad surprises is a healthy habit to get into—an unopened mint, a quarter, a cigarette from the 1980s, and so forth.
Check for broken or missing parts on clothing, such as zippers, fastenings, pocket linings, and so on.
What’s a Vintage Fashion Aesthetic Item Worth?
Using your smartphone, browse eBay if you’re unsure about the pricing of a product you’re interested in. If you limit your search to only finished listings, you’ll see how much similar products have sold in the past.
In a well-curated vintage shop, you can ask the shop owner or employees about the item you’re interested in. Unlike on eBay, there will undoubtedly be some salesmanship, but there will be far more information available.
Even if you don’t want to spend your entire life learning about different styles and manufacturers from the past, this should serve as a solid starting point.
A MOST VINTAGE BONUS: Types of Jackets You Will Encounter While Vintage Shopping
Knowing what you’re truly spending on is the essential part of any successful investment. The hide utilized to construct that jacket is the most important aspect in your decision-making process when it comes to leather jackets. All sorts of leather can be used to make jackets, but in this post, we’ll focus on the most popular types of leather you’re likely to encounter on your quest for the ideal jacket: cowhide, kangaroo, and yak.
Male cows’ hides, referred to as “steers,” are used to make the leather used in steerskin jackets. With its uniform grain and weight throughout the hide, steerhide is a popular choice for most manufacturers because of the natural oils and resins employed in the tanning process. In addition, Steerhide, which is initially stiff, will soften with time and use. The stiffness is what aids the leather in conforming to your body.
Luxury leather horsehide is sometimes referred to as the “all-rounder” because of its resilience and attractive appearance. It’s easier for tanneries to make top-quality leather since horses are raised in smaller groups and receive a greater level of care than cows, thus their skin is often devoid of blemishes or injuries.
Horsehide’s strong composition makes it resistant to stretching or losing its shape, and the tanning process only bolsters its high level of inherent water repellency. Horsehide is more expensive than other leathers because it is not grown as an agricultural product in most nations.
Our breakdown of leathers includes lambskin, our softest and thinnest option. Lightweight leather jackets with a fine texture can be made from the lamb’s skin, which is exceptionally malleable and pleasant right out of the bag. However, because of lambskin’s natural elasticity and resistance to tears, proper storage is essential if you want to avoid stretching.
There are few materials as durable as deerskin. Complex tanning processes provide durable leather that is breathable and insulating and has a beautiful grain. In addition, because of its thicker structure and more flexibility than lambskin, deerskin keeps its shape well and can develop attractive creases and patina with prolonged use.
Rugged goatskin hides are known for their pebble-like grain. As well as being highly durable, it can take on a beautiful patina and is known for these qualities. In addition, goatskin remains soft and requires little to no break-in time despite its robustness.
Skin from sheep or other wool-producing animals that has been shorn and tanned with the wool still attached is known as shearling. This adds a tough edge to any leather jacket while still providing a soft and insulating layer.