I know that online shopping isn’t for everyone especially when you’re talking about vintage shopping the need to actually see it, touch it and be able to try it on is a compulsion that’s too strong to many. For those that haven’t before shopped for vintage shopping can be rather overwhelming and extremely close to rummaging whether you want to admit it or not. The best thing to do when going into a vintage store is to have a plan of attack same as you for
1. Decisions, Decisions, Decisions : Sometimes you can get a little lost just flipping through the racks and racks of clothing and when you don’t even know what you’re looking for…well that can make things ten times worse. So here’s an idea to help you feel more confident while going through the racks. It’s called the Pinterest challenge, search Pinterest for that perfect vintage outfit then save the pic to you tablet or smartphone and bring it along with you. While you’re shopping use your picture as a frame of reference to create the perfect vintage look.
2. Research: There’s more out there then just Goodwill and the Salvation Army the problem is people don’t know where to start when it comes to looking for their local vintage shops. One of the more obvious options is to do a Google search for your city that will give you a list of just about every vintage and consignment shop listed. Another option is this, every city has that artsy section where you can find little boutiques and local wares, well a lot of those boutiques have moderate to large sections where they sell vintage or consignment in addition to their regular stock. Your other option is to look for charities like The House of Ruth which runs a consignment shop in quite a number of states where you can get both vintage and consignment pieces.
Vintage Shops in Maryland, New York, Washington DC
· Polly Sue’s Vintage Shop 6915 Laurel Ave. Tacoma Park MD (301)270-5517
· Ruth’s Closet boutique 9131 Reisterstown Rd. Owings mills, MD 21117 (410)581-9780
· Wear it’s At Consignment 49 Main Street Reisterstown MD 21126 (available for online shopping www.wearitsat.com )
· Rock it Again 1528 U St NW Washington DC (202)603-7534
· Buffalo Exchange 1318 14th. St. NW Washington DC (202)299-9148
· Metropolis Vintage Apparel 43 3rd Ave. New York, NY (212)358-0795
· Screaming Mimi’s 382 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10003 (212)677-6464 (available for online shopping www.screamingmimis.com )
3. Smile: Here’s the thing Vintage and Consignment Shops aren’t like regular stores aren’t like regular stores, stock changes every day…literally. Whereas you know new stock is put up in Marshalls on Thursdays it isn’t like that here every day you get something new and it can be a b*@$h to keep up with. So when you start going exploring your local Vintage shops keep in mind that you want to look for a few that can potentially be regulars for you, take advantage of that beautiful smile of yours Dolls and make friends with the employees and shop owners you’d be surprised the interesting people you meet. Once you make a few friends and exchange a few numbers they’ll get an idea of what your taste is, so when things come in; if they see something that they’re sure you’ll like they’ll put it to the side and give you a call. It makes trolling through the endless racks so much easier I promise.
4. Learn to Rule: One of the most important things when wearing vintage is sizing. You need to know your measurements exactly, sizing was completely different than it is today so looking at the number on the tag more often than not isn’t reliable (for example our beloved Marilyn Monroe; even though she was famous for curvaceous size 14 figure, by today’s standards our beautiful Miss Monroe would have only been a size 8). Your body type is also a factor clothing from the 40’s & 50’s is better suited to hourglass and curvier figures considering that was the ideal during those eras. Athletic and slimmer builds are better suited to the 20’s, 30’s & 60’s were sleek lines and slim sillilhuettes were more popular, now this isn’t to say that these rules aren’t iron clad in the end you should go for what looks good on you. That’s why you should never leave without trying something on, and I know that always isn’t possible which is why in the end you need to know your true size. The rule of thumb is whatever your modern-day numerical size is, your vintage numerical size is on average about four or more sizes up. Remember no one can see the size but you don’t let the bigger number shock you lol.
5. Bring Girdie: Okay if you haven’t figured this out by now let me get it out in the open right now. I am an advocate for the woman’s girdle, I don’t care WHAT SIZE YOU ARE everyone needs support. These clothes are designed to be worn with girdles, waist cinchers, corsets, etc… it will completely ruin the look have everyone focusing on….(well you can fill in the blank) instead of your beautiful day dress, suit, or full skirt. The reason why I suggest bringing your trusty girdle is that a lot of times you try something on initially but once you get ready to wear it with all your bells and whistles it looks completely different. (I have a few dresses lying in my closet so I’m telling you Dolls from experience) Trying on your choice with Girdie before you purchase gives you a more accurate idea of what you’re going to look like when you get it home.
These are just a few easy quick rules and tips to go by that will help you in your endevours, remember the most important thing is to have fun. This doesn’t have to be stressful some of the best fun I’ve had has been on a Saturday morning with a few friends trying on just about everything in stock with no expectations at Kay’s Boutique & Ruth’s Closet some of our local vintage shops. So I hope these rules make things easier and less intimidating and happy hunting J …Oh and don’t forget to send me some pics of what you’ve got.
Fashionably Speaking…Joie Cuentista