Kiddies Guide to Vintage Discovery
Now buying Vintage for children is a little different than buying for buying for us Dolls. For starters and most importantly! Children are always growing, you can barely keep them in anything for a decent amount of time. So for that alone score one for vintage (high five for team rockabilly woo-hoo!), However like we also know vintage can get really expensive and that especially happens with children's wear. Because in the end you're not going to get your moneys worth like you would with an adult I wouldn't recommend the pricer items until later teens (16+). Also get familiar with your local community children's consignment shops are becoming increasingly popular and you may just find a hidden gem in the mix.
The actual selection of pieces is very important because you want something that's going to last. Children aren't like us they don't care what vintage means, they just what to run, play, etc...So you go for the same types of pieces like you would for yourself. When you're going through the rack's or reading the descriptions online you want pieces that are stretchy so that your child can move and not feel constrained by some of the older stiffer fabrics. You're also looking for things with elastic in them so you can get a descent amount of wear out it; kids are constantly growing and you'd hate to get a favorite dress or top only for your child to not be able to wear it in six months. Another thing to help you in selection is to beware of the head opening in shirts, (button downs, or vintage tees) be
sure to make sure there's a bit of stretch there. You want them to be able to dress themselves. It's also good to look for pieces that are or could become convertible; for example a little swing dress could be worn a top with a cute pair of leggings and so on.
It's inevitable your children will grow out of their clothes; but don't be afraid to keep really memorable pieces. I have a rule in our small little vintage community we have to care then share. When I say that I mean, for as long as we have our pieces we treasure them. Then when its time (have your last dance together) you find a new home to make room for more vintage collectables. Your local consignment shops will always give you a good deal if you want to go that route. If you have a Ruth's Closet in your city they are always taking donations and as you know proceeds go towards House of Ruth. And you can go back to your vintage store and get discounted for next purchase. But we all know they're at least three pieces that hold too much memory to go so what do we do with them if they can't be worn anymore? Well instead of throwing it in a box in the basement turn those
old memories into art.
Here are a few target questions to ask yourself when shopping that will make you feel more confident about whether you're picking out a quality garment. What's the state of it? How does it look, feel? Is the stitching intact, how do the seams look? Check for runs, tears and rips also get into the light how is the color. Is there any yellowing or discoloration? Think
about what your child is going to be wearing the item for. Obviously we buy vintage because of the character so you'll rarely buy an item with nothing wrong whatsoever. However depending on how bad you want it, where you're wearing the garment to...some of these target questions I've given you can be fixed or covered up creatively (ex: patches, temp. stitching glue etc.) . Always wash clothing before giving to your child to wear a lot of these pieces have been in these stores for a long time ( say no more).
I know a lot of parents are afraid to shop for their kids online period let alone vintage but don't be it's a great resources. Once you have your childes measurements, have brought a few pieces and with these rules I've given you should feel sufficiently confident to venture out. Here are a few awesome
companies, now do me proud girls!
Posh Girl Vintage
Ballyhoo Vintage (this is a favorite of mine)