Sourcing Vintage in Lockdown

It’s hard to find quality vintage when there’s isn’t a flea market, antiques store or estate sale to be had. Here are my top tips for sourcing quality vintage from the comfort of the internet.

  •  If you want the good stuff, it’s a safe bet you find it on a large, corporate e-commerce site. Look for boutique sellers, ideally small operations where you can communicate directly with a knowledgeable stylist.
  • Find sellers whose aesthetic you resonate with. Based on their website and social media, get a feel for what they are selling, and what they are about as a vintage specialist. Do they show a passion for the era you’re interested in? If so, you’re probably onto a good thing.
  • Ask heaps of questions. Yes, go ahead and be that person. For example, you could ask for close-up photos showing fabric structure, linings, seams and closures.  If they refuse, tell them to sashay away – they’re probably hiding a fatal flaw in the garment.
  • Know the returns policy before you buy. Vintage clothes are typically not standard sizes and may have unwanted quirks or damage you weren’t aware of. Many sellers have an ‘all purchases final’ policy, so be aware of this. It’s all the more reason to ask the right questions.
  • Consider shipping or postage. Sometimes, these costs will make a purchase financially foolish. Really think about how much you want the item, how rare it is and what is reasonable for you to spend on it, given you income. That chain mail poncho might be one of a kind, but if it costs hundreds of dollars to post, is it really worth it?
  • Maybe it is worth it. People are selling all kinds of things online at moment, including those who wouldn’t necessarily be selling IRL. Maybe that chain mail poncho is, in fact, the purchase of a lifetime, the very thing you’ve been pinching pennies for all your adult life.
  • Seek actively. Put the word out that you’re looking for a snakeskin belt in a specific shade of cobalt blue. A lot of people have time on their hands, and could use an extra buck, so why not make the most of it?
  • Don’t fret if you can’t find what you’re looking for. After all, it’s just a bit of fun. Stress less and put on something from your wardrobe – if you’ve read this far, I’m sure it’s stupidly extensive already.
  • Further to that: call your friendly local stylist! Anvil Charles Coby can help you rework your existing wardrobe via Whoosh video conferencing.