Vintage Shopping: Everything You Need To Know

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If you’re familiar with our glamorous Editor-in-Chief, you know she’s no rookie when it comes to tracking down gorgeous vintage pieces. Naturally we’re also huge fans of vintage shopping (who can resist a luxe find for less?) and have picked up a few key tips for how to do it successfully over the years—trust us, it takes practice. Since a change in temperature begs for a wardrobe revamp, we’ve decided to share our secrets with you so you can indulge in some retail therapy, sans the guilt. While there are countless second-hand stores to scour for designer duds, we’re big fans of Fashion Project: Not only will you discover some serious treasures, the site also donates a percentage of proceeds from each sale to a variety of charities. Done and done.

The Smart Way To Shop Vintage

Blue Clutch

$45

Ted Baker

Statement Accessory

Bold, colorful accessories are fun to wear but because they aren't everyday pieces, you may not want to spend an arm and a leg on them, which makes consignment a great option. Tip: When making a vintage purchase, keep an eye out for patent-leather pieces because they stand the test of time.

Lace Top

$39

Steven Alan

Classic Shirt

When shopping for shirts and other tailored pieces, make sure the fabric is in top-notch condition and that the silhouette is flattering and still modern enough to look good.

Cardigan Sweater

$49

Steven Alan

Cardigan Sweater

Vintage knits should be studied closely to make sure they aren't faded, showing signs of pilling or losing their shape.

Metallic Clutch

$69

Z Spoke Zac Posen

Evening Clutch

Examine the edges of a bag to make sure they aren't worn or weathered. A treated leather clutch makes an ideal vintage find because it disguises wear-and-tear in a way classic leather won't.

Long-Sleeved Dress

$79

Rag & Bone

Party Dress

Consignment is key when purchasing your next party dress because let's face it: You'll probably dance in this one at a few soirees before shimmying to the next good-time event ensemble.

Oversized Sunglasses

$79

Giorgio Armani

Oversized Sunnies

Why spend a fortune on funky frames when you can get the real deal—for less—at a vintage store? Exactly.

Leopard Top

$45

Joie

Printed Blouse

A printed blouse is an A+ example of a vintage gem. It never goes out of style, is easy to wear and can be dressed up or down. That always gets a good grade from us.

Printed Satchel

$79

Vince Camuto

Day Bag

When searching for a cool new day bag, keep in mind what's currently trending. What goes around comes around when it comes to fashion, so don't be surprised to find a few retro caryalls that still work well today.