How to shop at a vintage store: without looking like an Amateur

Vintage clothing (and accessories) are the best. Here are ten ways to help you get the best and most unique pieces, a bargain, and something that you will constantly wear.

Unlabeled Earrings Purchased for $7.
Vintage Britches Messageries Aeriennes Aviation Jacket, gift so price unknown. 
  1. Bring a Friend- Bring a friend or family member, especially one that is knowledgeable about vintage or fashion to help you along the way, especially so you don't get ripped off. Something to take into consideration is that they aren't with you to tear you down or to tell you what to buy. It is your decision, and they are your clothes.
  2. Check out the Garment- Look at it. Does it have any stains or rips? Are there any buttons missing? Does the zipper work? For more expensive items, do a quick Google search to decide whether or not the price is right.
  3. Unique- Is this item something you would see elsewhere, such as at Forever 21 or H&M? These stores often go for a vintage-look, but usually don't look legit. Some things to look for are artistic prints, odd cuts, zippers, embellishments, and color(s). Although an item is unique, that doesn't necessarily give it the right to a high price tag.
  4. Price- Is this a brand that you have heard of that is considered couture? At that point, the prices tend to be higher-but make sure you check the wear and tear of the garment. If there is no label or it is a casual piece, the prices tend to be lower. 
  5. Piece- This seems very obvious, but think about it before buying. If you have 3 dozen marigold shirts already sitting in your closet, the same one isn't going to do you much good just because it's vintage.
  6. Impulse- I have a rule about shopping, especially at vintage stores. The return policy at the store is often no returns, so decide carefully. If you live in a close proximity to your local vintage store, this rule of thumb applies to you: pick a price point. If the item is above your price point of, say, $10-$20, put the item on hold. If you sleep on it and decide you like it (if it is allowed, I suggest taking a picture of the item so it will firmly stick in your memory so you don't remember it wrong- trust me, it happens a lot.), come back to the store and buy it. It's that simple.
  7. Size- This is again, very obvious sounding, but I tend to sometimes pick things up if I love them, no matter what the size is. I have made tons of purchases I have later regretted because of size issues, and they just sit in my closet collecting dust.
  8. Store Atmosphere- Although this may seem irrelevant, look around the store. Is it a ritzy, high end shop or a cheap and chic store filled with vintage lovers. Make sure the piece and the store are a a good fit for you and your clothes attitude. I recommend the ritzy shops for special occasions or if you are willing to pay more,
  9. Think: Would Goodwill have this?- Thrift stores like good will typically carry a lot of Ralph Lauren and brands of the like. Ralph doesn't really feature vintage esque pieces, but they occasionally turn up overpriced in these types of stores.
  10. True Love- Think about it. Do you love the garment? Love and impulse are a fine line, so be careful. If you numbers 1-9 all turn in it's favor, and you can see yourself wearing the item on a weekly basis, buy it.
Thanks for reading, guys! I hope this advice comes in handy in your vintage endeavors! Feel free to comment your questions, or lucky deals for a chance to be featured in Hauties! 
Zebra Dress, $45.

Good things to look for Vintage:
  • Jewelry and Accessories. My favorite pair of earrings came from a vintage store, and they were only $7!
  • Coats. I have purchased multiple Burberry Trenches and a Leather Jacket as well as some blazers for at least half of the retail cost chopped off.
  • Dresses. Everybody needs them, and no one wants to be the girl at the party compared to someone else wearing the same dress.
  • Hats. I know, hats aren't very high on anyone's to-do list, but vintage stores that I've seen have by far the best hat selections I have ever seen.
  • Whatever draws you in. There is such unique stuff at vintage stores. I have bought the weirdest things there and ended up loving them.


  1. This is super helpful! Thanks so much :)

  2. Great shopping guide! :)
    In spare time:


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