Want to start buying vintage clothing but don't know how or what to expect. Well, you came to the right place. To some, this process can be a bit overwhelming or "too much." We find these tips personally helpful when looking for vintage
Our #1: It's USA made
USA-made tags are the most straightforward way to spot a vintage piece. Now common goods are imported from foreign factories. Items will only be made in the USA if it's a small or family-run business.
But if you believe a piece looks vintage, take a look at the label. If there's a "Made In USA" or an American flag on the front, it's a sign that this is a vintage item.
And if you see a "Made In USA" marker on the reverse side of the tag, it may be more modern than the location of origin suggests. Today, the production country is placed on the back of the clothing tag, but on vintage clothes dates, it's typically frontside.
Quick note: Inspect the items.
The first one is pretty obvious which is, checking the condition of the clothes. Check for stains, holes, and any mistakes you notice. It will be worn in, that is a given, which is normal. Apart from then but narrow to make sure it is still in good condition to sell or keep for yourself, especially in areas like your crotch and armpits where you can find stains or rips.
Our #2: The copyright
Not all tags will have a copyright marker on them; if they do, it was either made in the year stated or a few years afterward.
If the copyright year is before 1992, the piece is vintage according to the industry. Keep in mind that 1992 was almost 30 years ago, so even if the piece doesn't seem that old, it is industry standards.
Quick note: Check the pricing!
Some places might want to charge you more for specific items. You can look up the thing on Google or eBay and see if the price is worth it. Google lens can be beneficial since all you're doing is taking a picture of your item, and the search engine will look up similar images.
Our #3: The how-to-wash tag
The care tag didn't become mandatory until 1971. If your piece is missing that instructional part, there's a big chance it was made before 1971.
The only problem is that tags are itchy, and people often cut them out. Do your research on the piece and be aware that tags may have been included on some pieces made before 1971.
Quick note: Have Patience!
Buying used clothing can be a hit or miss. It is also very time consuming; you can go from shopping for a few hours to a whole day. You might get lucky the first time and get some right pieces. Just keep your head up, and wait for the rare pieces to find you.
Our #4: Look & Feel
If you are new to vintage appraising, this might be more difficult to recognize. Vintage and modern clothing often have differences in feel, texture, and patterns. An excellent way to practice is by comparing the clothing you know is vintage with other trendy clothes you own.
Quick note: Know your sizes when thrifting online if you're buying for yourself.
Since there are many brands out there, their sizing could be different. Just look up the sizing chart for any specific brand and compare it to your body measurements.
Our #5: The material
Many tags will have the kind of material used printed on the label. See if you recognize the material's name —for example, Dacron Polyester, which was primarily used before 1970.
Other vintage material names are Veyron, Kodel, and Celanese. These were used instead of polyester. Instead of acrylic, you might see Creslan, Zeran, Acrilan, and Orion.
IMPORTANT NOTE - Wash after Purchasing
This is an important one, especially in the time we are now. When buying used clothes, it is essential to sanitize the items you got. Learn about the care labels and their meanings. This way, your vintage pieces will keep holding their look and value.