Retro store online
Chatting to staff at a retro store online can be inspirational. Probably they know all their stock so can help you. Especially with small shops. They will tell you if they have something you are looking for that is not featured on the web site.
Finding the thing
First you need to have a good idea of what you want. So you might be looking for a particular era or a special colour. Then you look online. Some people have a favourite online retro shop that they know has good clothes. Maybe because the owner has similar taste to them. They know if they go to this particular one they are guaranteed to find something they like.
If you sign up to the newsletter shops will sometimes let you know when they have new items. Or you can tell the owner if you want something n particular and they will keep an eye open for it. When they find what you want they will tell you and you can buy it!
The right fit
So always have a tape measure to hand when you are looking at a retro store online. The shop will tell you the measurements of the clothes and whether they are a little bit stretchy or not. You need to measure yourself, but remember the clothes need a bit of room. So measure yourself and then add a bit. If your waist is 28 inches and the skirt you want has a 28 inch waist, it might seem like that would be perfect. But in fact, it will be a bit tight. Unless it has some stretch to it.
And check arm holes too, because some vintage clothes have really small arm holes. You need to have space to swing your arms! But you should get the clothes anyway, because you can always make alterations. If you are good at dong that. Otherwise you can get a tailor to do it.
Actually it’s pretty easy to alter the clothes you get at an retro online store yourself. You can make a hem shorter. And it is easy to make trousers into shorts, or shorts into shorter shorts. You can also let out seams to make things a bit bigger. You can make armholes bigger or sleeves shorter. Generally, it is easier to make things shorter than longer.
But it is not impossible to do both. Try the clothes on ad see where it needs changing. Then you can do the changes. Make sure the thread is matching. You can stitch it up to make a waist smaller.
If the colour isn’t right
If you want it a different colour you can do that too. Make sure you are only dying a darker colour over a lighter one. Or if not just bleach the fabric. Or you could go ahead and dye it anyway and see what colour you end up with! Remember colour rules – if you use red over blue you will get purple clothes.