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The delicate art of shopping for retro clothing online revealed!

September 19, 2018

Finding the perfect retro clothing online can be stressful for the neophyte. But we’ll show you how to make retro clothes shopping fun and tell you how to do it right


Girl with sunglasses in retro clothing.

Girl with sunglasses in retro clothing. By tbstyleworks0-986423/ [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

It’s never easy to do something you’re not used to – like finding retro clothing online for an all-important event you’ve been invited to.  But with a little bit of planning, and some online browsing skills, you’ll find vintage clothing that are just right for you.

Why buy retro clothing online?

So, before we talk about what to look for when buying retro clothes, lets give a moment of thought to why anyone would want to buy vintage clothing in the first place? Some vintage pieces are so expensive, that you could probably buy two sets of contemporary items for the same price. So: Why vintage?


Well, the answer is diverse:


  • Firstly, looking for retro clothing online offers buyers a rare opportunity to own something from a bygone era. True, not many people appreciate what vintage clothing can add to their wardrobes, but those that do will always prefer vintage to contemporary


  • Secondly, it’s about quality! It’s true that garment-making has seen a revolution since the 1920s and 1930s. But that doesn’t mean that retro clothes were of inferior quality compared to today’s clothing. In fact, the handwork and detailing on some retro garments are so intricate and superior, that they cannot be matched – even with today’s technology!


  • And finally, the search for retro clothing online can lead you through a journey of discovery that you might never experience if you went window shopping or retail hopping! The ability to open multiple browser sessions simultaneously, and compare vintage clothing from different sites, gives online shoppers a perfect opportunity to find what’s right for them!


With that out of the way, lets take a look at some of the things that you should keep in mind when shopping for retro clothing online.

Photo portrait of the actress Michiko Sugata,  1960s

Photo portrait of the actress Michiko Sugata, 1960s. By Unknown author (1960年代前半のブロマイド) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The Dos and Don’ts

Here are five simple rules to keep in mind when shopping online for vintage clothing:


  1. Just because you find an “oldish-looking” piece on a website site, doesn’t mean that it is vintage! So, do your homework and learn the difference between retro clothes and thrift.


  1. Always go with a plan – but keep an open mind. When you go online to a vintage clothing website, don’t just click “Buy” at the first item that catches your fancy. Instead, bookmark items from several sites and then come back to choose the retro clothes that you like from your short-list. However, it’s important to know (in general terms) what vintage clothing you want – that little black dress? The bomber jacket you saw in Top Gun?


  1. If you are specific era-shopping for retro clothes online, don’t bother browsing at websites that don’t specialise in the era of your choice. Sure, you might get lucky and land a piece of vintage clothing you’ve been looking for. But if it’s 1940s vintage you want, go to a website that specialises in that era – you’ll save lots of time, and probably have loads of choices too!


  1. Don’t be afraid to buy retro clothing online from several websites to create that perfect look. If it’s that 1930s black dress you got from one place, there’s no harm finding a straw hat to go with it elsewhere.


  1. Be open to mixing-and-matching your retro clothes from across eras. In fact, most experts will tell you that’s the best way to do it to avoid looking as though you were wearing a vintage costume! In fact, while buying vintage clothing, look for pieces that could also blend in with your contemporary outfits. That’s a great way to bring your retro look into the modern era.

Rewarding experience

Shopping for retro clothing online can be a very rewarding experience if you follow these five simple rules to guide you. And, if you are “touch and feel” shopper, there’s no harm paying a visit to a nearby vintage clothing store (or five!) to check out their offerings – and then buy