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Vintage shopping guide from Blue17 – Sourcing sizing and care

January 21, 2016

Take a look at our handy vintage shopping guide to help you chose perfect pieces for your vintage wardrobe.


There’s no getting away from the fact that fashion is a part of everyday living and whether you consciously hunt for specific trends and items or pick the most convenient bargain buys, each piece sits in the complex web of the fashion industry. Lovers of vintage are amongst the many people who carefully select fashion for the significance of an era, stories the piece tells and individual style it creates. So for buyers of vintage fashion it’s important to know what to look out for and enjoy every part of your vintage shopping experience with our vintage shopping guide


Where to buy

There’s no substitute for seeing and handling a unique vintage garment. Look out for specialist vintage sellers and shops giving expert advice and quality vintage fashion buys. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, as a great vintage seller will love to help you discover a wealth of unique fashion items with knowledge of the items and eras they belong too. Online vintage shopping is another way to pick sought after fashion items and it gives you a wide variety of styles, areas and trends to search. Be sure to check out sizing and condition to ensure a confident vintage purchase.

Vintage shopping guide – sizing guides

An important factor in buying vintage clothing is to remember that sizing will be different from modern-day standardization. Before the 1960s most clothing was made by dressmakers or at home so will generally not carry any sizing labels. Many pieces were a few sizes smaller than today’s guides so trying on a vintage garment is the best way to determine a great fit. Typically fashion around the 1920s40s catered for petite ladies, the 1950s saw a more curvaceous style with hourglass figures and particularly small waistlines. The 1960s catered for tall, leggy ladies with fashion models influencing a generation.

vintage shopping-Vintage Patterns

Vintage Patterns

Vintage shopping Guide – caring for your vintage piece

Popping your newly purchased vintage item in the wash with your modern pieces is generally not recommended. Many vintage pieces need special care when it comes to cleaning and items with embellishments and detailing need extra attention. Steaming or hand washing can be a useful idea to avoid harsh chemicals ruining the material. Older fabric can be at risk of discoloration as the dye won’t be color-fast, pay particular attention to fabrics such as silk, acetate or rayon as excessive cleaning may distort or shrink the fabric.

vintage shopping-Vintage Washing Advert

Vintage Washing Advert


When shopping for vintage fashion, it’s very important to familiarize yourself with authentic pieces from reputable sellers. There’s no substitute from buying and enjoying your first vintage piece and this gives you the confidence to look for individual and special pieces time and time again.

‘Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only…. Fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening’ Coco Chanel