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By: Jamie Simpson
Vintage clothing is about finding the best of the past and bringing it to the present. It's not just about capturing the style of an era, but the authenticity of it. You're looking for artefacts of a fashion past the way an archaeologist hunts for history.

Here are five tips to help you in your hunt for vintage clothing:

1) Buy quality first - Don't fall in love with every piece of clothing you find. Make sure that there are no rips, tears or stains. If you have absolutely fallen in love with a pattern, print, or cut, treat it as a gamble. Are you willing to pay for this garment, knowing that there's a chance you may never wear it? Do you think it's something you may be able to fix with a clever hem, a well-placed belt, or a trip to a professional cleaner?

2) Identify the look you want - Narrowing your focus to a particular style will help you avoid a costly splurge. Are you looking to add classic shoes to your collection, wanting something that will stand out at an event, or shopping for a new party dress? It's great to keep your eyes open for unexpected treasures, but unless you set some limits, you could find yourself overwhelmed with fashion finds from yesteryear.

3) Cheap finds are sitting in closets - Closets, attics and old dressers are filled with vintage clothes that may not cost you anything. While some of your older relatives may look trapped in the fashion of last decade, that could mean they have the clothes of two decades ago sitting untouched in storage. Cheap costume jewellery your mother grew out of might be ready for a comeback. Rummage sales are another cheap way to build a vintage wardrobe without premium prices. Unlike a store, people selling their old clothes are more interested in getting some space back than in charging premium prices.

4) Support a cause, and look good doing it - Charity shops are another great alternative for finding history's fashion, and while they may not be as cheap as clothes from friends, neighbours and rummage sales, they're often cheaper than the trendier fashion destinations. As an added benefit, money spent often goes to a good cause so you can have a moderately guilt-free shopping spree.

5) Clicking your way to high fashion from here and abroad - The Internet is the ultimate shopping destination. Everything old is truly new again online. Because you can't try on items, or inspect them for quality, remember to ask whoever runs the website store or online auction about their return policies before purchasing, and never hesitate to ask for additional pictures if you're unsure of an item. The Internet is also a great way to purchase a look from another country. Fads and trends that swept other countries may not have landed here, making your fashion find all the more precious.

Vintage clothing can be a wonderful addition to any wardrobe and with smart shopping, you can gather a great collection that would look just as stylish today as it did 30 years ago.


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