How to Buy, Wear and Sell Vintage Clothing – “The Joy of Vintage”

How to Buy, Wear and Sell Vintage Clothing – “The Joy of Vintage”

[Music] Hi. I’m Lucy, of Frock Vintage and Fi and Me, with my personal guide to shopping, wearing and selling vintage. [Music] [Music] Vintage tends to be clothing that’s from
say 1940s to the 1980s, but then more recently 1990s stuff became vintage.
Vintage clothes have typically been seen as being bought by students. That’s definitely when I started buying vintage clothes. It’s a way of expressing yourself by not wearing what everyone else is wearing. Anyone can wear vintage, but I don’t think a lot of
people think they can because they think it has a certain look that you need to
have, or that it’s a lot of effort. Some people do live a typical vintage
lifestyle, everything that they do embodies vintage. Some people dress
like 1940s gentlewomen all the time. You don’t have to do that, you can
incorporate vintage into everyday fashion and just add a touch of color and
flourish and uniqueness to your everyday wardrobe. I think one of the things that
might stop people from wearing vintage clothes is that they’re not always off
the rack. You can just walk into Top Shop or Primark and buy something and wear
it straight away. And you can with a lot of vintage but that might come with a
price tag. The fit may be different, clothes may not be as fitted as they are now. They come a lot of times in bigger sizes but
they’re quite often really nice fabrics. Really nice prints and interesting things that can be altered to make them more modern. [Music] If you want to alter your own clothes
then you don’t really need a lot to get started.
There are quite a lot alterations that can be done by hand.
The best way to learn about making alterations is to see it in action so
I’m going to go to the charity shop and pick up a piece of vintage clothing and
show you how I turn it into something fabulous to wear. Let’s go shopping! If you’re looking to buy vintage clothes
some of the places to try are obviously specialist vintage shops, though you’ll pay
higher price there, and there are lots of vintage fairs which might have
individual sellers, or you get kilo sales where you can buy clothes by the kilo
and you should pay about 10 to 15 pounds for one of those, but you might get three or four
items of clothing. If you’re shopping online
I’d suggest reading the descriptions thoroughly. This will tell you what
clothes are made out of and if they’re a good seller they should usually give you
the exact measurement, so even if something is modelled on somebody and it
may have been pinned it will actually tell you what the measurements are and
then you can compare that to your own body measurements and work out whether
it’s going to fit you or not. I’d also look for reviews and that usually tells you about the quality of the items they are selling. Charity shops are probably my
favorite places to go and look for vintage, I think because of the
unpredictability of them. You just never know what they’re going to have in.
They might have really bad selection one week and then you can go in and they’ll just have had a delivery of vintage. [Music] So these ones I’ve chosen to buy today.
I’ve gone for a dress and a top. They’re both from the 80s I’d say, and they’re going to be
really simple to modify. Charities know which shops will sell vintage well – they
do tend to be in places where there are lots of students. The managers will tend
to know their stuff about vintage and my top tip would be to get to know them and
they will usually give you a heads up if they know they’ve got stock coming in
that you will like. Check whether they’ve got a presence on social media – either
Facebook or Instagram usually – because they often post things and you can say if
you like them and if they’re friendly then they’ll keep them for you. Okay, so now we’ve got our haul of vintage pieces let’s get to work with a few simple
alterations. My favorite items to work with when I’m doing alterations are
definitely dresses because you get so much fabric and you can do so much with
a dress – you can make it smaller sometimes you can take the hem out and make
them larger, you can put a waist in easily, you can take the sleeves off and
that can completely transform it. Sometimes you can take the hem up –
there’s loads of things you can do if you cut a dress in half then you have a
top and bottom. So I’ve spent 14 pounds on these two items of clothing and this
one was 9 pounds, this one was 5 pounds and I picked them because there’s quite a lot I can
do with them to bring them up to date. I’m going to try them on. I already tried them on in
the shop but I’m going to try them on again and see how they fit and how I can
alter them. [Music]
So with this shirt I’m going to take off the sleeves and as you can see it’s quite
big on me I think it’s a size 20 so I’m going to
take it in a few inches and I’m going to add some shaping on the bust with some
darts and I might – I’ll see how it looks after that – but I might make it into
a crop style which is quite on trend at the moment, and before I do anything I’m going
to take a picture of it [Music]
So this is the dress I’m going to work on. It’s got nice big 80s shoulder pads
I’m going to take out which instantly transforms it and it’s again it’s quite
wide but I’m not going to take it in by sewing it I’m going to put some elastic
in so that it can fit a range of sizes because I’m probably going to sell this dress so I don’t want it to just fit me. And it’s really long. You can’t see
but it goes down to my ankles and so I’m going to take that up to just above the knee,
and with sleeves this time I’m not going to take them off just shorten them
and reduce a little bit. Okay so time to take the photos. A simple operation like
taking a hem up could take probably less than an hour. Completely taking something apart
and restructuring it could take the whole day don’t just jump in and start cutting
things. There are a couple of ways that you can try and imagine how it’s going
to look. One method that I use is to draw how I think it could look and then you
could reimagine it in any number of ways before you’ve even cut into it or
started sewing. I can’t draw figures to save my life so I use one of these sketch
pads which has the pre-drawn figures in for you. The one I like to use is the
Gertie’s Sewing Sketchbook because the figures are a bit more realistic, they’re
drawn to actual human proportions so you can kind of imagine what the clothes are
going to look like on a real person. If you’ve got some pencils and crayons then
you can doodle to your heart’s content. [Music]
I’d start with projects that require minimal sewing and that can be reversed
so something like taking, rolling the sleeves upon a blouse just involve
a bit of sewing and can be undone really easily. Measure yourself and
measure your garment and if you’re following instructions and follow them
carefully… don’t start on a family heirloom or something you really loved. So this is the 5 pound blouse. I’ve made my alterations now and I feel like it’s got still got a
vintage feel to it but I’ve tailored it so it’s a little bit more modern. [Music] This is the nine pound dress, it was probably my least favorite of the two
when I bought them, but actually after I’ve done the alterations I really like
it. Unfortunately I can’t keep everything
that I buy so this one can get listed in my Etsy shop. It’s not going to make you
six figures selling vintage clothes but there’s definitely a mark up to be made. If
you think that you can buy clothes for anything from one pound to five pounds
and actually with some modernization potentially you can sell them for
between say fifteen and twenty five pounds then there is a good markup there
but you do have to be aware of the amount of work that goes into running a
vintage business and also the alterations side of things. There lots of
costs that people don’t consider… to photograph things, to list them, the time
it takes to go to vintage fairs and set up.
It’s not going to make massive returns but if you are passionate about vintage
and fashion and you love what you do, which I do, then it’s kind of worthwhile. So that’s my quick look at buying
wearing and selling vintage. If you have any questions then I’d love to hear from
you just drop me a message. Bye for now. [Music] [Music] you

1 thought on “How to Buy, Wear and Sell Vintage Clothing – “The Joy of Vintage”

  1. Your video came up in my feed. I enjoyed it, Thanks for sharing your tips! I am looking into starting an online shop in the US, but directed more toward selling vintage costumes for theaters, etc. Your thoughts on the hidden costs affirmed some of my thoughts.

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