Vintage and pre-loved clothing is the fashion look of the moment, and if you know where to look you can pick up some real bargains – great news for the fashion conscious on a budget. There is no better way to stay on the cutting edge of style whilst saving money. So how can you ensure that what you dig out in the thrift store is desirable rather than done for? Hunting for vintage clothing is a hobby in itself, and with the vintage fashion industry this active, finding a bargain has never been easier.

The Right Shops

If your intention is to go out and pound the pavement in search of that chance vintage find, then you need to know where to look. You can spend hours looking through charity shops and find nothing worth reclaiming. The key is to select your shops wisely. Find out who the customers are and where the fashionable areas can be found, and look there.

Like-minded customers who share your passion for the pre-loved are just as likely to return their own discarded items and hand-me-downs as they are to pick up something new. This is the beauty of vintage clothes hunting: it is the customer who dictates the fashion. The major fashion centres of the world all have trendy bohemian districts: be it Camden in London, Harajuku in Tokyo, or Tribeca in New York.

The Right Clothes

You can be in the busiest vintage shop in the most fashionable part of town but if you don’t know what you are looking for, you could end up walking away with a bag full of items destined for the back of your closet. Define your own style, choose a look that reflects your own personality and – most importantly of all – find items that you will feel comfortable wearing.

Checking Them Out

As you rummage through the racks and railings, take the time to thoroughly inspect everything that catches your eye. Sure, you might have found something that would be ideal for that next night out, but if it is frayed or faded maybe that second option would be better in the long run.

Pay special attention to seams, lining, zips, buttons and fastenings. Test them out in the shop. Look for stains and fading and especially bad odours. Take your items over to a window and inspect them in natural daylight.

Online Options

This is the digital age, so look online. You have a whole world at your fingertips, so get surfing and find those obscure gems without even leaving the home!

These days, you can get hooked up to the cheapest broadband and enjoy a multitude of options including well-known sites like eBay and Craigslist. You can also check out online clothes swapping sites such as Posh Swaps or Big Wardrobe. People often organise local clothes swaps too, so do a search for any that might be happening in your local area – or even organise one yourself! It’s a great way to meet people who share your interests, and refresh your wardrobe while you’re at it. The most important thing is to have fun and find clothes that make you feel great.

Note: this is a sponsored post. We have to pay the bills somehow! 🙂

Written by Ryan
Ryan is a southern guy now living in New York City. From business to casual, his style covers a broad spectrum. He loves a great suit, but also appreciates the freedom of an un-tucked shirt and letting loose. Find him on Twitter at @RyanShell.