Many style-obsessed women love vintage shopping for unique pieces that set their wardrobe apart and add a retro flair. But are you getting the most for your money and investing in pieces you can actually wear?

When you head into your favorite thrift shop, it is easy to feel overwhelmed. There are tons of one-of-a-kind clothing pieces and alluring accessories that at first glance seem perfect. But they might not be perfect for you.

Here are 5 ways to make sure that when you shop vintage, you come home with something worthwhile:

1. The Condition Should Be Perfect

That means no pulling, stains, discoloration, or loose threads. These details make the difference between a piece that is timeless and a garment that’s just dated.

2. Pick Pieces You Are Actually Going to Wear

The most common error in vintage shopping is buying something just because you like the way it looks. Though clothing can be a work of art, if you can’t incorporate it into the wardrobe you have now, it’s a total waste of money.

3. Be Creative

At the same time, don’t pass up a garment because it lacks all the bells and whistles of today’s clothes. Put your creative thinking hat on! You may need to add studs or remove a sleeve or two to make the look work for your modern style.

4. Pay Attention to Fit

Vintage pieces are made differently than clothing today. Women used to wear undergarments to give the garments the shape they wanted. To make sure your vintage find gives you the perfect fit, follow these steps:

– Learn your measurements, especially if you are going to be vintage shopping online.

– Stick to shapes and silhouettes that you already know work for your body type.

– If visiting a thrift store, wear clothes you can get into and out of easily so you can try on pieces.

– Remember your tailor is your friend!

5. Post-Shopping Care

Since vintage items have a longer shelf life than newly constructed pieces, they need extra attention. Don’t forget to wash your items with care as soon as you bring them home. Hang delicate pieces in a garment bag or fold and wrap them in tissue paper for storage.

–Channing Hargrove

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  • jewel

    I think there is a big diffrence between vintage shoping and regular thrift store shopping at the goodwill for example

  • Katerina

    Beautiful picture.

  • LC

    OMG!!! That’s my friend’s mother!!! Shot out to Ms. Ena! I remember when she showed me this photo when we worked together at RealTalk LA! It’s such a beautiful and unforgetable photo.

  • omfg

    that photo – when black women were not all overweight.

    i wish i had the patience to shop vintage. i simply don’t. i’m not a digger. i like to click the keyboard and go.

  • I completely agree with number three. Thinking creatively is so important as there’s almost always something you can add or alter to make a piece perfect for you. Also, mixing vintage and modern accessories can really turn a good ensemble into a great one.