Sunday, 9 February 2014

My Guide to Vintage Shopping

Photographs taken at Lou Lou's Vintage Fair at Southampton's Guildhall.  

I love nothing more than spending an afternoon hunting for treasures from the past. Ever since I was a young teenager, I've always loved the romance and mystery in buying an item that has been pre-owned, knowing not much of it's past and the hidden stories it may hold. 
I've been asked by a few of my readers to share some tips on where I find my vintage clothes and so finally here it is, a concise little guide to how I shop for vintage!

1. Make a list - I often find it easier when I know what I'm looking for, otherwise I tend to get indecisive and swept up in the excitement of it all and sometimes leaving without buying anything.

2. Set yourself a budget - Some places accept debit cards, but just in case it's always handy to have cash at hand. Also setting yourself a budget stops you from impulse buying and buying things you may regret buying in the end - in most cases vintage items are non returnable!

3. Carry light - If you are taking a bag, take a backpack or something you can throw over your shoulder. For those of you who are in a relationship . . . your partner is your best friend in this case! This gives you free hands to rummage with and more energy to do so!

4. Don't be afraid to barter - I don't tend to barter for items if they are under £10, but if you don't want to pay full price for something then try to bring the price down, for example if someone's trying to sell a shirt from the 90's for £30 you know it definitely isn't worth that price. If you are buying multiple items from the same stall or shop also, try and get a bit of discount off.

5. Think outside the box - Sometimes items take a little love to reach their full potential. Some garments might need altering or that little bit of extra imagination, but in the end when it works it's totally worth the effort!

6. Take a break - You're only human, I don't need to further explain the importance of a slice of cake and a cup of cha during or at the end of long day of thrifting.

Thanks for reading, got any tips you'd like to share or any more thrifty questions you'd like answering? Comment below or tweet me at @dimplesdiaries !




  1. I love vintage shopping but more often than not it's hard to find decent stuff, so thanks for the informative guide. x

    Nerve Wires

  2. Excellent advice, I always need to refuel during a hard day shopping, and there's nothing better than a coffee and cake top up! Certainly agree with your bartering advice, I'm so often too scared to try it, but I went to the Lou Lou's vintage fair today as it hit Birmingham, and managed to get £10 off a gorgeous 1950's suit… It works!!

    Faded Windmills

  3. Beautiful photos! Did you enjoy the fair? I bought a jacket for about £15 which I think was quite good :) Hoping to blog about my experience soon!

    Jo xxx

  4. I love a bit of vintage shopping but never seem to be able to find anything good, will definitely be trying out these tips next time I'm bargain hunting!
    Gillian · x

  5. I loved this post! Your tips are so helpful! I was so tempted to go to the Lou Lous vintage fair near me but ran out of time :( Justine xx

  6. Such a lovely post :)

    I wish i was good at vintage shopping, maybe I will now!

    Love Em :)

  7. That is a great list! I love that you can find amazing treasures in vintage shops. I should do this more often I think! :)

  8. Very interesting post
    I like vintage shopping

  9. YES! Thanks for doing this! Loved it so thank you!

    Emma x

  10. Love your tips!

  11. Great post, love your Vintage shopping tips!

    Greetings from London,

  12. Love this post dear! Love a good ol vintage find!
    Thanks for your sweet comment on my blog


  13. Such a good guide. Tea and cake are very important when doing any kind of shopping!

    Can I also add that taking a measuring tape with you and knowing your measurements is very important if somewhere doesn't have changing facilities (like vintage fairs or carboot sales) or you're in a rush and don't have time to try stuff on.

    1. Yes, that's very true! Thank you for commenting Jess! :)


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