HOW TO SHOP FOR VINTAGE T-SHIRTS

I may be slightly biased but I truly believe no wardrobe is complete without a good range of t-shirts. And not just any old t-shirts, I’m talking about vintage t-shirts specifically. T-shirts typically rank amongst one of the most used items in our clothing arsenal, and vintage t-shirts are especially good at adding personality and uniqueness to everyday outfits. It’s not just everyday outfits that make use of our good old vintage friends, with the rise of vintage being worn by some of our favourite celebrities and street style stars, vintage t-shirts are now in high demand and have ascended into a complete league of their own.

Not all vintage t-shirts are created equally, I have some helpful tips that you may need when you go on your next vintage scavenger hunt:
– If you don’t find a hidden gem within five minutes of entering your local vintage store, flea market, or thrift shop, don’t give up so easily. Check out your shopping location from top to bottom and make sure you sift through each and every rack of clothing – you never know where your next vintage goodie is hiding.
– Modern sizing varies wildly, so if you can try on your vintage t-shirts to make sure they fit before purchasing. When shopping vintage, shop by measured sizing instead of labelled sizing so you don’t get caught out with anything ill-fitting.
– One thing we often don’t think of is checking the kids section for vintage t-shirts. With smaller vintage pieces store staff may think it’s a kids item when it’s not, the kids department is especially lucrative if you’re into cartoon t-shirts (I have a great selection of Disney tee’s) and wacky graphics.
Be on the lookout for vintage t-shirts that have visible stains and discolouration. While it’s great that most vintage items had a life of their own before they found their way to us, you’re going to have a really tricky time trying to get any visible stains out.
– Wear and tear does add character to vintage items, and it’s part of the reason I love shopping vintage so much. Don’t waste your money on something that’s too thin or has a lot of holes in, as it’s likely to disintegrate after a few washes.
– Vintage t-shirts do require a bit of extra love and care as they age, so run them through a 30degree wash but no higher. This may come as a no brainer but always wash vintage purchases before wearing – you don’t know where they’ve been before you found them!
– Unless you’re a vintage collector and are a dab hand at repairing and mending, try to look for vintage t-shirts that are still in a reasonable/wearable condition with original stitching in place, and as little modifications as possible.

I’ve never been one to shop vintage online, I personally like to visit a store and physically see what I’m getting. Shopping for vintage online isn’t easy as vintage styles and designs aren’t a carbon copy of each other, and you’ll rarely find two vintage items that are exactly the same. The likes of Vestiaire Collective, Depop, Etsy, and eBay are all home to an incredible range of vintage goods from individual sellers and personal collectors you may not be able to find elsewhere. My top tip for shopping vintage t-shirts online is to use hashtags, keywords, and filters to browse results – but make sure you closely inspect the product information and photos, and always ALWAYS read the T&C’s!



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JP x

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