I’m not from a wealthy family. When I was young I wore things from the local market, Chinese stores and second hand and we were happy if we got something new. When I had grew older and fashion started to become a thing in my life, it was more and more challenging to find trendy clothes so it was a pretty big deal when I moved to Budapest to start college. It was even bigger thing when I got my very first (student) salary which I could spent whatever I wanted.
This first picture is quite old I could be 19 or 20 on it and I wore a nice black Zara blazer, black top, pointy toes ankle boots which I bought second hand and white flares from one of the Chinese stores. 🙂 On the second picture (few years later) my clothes are from C&A I think, and my shoes from Zara sales.
A whole new world opened, there was C&A, H&M, New Yorker, Mango and Zara even though I still couldn’t afford everything (especially not from Mango and Zara). And mostly because financial reasons I still liked visiting second hand shops. Then I got my first job and these financial problems started disappearing slowly. And since then there was no stop. Zara, Mango, H&M (and later the whole Inditex Group) become my first choice and there was no point to seek the used clothes endlessly in order to find something nice and suitable.
Consumption found me and it felt like finally! No more compromises, no more second hand smell, nor more endless seeking for small sizes. Just nice and trendy clothes. Then this started to change again, after a while quality become a thing instead of quantity. It was a slow process though. Old habits are dying with a lot of efforts and attention but still very very slowly. Actually the process is still not over but there are milestones which indicates that I’m on the right path.
After a while I reached the point when all of my clothes were from fast fashion stores but actually most of these things were good buys as I still have almost all of them.
My obsession over Zara and the other fast fashion stores are gone. Don’t get me wrong I still like looking around and buying a good deal there but the excitement is lost. And I think this is a good thing actually. The feeling of control and freedom.
So what now? My interest in fashion and clothing is still here. And the answer is – yes, you guessed it – vintage. Again. Because our budget haven’t got any higher for a while so I still cannot afford designer pieces and I’m still lacking patience to save for them. But it’s not just the dirty finance it’s about consciousness too. And you can call this thing a trend too, because yes, wearing vintage is trendy again.
But what could be a better trend than wearing pre-loved clothes. It’s affordable (when we’re speaking about normal vintage shopping), sustainable, timeless and unique. If you love something in a vintage store or on eBay you don’t love it because it’s trendy, you love it for itself. On the other hand it requires patience and energy to find the right size, color, everything. But maybe it’s time to change or thinking about clothes completely and start finding a good alteration service or a good tailor and invest more time in these pieces.
Pretty expensive designer reworked vintage jeans (like Off-White and Vetements) are selling like crazy and somewhere I could understand. On the other hand they’re crazy expensive too.
I feel now that my excitement is back I just wish my sewing machine was here with me because lets be honest, some of the modifications don’t require too much, especially not hemming or other small alterations. But I still should find a trusty crafty and not to expensive tailor in London who could fix some things for me (if you know somebody please do not withhold the info :)).
But what would be a good alteration service with no things to alterate? So I’m gonna share that little experience what I’ve collected so far.
“New” jeans from Levi’s, one of them bought from eBay, the other pair from TopShop basement.
Online shopping is one of the most convenient and affordable things to do and finding things (like brands or sizes) is the most simple. Although there could be lot of misses too because yeah, we are different enough (to reduce these here you have my experiences about buying vintage Levi’s online). But don’t let this frighten you away.
- There’re lot of sellers who except returns and if they don’t…
- …you can still sell it yourself. Just make sure you’ll do proper photos (with lot of natural light) and descriptions (with all the sizes and faults).
- Or if you love it so much you have also the option to get fixed it. Believe me, lot of things can be fixed.
- If you want a pre-loved designer piece you can start searching on Vestiaire Collective (however, they’re not the fastest when it comes to delivery) or The Real Real.
- And there is ASOS Marketplace which has a big selection, however you should be careful with stores and read the ratings before, because what I tried to order were not in stock and it seems it wasn’t the first time :(.
- But I think the best is still eBay. There are tons of things there with affordable prices just have the patience to browse all of them.
Personal shopping tips:
Good thing you can try things on, yeyy but it needs even more time and after a while it could be really overwhelming. So you should be calm and make sure you don’t have to rush anywhere. Let yourself one or two hours to look around. Of course there could be always things which happen just in the wrong time (but when is right anyway?) so there’re some tricks you can use.
- When it comes to tops you couldn’t make a big mistake so just look at it and if you think it’d be good then go for it.
- Pants are more tricky but then again when we speak about stretchy ones you could gamble just with a look and the size.
- And there’s a trick for non stretchy vintage jeans as well as normally your waist size is twice the size of your neck. So put the waist line around your neck. If the two ends can meet but not overlap it can be worth the try or buy.
- So far what I experienced here in London it’s TopShop basement (which Peekaboo selection is also available online) is pretty good, they have more Levi’s for example and I was lucky enough to find one of my pairs there. On the other hand you have to be aware that their things are not refundable.
- The other is (few steps away) is Urban Outfitters. Their selection could be bought online as well but as I wrote before they use their own sizings (XS-XL) which can be deceiving if you have previous experience. But personal shopping is good enough, the selection is quite big. And if you don’t find something don’t be afraid to ask for it. Last time one of the sales assistant was kind enough to find a (almost) perfect pair of jeans in my size which I couldn’t be able to.
- I tried Beyond Retro too which is one street away from Oxford Circus. They also have a big selection of everything and they are sized to but they’re pretty useless as most of the time the size cube is misplaced. Anyway it’s also worth the shot. And their webshop is pretty good too because you can select the required sizes.
That’s it so far. But hey, I’ve just started to feel its taste and I already have a few pairs of nice vintage jeans and well, something else too which I’ll show you later. I’m pretty sure too if I want to buy a denim or leather jacket, a basket or net bag or who knows what else, I’ll start seeking in the above listed options. Because it’s the best option at the moment.
Do you have experience with vintage shopping? Or you like fast fashion more?
Have an amazing weekend!