Shirley is a guest contributor from Single green female, who’s super chic style makes her a great person to teach us how to vintage shop like a pro.
So, let me start by saying that I am a frugal fashionista foremost, and a green girl at heart. I have been shopping vintage clothes since high school and recently stepped it up since starting my own Etsy vintage shop Single Green Female, and lets keep it real – being eco friendly is not cheap!
Here are some of my secrets to successful vintage shopping:
Know what you want: There is nothing worse than sifting through smelly vintage clothes only to leave empty handed. If you notice that midi (aka mid length) skirts are popping up on every street style blog, runway, or magazine – zero in on this look and check your local vintage or thrift store. They will have a wide selection that will be cheap as chips and one of a kind.
Look for clothes that align with today’s trends: See that cute Rocker Tee at Urban Outfitters? Visit Goodwill or Salvation Army – they are sure to have one just like it. I found a great vintage Harley Davidson t-shirt that will definitely be my summer go to look. The Aztec trend is also everywhere, especially in your local thrift store. Why get it for $50 when you can get it for $5??
Re-imagine the clothes you find: A dress you love could be super cute but unfashionably long. Hemming it to a mini is no cost at all and completely changes it to something more on-trend. I have lopped off many hems and worn these reworked finds as super cute minis with everyone asking” where did you get that cute dress?!”
Steer Clear: Vintage Stores with high prices should be passed over, because nothing irks me more than knowing they got the stuff in middle America for a song and are now selling it for $250. Don’t even give them the business and support this racket!
My Favorite Vintage Stores:
Metropolis (43 3rd Avenue): Great for shoes and vintage dresses with a mid-tier price range of $30-$40
Housing Works: Not only do they have great clothes, but the furniture….oh the furniture! There are several in the city so it’s best to google the location closest to you.
No Relation Vintage (204 1st Ave btw 12th/13th): They have a huge selection and are very very affordable
Beacon’s Closet (in Willamsburg): They are a two shot deal. You can unload your old stuff and get paid (albeit not much) and then use your voucher and find something in the shop – which should not be too difficult since they are inexpensive and filled to the rafters with amazing stuff!
Vintage Thrift (286 3rd Ave between 22nd/23rd): A great selection of dresses that can be anywhere from $15 to $30
Oona’s (121o Massachusetts Ave, in Harvard Square): This is one of the best vintage stores I’ve ever been to. There are always super chic designer pieces for around $30-$40. My last trip landed me a linen Dior blazer for $40 – and that was one of the highlights of my life.
Stella Luna (1627 Queen St West @ Roncesvalles): Oh how I love love love this store! I have walked away with many fine things. Sometimes you can visit the basement …..there are no words. I literally fell to the floor. Everything is at a great price point and if you are lucky enough to go in the basement everything is cheaper.
Queen West (walking towards Downtown Toronto) – This strip is riddled with more shops. I’m sorry I don’t remember their names but there is a Value Village which is a MUST because everything is dirt cheap – I’m talking, like, $5 cheap.