Buying Vintage Designer Clothing Online

Vintage designer clothing is almost always in demand. Timeless styles and classic silhouettes offer effortlessly cool options to supplement your wardrobe. Although the best pieces can be hard to find, the new options for shopping online expand your options and give you fresh places to look. Before getting started, take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with some of the important factors that you should know before buying vintage clothing online at EBTH, including how to look at labels and other relevant details.

Become Familiar with Labels and Designers

Before you start shopping for vintage designer dresses and other pieces, it’s a good idea to do a little research and become familiar with what labels you may come across. It’s important to note that, technically speaking, vintage items are those more than 20 years old, and something doesn’t have to come from a specific designer to be considered vintage. Below are just some of the popular designers you may find in your search:

Yves Saint Laurent: Classic, timeless, and destined to be collectible for all time. This designer made clothing with flattering silhouettes that women loved wearing, which stays relevant no matter what modern trends arise.
Christian Dior: The house of Dior is timelessly chic. Vintage couture comes with a high price tag, but you might be able to find non-couture Dior New York or Dior London for a good price.
Louis Vuitton: Thanks to the brand’s recognizable monogram and history of crafting enduring luggage, it’s often easy to find vintage Louis Vuitton pieces in excellent condition.
Prada: The vintage pieces you’ll find by Prada range from luggage to luxury handbags to ready-to-wear pieces with signature close-cut Italian flair.
Chanel: From the classic 2.55 flap handbag to structural, textural chenille jackets, vintage Chanel finds are as wearable as they are collectible.
Hermès: Known for the classic boxy Birkin and Kelly bags, Hermès focuses on incorporating natural materials like leathers, exotic skins, and silk.

Know Your Eras

Clothing from the more recent vintage eras tends to be easiest to fit seamlessly into a modern wardrobe, but that doesn’t mean you have to limit yourself. Become familiar with the styles of the different eras, many of which have their own distinct silhouettes. Some popular vintage designer clothing eras include the 1920s, 1930s, and 1960s.

1920s Fashion
Glamour and elegance were the order of the day in this decade. Hand-beading, fringe, and the flapper style are a few of the characteristics to look for.

1930s Fashion
The hourglass figure was big in the 1930s, evidenced by the exaggerated shoulder pads and tiny cinched waists popular among many designers. Full A-line skirts and curve-hugging designs were popular.

1960s Fashion
Wiggle dresses, mod designs, and free-spirited hippy looks make the 1960s a diversely fashionable decade.

Measure Up

Knowing your measurements is very important when you’re shopping for vintage designer clothing, particularly when you’re shopping online. Many vintage sellers don’t allow returns. Additionally, the sizing of this clothing may not be the same as modern sizes, so your measurements will be important shopping tools. If you’re not already familiar with your body type, now’s the time to determine which type you are:

Hourglass: Narrower waist, fuller bust and hips.
Circle: Circles, or apples, have slender legs, small shoulders, and narrow hips. Most of their weight is carried in the midsection.
Triangle: Hips are narrower than shoulders.
Rectangle/Ruler: Shoulders and hips are approximately the same.
Pear: Hips are wider than the shoulders.

Why is your body type important? Some vintage styles look better on specific body types. For example, the full-skirted styles of the 1950s flatter pear and hourglass figures, while empire waists and maxi dresses look gorgeous on triangles and rectangles.

How to Buy Vintage Clothes Online

When you’re buying vintage designer clothing online, you don’t have the option to closely inspect it in your hands. But that’s not to say that you can’t get a good feel for the quality and condition of the garment from photographs. Trustworthy sellers like EBTH are able to verify the authenticity of a piece, and there are a few other elements you can inspect. When you’re examining a piece to determine the condition, look for:

Stains: Old stains are typically there to stay, although if the spot is small and in an unnoticeable area it might not be a major consideration.
Holes: Small tears and holes near seams are easy to repair, but anything larger might detract from the overall appearance of the item.
Fading and Discoloration: Look for any areas with fading or discoloration, particularly if you’re buying a crepe dress from the 1940s or something with an acetate taffeta lining.

Wearing, Caring For, and Storing Vintage Clothing

Dry cleaning is the most common way to care for many vintage pieces. Additionally, the experts at the Vintage Fashion Guild recommend hanging garments on unscented padded hangers and storing heavier items in boxes lined with acid-free paper or clean cotton. Keep the garments away from smoke, sunlight, and animal hair. Avoid storing your vintage clothing in dry cleaning bags or plastic of any kind. Plastic prevents the fabric from breathing, so if any moisture gets in there, it gets trapped and can cause the fabric to deteriorate or form mildew.

Now that you know what to look for, start shopping for unique vintage designer fashion at Everything But The House. EBTH brings the excitement of estate sale shopping online, giving you virtual access to well-loved pieces from around the globe.