A Guide To Avoid Buying Fake Vintage



Cheated, frustrated but mostly disappointed just some of the feelings you'll experience if you ever fall foul into buying something you were told was vintage. Yes a little dramatic, but honestly the amount of time and money wasted soon can dismay any vintage lover from buying on line. In my early years of thrifting, EBay was pretty much my go to, I was determined to find and fill my wardrobe with vintage gems. So being a pretty trusting person and assuming that most people could tell the different between vintage and retro I purchased what I thought was true vintage.  Waiting patiently for the postman to head over with said treasured package,  that of course I had already planned how I was going to style and to find what.. 


A cheap reproduction! Can I just say 'vintage style' has a lot to answer for, once upon a time when you purchased vintage that was exactly what you got. Thankfully now I'm grown and  I like to think I know better, but if anything this has continued to highlight why vintage shops are so important. Why they may seem a little more pricey, but actual it's because they are properly sourced. Your hard earned cash is claiming a piece of history, weather it's a pastel prom dress from the 50s or a go go dress from the 60s that's exactly what you will get. Don't be completely put off from buying vintage on line, if you take more time just to ask question and really look at what your buying you can grab some amazing bargains. Also with EBay make sure to use the right keywords, this makes a massive difference. 


It's not that I have any problem with retro style pieces, they can be great if you can't find vintage garments in your size or colours you prefer. I guess it's knowing exactly what you are buying. No one likes to feel lied to, so here are my top tips for knowing the difference between vintage and retro (vintage style). Don't panic while you don't have to know the whole history of clothing. It does help to know a little about certain factors, this will help you work out what decade the piece is from and if it's actual in fact retro.


- Zippers can be a great tell tell sign, if you prefer 40s to say 60s pieces these tend to have the full metal zipper. I guess because things were made to really last, a zipper would have to stand up to being used daily. Plastic teeth zippers come later, so more than likely to me from late 60s. If the zipper has YKK than it's usually around from the 70s to present day. A lot of people were making clothing too, as choice was limited so home crafts were a big must. Zippers are usually more beat up, as again these items would have been worn a lot.


- Shopping on EBay, than click 'used' this defiantly helps. If it's really vintage it's usually going to have been worn, but double check with the seller that it's not 'vintage style' if your unsure than just leave it. Plenty of people have set up stores that solely deal with vintage, a lot will have more modern vintage such as 80s and 90s. Prepare to pay more for older classic pieces. Etsy also has sellers all over the world, selling vintage clothing, accessorises and footwear. Again don't be afraid to ask questions and find out more.


- Smell and feel, most of the vintage I've purchased has smelt. Nothing wrong with it, it's usually been in storage and once you wash it or send it off to be dry cleaned it's good as new. So if it's a bit smelly you probably have the real deal. Usually you may notice small marks, some fade but most things can be repaired easily. Vintage t-shirt feel amazing as the fabric is worn and they always feel soft. 

- Get to know your brands, a great way of getting to know vintage brands is to have a look at the labels in vintage stores or current vintage you have. It makes hunting down pieces easier if your shopping on line. For example The sweatshop produced some great vintage  in the 80s. Fonts and the style of the labels are also a dead give away, with newer vintage. Some older pieces maybe harder to track down, but stitching and the way the garment is constructed on the inside. So if you are purchasing on line ask seller for a photo of the inside and care labels. A lot of 40s and 50s pieces won't have a care label as that standard was brought in till later.  


If your still unsure than stick to vintage stores, the staff are happy to help and having a good try on session can be the best retail therapy of your life. Have you had any bad experiences of buying fake vintage? Got any tips on how to get the real, I'd love to hear them. 

1 comment

  1. This was such a helpful post to read! Bookmarking for future use! xx

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