Top tips for shopping vintage

Oh the hours one could spend whiling away the days, in and out of second hand shops. It's a perfect way to spend a Sunday (with a trip to the pub around lunch o'clock to banish those 'work tomorrow' blues). There are dozens of antique/vintage/thrift stores dotted all across Brighton, and once you get past the stuffy ol' smell, a bit of patience will promise you a vintage gem. Here are some tips if you find yourself wandering around local flea markets any time soon....

1) Make a list

Walking into a second hand shop can be pretty daunting. It's hard to know where to begin when you're bombarded with second-hand treasures, and more often than not you end up seeing something you like, buying it, and leaving it in your house to collect dust.

Whether it's a mental list, a few notes on your iPhone, or a scribble on an old bus ticket, it's always worth having a list of vintage buys you're on the market for. It helps organise your thoughts, money and room - no more hoarding! 

What's on my list at the moment?
Measuring spoons for baking
Bright coloured leather bag
Large frames (so I can put a map inside and revamp it)
Cute patterned saucers (to jazz up my blog & bake posts)

2) Don't be fussy over sizes

It goes without saying that sizes back in the 40s were completely different to the generous sizing we see in stores today. I reckon they were all just tiny back then, don't let it put you off - give stuff a try. And equally, don't let it depress you! Even in high street shops today we overlook sizing, to get that 'oversized-chic' look - I sometimes find myself buying size 16 jumpers for the sheer cosiness.

3) Don't not buy something, just because the shape won't suit you

Particularly if you're a dab hand at sewing. And if you're not - go buy a needle and thread and experiment. If you see something you like, try to alter it for you, and screw it up.... fear not! You'll probably still have enough material left in the dress to make a cushion. All is not lost.

4) If you find something special that isn't to your taste, buy it anyway

And try selling it on ebay! I once bought a vintage navy burberry scarf in a charity shop for £2 and sold it online for £28. Entrepreneur is my middle name :)

5) Don't be afraid to barter 

It's terrifying but everyone does it. More so on more expensive purchases like furniture, real leather bags and multiple plates. Unleash your cheekiness and give it a try - if you don't ask you don't get ;)

Thanks to Neil, for the lovely photos. If you're coming to Brighton soon, he's written a post on the Top 5 Brighton second hand shops worth reading!