So for some vintage virgins it might be a bit daunting and terrifying going into a vintage shop and seeing it as a complete utter jumble sale. Most people usually avoid the lingerie section - but why? It's not like you're going to buy a secondhand thong or your grandmas knickers. Sure, at times it's a treasure hunt but you could find gorgeous corsets, bralets, big frilly knickerbockers, bodies and retro suspender belts! All for a margin of the price that you would spend in a boutique or high street shop (depending on the store or individual piece). I recently even found a What Katie Did waist cincher in Beyond Retro for only £10! So here I've put together a wee guide to buying lingerie from vintage stores, as well as some cute pieces I've found online!
First of all, a few tips and tricks to buying vintage lingerie:
- Sizing - do not go by the label! Vintage sizing is very different to our modern sizing, so if you can, try it on.
- Faults - are there any stains that might not come out that will bother you? Any rips or tears? If there's faults to the item already it might not be worth buying it because you may never use it! If you still want to buy, ask for a discount!
- Fastenings - as with all suspender clips, check that they aren't plastic! If they are already secondhand you can pretty much guarantee that they will fall apart after a couple of washes. However, if it's super cute then you could take a risk and hand-wash it carefully. Also, if you're buying something that is boned check that if the bones are plastic and whether they are bent out of shape or broken.
- Labels - check the labels!! Look out for recognisable brands, because you might be picking up something that is worth a lot more than the price tag. Also check to see if there are any previous store labels on things you wouldn't normally like to buy secondhand such as knickers because this could mean they were never worn.
- Fabric - check for quality of fabric, feel the item - is it comfortable? Soft?
- Do not be bothered by the fact it is secondhand! - Many of my greatest finds are secondhand, it is completely sanitary to buy other peoples hand-me-downs! Although things like knickers can be questionable, so only buy if they have been unworn or you are going to wear something underneath (such as wear them as shorts). You can find the most unique and quality things in the most unlikely places.
- When buying online - ask for exact measurements of the item if they aren't given, and measure yourself so that you know it will fit.
|Vintage Bra from MyFrenchAntiqueShop on Etsy - £45|
|Beyond Retro 1970s Vintage Bed Jacket - £16|
|Beyond Retro Shapely Vintage Corset - £25|
|Rokit Black Lace Body - £30|
|Vintage girdle on eBay - current bid £7|
|RMWLONDON on ASOS marketplace pleated shorts - £20|
|Rokit Peach Basque with Butterfly Lacing - £120|
|Bethanyg13 on Etsy Pink Gown - £26|
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