The Anthology’s guide to vintage shopping

My penchant for vintage clothing has been called everything from crazy (good) to crazy (crazy). Herewith, my top ten tips for making vintage shopping crazy (good).


10. Be happy. If you’re not, it’s probably not the best time to wade through the rough in search of a vintage diamond.

9. Be elitist. Thrift stores in the ritzier parts of town get donations from the ritzier parts of town (which means you’re more likely to find an Yves Saint Laurent scarf or, for that matter, an Yves Saint Larent belt).

8. Seek perfection. If it’s not in pristine, like-it-was-only-worn-once condition, put it back on the rack.

7. Short on time? Head for the accessories — you don’t have to hit the change room to figure out if a belt, scarf or handbag is perfect for you.

6. Think outside the thrift store. You can’t even imagine the gems I’ve found at antique fairs, church thrift sales and private school fairs (like Saint George’s and York House, to name a few).

5. Shop where the collectors shop — in Vancouver I like Deluxe Junk in Gastown, F as in Frank on Main Street and Burcu’s Angels on 16th.

4. Take your new skirt/dress/jacket/whatever to a tailor to get it shortened/fitted/reconstructed (in Vancouver, I’d recommend Oakridge Tailors) but don’t forget that can add anywhere from $20 to $120 to the price of the piece.

3. Take your new skirt/dress/jacket/whatever to the dry cleaner. But again, that can add big bucks ($50 for a leather skirt, $150 for a leather jacket).

2. Bring a friend. I would have never found this red leather skirt if my girlfriend Laura hadn’t spotted it.

1. If you’re not into hunting for vintage treasure, head straight to online supershop Shrimpton Couture. They’ve done the work for you.

Many of you are vintage connoisseurs — have anything you’d add to my list? Leave a comment. Want to delve into another Anthology guide? Read up on Istanbul.

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  • Reply quelle November 10, 2009 at 8:39 pm

    thanks for sharing your tricks of the trade!
    i’m pretty new to the game, so can’t offer much advice, i’m afraid.

  • Reply Niki November 10, 2009 at 10:45 pm

    ummm.. don’t go thrifting when you’re hungry? haha. I just have zero patience for it when my blood sugar is low.

    Guess who’s a huge nerd? I am – because I created my own blog award. Guess who’s a recipient of it? You are! Congrats :)

  • Reply Some Like it November 11, 2009 at 4:46 am

    Excellent points! It’s such a great way to recycle!

  • Reply Teresa November 11, 2009 at 8:26 am

    thx to you i’m into vintage shopping!!…but had a hard time finding the right tailor :( I’ll try the Oakridge one

  • Reply mango November 11, 2009 at 9:08 am

    do you ever go to and just browse? it’s a great little online marketplace for vintage finds, and such a distraction to your day once you start!!! :)

  • Reply janettaylor November 11, 2009 at 9:22 am

    thanks for sharing, my dear…

    If U have a mood, look at my giveaway!


  • Reply Melissa November 11, 2009 at 4:51 pm

    Such great tips! Thanks.. maybe now i’ll have better luck with vintage.

    Btw, I saw someone walking today that looks exactly like you.

  • Reply Liv November 12, 2009 at 12:34 pm

    thanks for this great guide – you’re the reason i started shopping at vintage again after more than 10 years not. i remember shopping at Delux junk all the time when i was in high school and loving it. time to rediscover as well as check out new places.

  • Reply erin November 12, 2009 at 5:32 pm

    great points! i love the idea of vintage, but i hate digging through things. i have no patience!

  • Reply nicole November 13, 2009 at 2:18 am

    awesome vintage guide Kelsey! I love it. It also made me realize that I may have been going about vintage shopping all wrong! Well.. that’s going to be fixed now that I have your handy dandy little guide hehe

    #9 is so true. will def keep #7 and 8 in mind for sure. and yes, I always do enjoy vintage shopping with a friend a lot more than on my own, but if I have to, I’ll go it alone haha

  • Reply Hermione November 15, 2009 at 2:23 pm

    Great post, great blog!

  • Reply Your vintage shopping cheat sheet | The Anthology March 2, 2011 at 8:49 am

    […] because I want nothing but the best for all y’all, I thought I’d update my guide to vintage shopping. (If you want a crash course, watch this clip where I take the camera crew from The Express vintage […]

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