Investing in vintage clothing is a process accessible to anyone if you know where to look, and what to look for. Whether you’re in it for money, fun or fashion, we have come up with a few pointers to help you on your way!
Vintage itself usually refers to items of clothing over 20 years old, and often those considered most ‘valuable’ are collector’s items, items that are no longer being manufactured and items that are high quality and well made.
Vintage pieces’ worth is decided by both the marketplace and the experts so if this is something you are really interested in, it is good to research the most popular items and why they are so coveted. To be truly valuable, most vintage clothing will have passed the test of time and be both in good condition and popular with buyers long after it was first created.
Looking for vintage clothing that will gain value
If you are interested in buying clothes that not only look good, but will also gain value over time, think about researching into what items have previously gained this type of popularity. It usually comes down to certain iconic brands, items that are limited at time of release and items associated with larger narratives, such as celebrities, bands, or poignant moments in history.
A lot of modern designers will revisit fashion trends so if you can think about items that are likely to come into fashion again, or that have made lots of appearances in the fashion industry over the years then this is likely to be a good investment as the market always spikes when these trends are reintroduced to the runway.
As a collector you will need to hone an intuitive feel for what sort of trends may come back in, what may be considered valuable in the future and what items’ quality and design might qualify them as a valuable vintage piece in the years to come.
Storage & preservation
Overall, something that is vintage has been made to last and is of high quality, but if you are buying with the intention of keeping as its value increases, it is useful to consider which items are easiest to preserve. If a vintage piece is not stored properly, and therefore damaged, then its value will decrease. Accessories are often the easiest thing to store and use, and shoes the hardest- think how quickly soles are damaged and shoes worn in.
The process of making money through vintage clothes will take time. Be patient, and it will pay off. Consider that new items usually take at least 10 years to become collectible, and 20 to become officially Vintage. If you are dedicated, keeping a close eye on trends and up to date on what is popular and what is not can be the difference between being a successful collector and not.
Where to find quality vintage clothing
In terms of actually finding hidden treasures, this is always about knowing what to look for. As mentioned before, vintage items will always be extremely well made with high quality materials, and built to last.
Online stores and auctions are good for finding items that have already been singled out as valuable, and therefore may wear a hole in your pocket (but still provide plenty of potential if you know what you are doing), however, if you would prefer to be the one discovering then there are plenty more options.
If you enjoy going to jumble sales, riffling through secondhand shops, spending hours at car boot sales, and putting the work in to find the hidden treasure, then all you need to learn are the signifiers to look out for in a piece that is going to increase in value and popularity.
However, it is nice to think about whether these items will actually bring you joy and potentially lots of wear, as opposed to just their value. Even if they won’t be worn, if you just really adore an item, it follows a particular trend that you really love or it’s just a really great conversation starter: these are all important reasons to invest in a vintage piece.
We hope this has been helpful. Happy hunting!