Online Shopping – Expert Vintage Tips

November 11, 2007 • Magazine

Online Shopping - Expert Vintage Tips

Online Shopping - Expert Vintage Tips

Sun, 2007-11-11 06:00

Emily Huggins

Rodellee Marie has been in business for about 3 years, selling her fantastic vintage finds on She offers some great tips for scouting out and purchasing vintage clothing and accessories online:

While online shopping can be quick and easy, Rodellee mentions that the buyer has the disadvantage of not being able to feel the fabrics or try on the pieces. She says to look for the following:

• Photos from every angle
• Material content description. (Care and content labels are not found in pieces prior to the sixties, so a good description of the fabric feel is important here)
• Measurements
• Flaws (if any)
• Era (the older the piece, the more valuable it is – provided it is in good wearable condition)

Above all, if you are unsure about a piece, email the owner or seller for more information. It is always better to ask lots of questions before buying since many vintage shops have an “all sales final policy�?.

Sometimes identifying what era a piece is from can be a bit tricky, especially because modern designers always like to incorporate great themes or styles from other decades! Rodellee offers a few key notes:

• 1950s – embellished cardigans and dresses with side zippers
• 1960s and earlier – metallic zippers
• 1960s – centered dress zippers, polyester and synthetic materials introduced
• 1970s – garment care labels introduced

Check out the collection of href=”” target=”_blank”>vintage patterns and illustrations
on to get an idea of styles from each.

Look for pieces that go with your current wardrobe, but have some character and flair. If you have never shopped vintage before, start adding jewelry first, since most vintage costume jewelry has “very distinct looks and styles�?. Rodellee also says that, “you can be wearing just a simple black dress purchased at ZARA and add on an elaborate costume rhinestone necklace and suddenly be channeling Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.”

Of course, there are top fashion brands that have been around for decades – like Chanel, Balenciaga and Christian Dior. But expect to pay A LOT of money for these designer fashions. They will only increase in value over time. Other names to look for include: Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Diane Von Furstenberg, Ossie Clark, Oscar de la Renta, Geoffrey Beene, Azzedine Alaia, Lilly Pulitzer, Gunne Sax (Jessica McClintock for Gunne Sax), and Emilio Pucci.

Last but not least, vintage pieces are truly special items because they all have a previous story. Rodellee feels that vintage is “very personal for me, each piece has a previous story and I sort of feel I am continuing that story. It’s like ‘The Life of a Dress’ and I get to play the starring role. When I slip into one of my vintage 50s sundresses I suddenly feel timeless, more feminine, more elegant. Vintage just evokes that whole feeling of nostalgia and wonderment.�?

Images, top to bottom:
Sizing, Conditions and Other Info
50’s Patterns
Regal Essence Necklace $46

See the Top Ten Summer 2016 Trends for Women Over 40

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