BreakingModern — I dare say: There’s a vintage-clothing hole in the over-populated app market. Maybe it’s because retro-chic vintage shoppers aren’t hip to today’s gadgets, or maybe Silicon Valley app makers wear too many powder-blue shirts and khakis to catch the vintage fashion wave. Either way, there’s a curious lack of apps out there for the vintage clothing enthusiast. But never fear — regular apps used in unconventional ways can lead to exciting vintage finds. So until someone creates a fantastic app for finding 1940s suits and 1980s sunglasses, use these apps to get your vintage-clothing fix.
You’re in a new city, and it’s time to scope out the vintage picks. But how do you figure out where to go first?
Believe it or not, Yelp remains the best way to find vintage and antique stores in a strange new town. With an unprecedented number of businesses in its database and with extensive customer reviews, Yelp’s ratings will give you a true reflection of the general customer experience at each store.
Even the least tech savvy vintage clothing shop owner might put their store on this popular site, so you’re not likely to miss a remote mom-and-pop shop.
Also, you can always use the listed number to give the store a call if you’re looking for something weirdly specific — which, of course, you are. It might save you the trip … or convince you to get your butt across town to the only store that sells 1960s Givenchy dresses.
Pretty much everyone selling in the vintage world has a shop on Etsy. From fabrics to designer clothes to sweaters someone dug up from Great Aunt Mabel’s basement, you can find it right next to the craftier offerings on this trendy app. The eclectic coffee house vibe suits the retro-enthusiast, and Etsy tends to be pickier than its more wide ranging sister, eBay, with a prominent vintage section and a strict 20-year rule (in other words, vintage clothing must be at least 20 years old).
The best part is, you don’t have to be in town to buy that piece you’ve always wanted. You can follow curators with a similar style and snap up the best finds as soon as they come into the shop. Heck, even set up your own shop — might as well make a little money with your hobby, right?
“What, for inspiration?” you say. Wrong.
It was a surprise to me, but a large number of vintage-clothing, fabric and accessory curators are selling their wares on Instagram — before they put them on Etsy. Often done as a “sneak peek,” sellers will take a picture of the piece, tagging the year, designer and other relevant details.
If you can chat with the owner (Instagram has a messenger service now) you can often negotiate a price and snap up the item before it even hits the Etsy shop, eliminating any fear of another quick buyer snatching that perfect dress away. And keep an eye out for posts about pop-up shops and fairs — you’ll usually see some chatter from the curators you follow.
Featured/Header image: “manhattan vintage fair” by hobvias sudoneighm via Flickr
Screenshots: Daniel Zweier