Book Review: The Little Guide to Vintage Shopping

by jennine on October 21, 2009

The Little Guide to Vintage Shopping

Back when I started buying vintage, admittedly, I didn’t know much about vintage clothing. Initially, I just liked the pretty dresses that they just don’t make anymore and I liked the price. But that was way back when you could actually find vintage clothing at thrift stores in spades, and I just never put much thought into it. These days however, it’s a completely different story. Since designers these days borrow heavily from designs of days past, thrift stores are overloaded with 2 seasons ago H&M, online vintage has exploded, it’s really hard to tell what’s what when it comes to buying vintage.

I received a copy of ‘The Little Guide to Vintage Shopping by Melody Fortier from the publisher, and to be honest, I really didn’t think there would be information in this book I couldn’t get on a blog. Not so. From the cute cover (they say don’t judge a book by it’s cover, I can’t help but to be a little influenced) and pretty pictures, I was actually really surprised by the information and nice writing style Melody Fortier a vintage seller herself has to share. Though less than 200 pages, she gives a good starting introduction on how to buy vintage, first by defining it by noting that vintage is not simply clothes that are more than 20 years old, but older pieces that posses ‘Enduring Style’ which could explain how some pieces from the 90’s are now considered vintage. From there she breaks down different descriptions of the kind of clothes you’ll find out there from couture to home sewn, some tips on dating a piece by looking for clues on the tags, the fabric content and the silhouette. Finally she gives some tips on caring for your vintage pieces and even a few spots where to find it, though it turns out I already know where to look for vintage clothing!

All in all the book is very nice, and I did learn a lot from the book, though to be fair, I hadn’t really ever sat down and tried to educate myself about vintage buying, so many of the tips were news to me. If you are already well versed in vintage buying (there are a lot of you out there) this might be a book to skip. But if you are just starting off, then absolutely, this book is a good read. It’s also cute enough to buy for as a gift for someone who is just starting to accumulate vintage wears.

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kate October 21, 2009 at 9:25 am

Funny that you mentioned this book. I just started working at Anthropologie this week and noticed this book on one of the stands. I haven’t had a chance to check it out, but it definitely caught my eye (just like everything else in the store). Now that you’ve given it a thumbs up, I’ll definitely take a look. I love vintage and can’t wait to learn some vintage secrets!
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2 Sheena October 21, 2009 at 9:55 am

Thank you for the review. The book looks like it would be a very informative read for someone like myself who gets a #fail every time they go and shop for good vintage. Plus, the illustrations look very helpful and cute.
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3 Tanya October 21, 2009 at 10:40 am

Thanks so much for this review. The cover caught my eye as it is absolutely adorable and so well conceived. Great design gets me every time.

I appreciate that you mention that this book is for the novice (much like myself) as I could see how it would be disappointing for a pro to pick up a book on tips they might already know.

Your post has inspired me to pick up this book and dive into the world of vintage shopping more so than I’ve done… Thanks!

4 eyeliah October 21, 2009 at 12:09 pm

Could definitely be helpful for sellers. That cover has got my interest too!
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5 Alana October 21, 2009 at 12:47 pm

Ooh sounds like a really fun book. I’ll have to look for it at the library!
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6 jennine October 21, 2009 at 3:28 pm

❤ kate..oohh anthropologie is a dangerous place!
❤ sheena…cool…well it just takes practice!
❤ tanya…so glad!
❤ eyeliah, i’m sure there are some sellers that should read it.
❤ alana…ooh library! i need to get my card.

7 Denise @ Swelle October 21, 2009 at 3:37 pm

This looks like an excellent book, thanks for the tip! I have a great one as well but it’s more of an education in the designers of the past and which of their pieces and signature details to look for when shopping for vintage, as well as a directory of the best shops all over the world. If we hadn’t just moved and I knew where it was I’d mention the title!
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8 THE SHOE GIRL October 21, 2009 at 8:50 pm

It’s very cute! I love how sweet the cover is :)
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9 Midtown Girl October 21, 2009 at 9:22 pm

I used to buy most of my vintage on ebay (esp Givenchy), but buying person is so much more FUN! After taking in the sights at my first trip to the Manhattan Vintage Clothing Show, I am now an official lover & fan of everything Vintage. Thanks for the great review of this cute book - will def check it out! - Amy
Midtown Girl´s last blog ..The Staten Island Bridezilla…hater of Po’ Folk! My ComLuv Profile

10 Kristin October 22, 2009 at 9:40 am

I am not well versed and am dying to delve more into vintage shopping. I think I just might need this. : )

11 rachel c. October 22, 2009 at 10:20 am

i’ll definitely have to check this out. besides being seemingly informative, it also appears to be cute to look at!

rachel c.´s last blog ..MID-WEEK INSPRIATION: SHAE ACOPIAN DETAR My ComLuv Profile

12 MAISON CHAPLIN October 22, 2009 at 1:32 pm

Little guide? Lol That’s new.. Love it :)

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13 violetville October 23, 2009 at 2:59 pm

i am such a skeptic with regards to these books!
i also think i know everything and am totally wrong ;)
i would love to look at it further!
violetville´s last blog ..BLACK ORGANZA Vtg 80s UNWORN TULiP PARTY DRESS! XS/S/2 My ComLuv Profile

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