Vintage Shopping Tips: T-Shirts


Recently, I’ve become obsessed with vintage clothing. I love styles from the past, and I find it fascinating that there is some sort of history attached to a piece of clothing. Whenever I used to hear people say that vintage shopping is a hobby, I really didn’t understand why until I started buying it. Now, I spend hours online seeking out vintage tees and researching the history behind them. I’m not even close to being an expert about vintage shopping, but through research and my own personal findings, I have learned a few things I’d like to share. I’m going to focus in on vintage tees in this post, since talking about other types of vintage clothing that I have some knowledge of (like jeans) deserves a post in itself.

1. The first thing is knowing how vintage clothing fits. If you’re lucky enough to have a good vintage shop around you, it’s easy to try on the clothes and know the material and fit. If you’re like me, who really only shops online when I am at school, then it can be a bit trickier. Most vintage clothing (t-shirts, jeans) that I have purchased fit much smaller than the size labeled in it. So typically a Medium size vintage t-shirt will fit like a modern day size Small. A lot of sellers online will give the exact measurements of shirts, so make sure it is to your liking before you purchase it.

2. The second thing to know when shopping for vintage tees is to look for some keywords. Words I look for in the description are “soft” and “paper thin”. This may not be important to you, but I can guarantee that this worn-in look and feel of the t-shirt is superior. Another keyword that pops up a lot when shopping for vintage tees is “rare”. I personally think that it’s important to do some research behind these kind of t-shirts, especially since they are typically quite expensive. There are millions of vintage tees that are just as awesome that aren’t considered “rare”, so don’t boil it down to just one aspect of the item.

3. The last thing is about the design that’s on the shirt. To decrease your chances of buying a knock-off vintage tee (meaning it looks vintage but was actually recently made), look at the date below the graphic. I’m not sure what this date means, but it’s typically around the time that the shirt was from. This way you can know that it is most likely authentic. It’s also good to have the seller show a picture of the label inside the shirt, which typically is pretty worn down and faded if it’s actually vintage.

Like I said, I am no where near and expert and am learning every time I buy more vintage clothes. Most of this information is just from my personal findings. Vintage shopping is super fun and it’s so easy to get into it with all the online shops today. I like Etsy and EBay when shopping for vintage tees. Once you start going through the shops on these sites, you’ll be in front of your computer for hours.