faq

HOW TO BUY VINTAGE
1. Take your measurements
We advise that every customer learn their measurements. Vintage clothing does not have a consistent set of sizes like clothing today and many pieces are custom-made. Therefore, measure yourself before purchasing and understand that most customers have the clothing altered when necessary. See our policy section for tips on measuring and understanding sizing. If you are not sure about sizing, send us your measurements and we will help. We will happily supply hem and seam allowances for potential alterations, please email us.

2. Read the next sections on SIZING and CONDITION

3. Contact us with any questions about the item
You can ask us about alterations, the fit, color, condition, anything you like.

4. Have realistic expectations
Even if the measurements work, you may have to have minor alterations to achieve a good fit. 1940’s and 50’s dresses and suits, for example, were tailored to fit the person that owned them. We can supply photos of the interior seams and lining and will take any measurements you ask for.

5. Read our return policy
Our clothing is not sold in as-is condition. Most have been cleaned and/or repaired to be ready to wear. Read our return policy before you buy – we expect our clothing to be shipped back immediately, within 48 hours of receipt, and all returns are subject to a restocking fee.

SIZING
Buying vintage clothing requires one very important thing – taking your measurements. There was no size 4 or 10 like today. Clothing in the old days was often custom-made, tailored, and the fabrics lacked stretch. To find the right fit, it is important to know your measurements and, if you are new to purchasing clothing this way, send us your measurements and we will assist. We can help give you a basic idea of the fit before the item is shipped, point out what measurements are important, what cannot be altered and what can. Keep in mind that tailored items and custom 1950’s dresses may require minor alterations to fit perfectly even if the measurements work. Alterations are a part of buying and wearing vintage clothing.

Our Measurements:

All measurements are approximate (inches) and usually the “flat measurements”, which means the size of the item laid flat. In certain cases, it is difficult to find the flat measurements because of an unusual cut and we may approximate the size (such as a stretchy knit) or measure around the interior of the bust and waist (such as a 1950’s dress or an item with complex construction).

Your Measurements:

Below are guidelines for how to collect your measurements. Also, in some areas, like the hips, you may want to leave a little wiggle room when checking measurements.

:: WOMEN ::
BUST : Measurement around full part of chest
WAIST : Measurement around waist (usually the natural waistline)
HIPS : Measurement around hips (normally 5-7 inches below the natural waist depending on height)
SHOULDER TO SHOULDER : Measurement between either the shoulder seams or approximate shoulder width (will be specified in ad)
ACROSS BACK : Measurement across shoulder blades from side seam to side seam
LENGTH : Measurement from shoulder or back of neck to bottom hemline
SKIRT LENGTH : Measurement from waistline to bottom hem (this is helpful if you are short or long-waisted – to find length of bodice, subtract this length from the LENGTH measurement)
SLEEVE LENGTH : Measurement from shoulder to cuff

:: MEN ::
CHEST : Measurement around chest
WAIST : Measurement around waist
BOTTOM HEM : For shirts, measurement around bottom hem
SLEEVE LENGTH : Measurement from shoulder to cuff
LENGTH : Measurement from shoulder or back or neck to bottom hem
NECK/NECK CIRC. : Measurement around neck (collar when closed)
SHOULDER TO SHOULDER : Measurement between either the shoulder seams or approximate shoulder width (will be specified in ad)

OUR SYSTEM
We try our best to accurately date, describe and measure each item. We inspect each item inside and out and give a detailed condition report in the ad. Items that can be safely cleaned are cleaned and any issues are repaired. We hand or dry clean items. Please note that some vintage items are made of delicate materials by today’s standards, such as silk chiffon, lace and organza, or have delicate decorations, such as beading, and are too risky to dry clean. Any issues will be listed in the ad. Please understand that vintage clothing has been worn and is not in perfect condition. Sizes are approximate. If you have any questions regarding items, ask. We will be more than happy to help. The provenance will be included with the item when available.

CONDITION
Items are typically refurbished – cleaned, steamed, pressed and repaired when needed. Any notable flaws will be listed in the condition report. For general condition, below is a chart of the basic grading system for vintage clothing:

:: GRADES ::
MINT : Like new.
NEAR MINT: Worn a couple of times, no problems.
EXCELLENT : No noticeable problems.
VERY GOOD : May have a couple of problems in terms of normal wear, but nothing very noticeable and still wearable.
GOOD : Has noticeable problems, but still wearable.
COSTUME : Has noticeable problems, but still wearable.
FAIR : Has noticeable problems, usually not wearable, can be used as a display piece or pattern.

If you have any questions, email us. We are happy to post extra photos and/or take further measurements.