How To Shop For Vintage Jeans

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I don’t think there’s anything more satisfying than finding something that fits you in a vintage shop. That is especially true of vintage jeans as finding a pair that fits is the holy grail of shopping. I found the pair I’m wearing in this post at Rokit Vintage on Brick Lane and as soon as I put them on I knew they were mine. That feeling is worth its weight in gold, especially when you know that no one else will be wearing the same pair.

I do however understand that trying on jeans for hours doesn’t excite other people as much as it does me. I feel like a lot of you guys wouldn’t have the patience, and the risk of not finding anything is pretty off putting too. If you do want to take the risk then I thought I would share a few tips on shopping for vintage jeans that you might find really useful. Here’s the tea…

Expect a Quest

Sure you might walk straight into a vintage store and find the most perfect pair of jeans but realistically it’s going to take a lot more graft. If you’ve got something particular in mind you’ll likely have to try on a lot of pairs before you find the right one. It’s all about patience.

Know your Waist Size

Vintage jeans come in waist sizes and in inches so knowing your measurement is the best place to start. To find out you’ll need to use a tape measure and you’ll want to place it just above your belly button. You don’t want to pull it tight either but keep it flush to your skin so that you get the most exact measurement.

buying vintage jeans

Try them on

Even though you’ve measured your waist that’s still just a way of narrowing down the pairs you’ll need to try on. Jeans that fit are notoriously tricky to find and as vintage ones are getting more and more expensive you don’t want to risk it. I’d recommend taking your size along with one size above and one size below to the changing room just in case. If like me you have a big bum in comparison to your waist then you might need to size up too, as often there’s not accommodation for junk in the trunk.

Experiment with Different Cuts

When I first went shopping for vintage jeans I was only interested in MOM style (high waist, loose leg) as they were really in at the time. I feel like I probably missed out on a lot of good jeans though as I didn’t bother trying on any other shapes. You really don’t know what’s going to look good until you’ve got them on, so I’d definitely recommend trying as many jeans as possible to see what works. You never know, bootcuts might surprise you…

Try Charity Shops

Vintage shops are great but they normally rake up the prices so if you’re looking for a bargain then charity shops are a good shout. It’s also always worth asking if they have any jeans in the back as sometimes they hold stuff behind if there’s loads on the shop floor. It might be a worthless trip but you never know and they’ll definitely be cheaper.

black heels with pearls

Get them Tailored

Getting your clothes tailored to fit you will make a massive difference and is always worth the extra investment. As vintage jeans can be quite wide on the legs it’s also a great way to make them a little more flattering. While you’re at the tailors you can ask them to pin the legs of your jeans at different lengths and widths so that you can try out different looks. Some jeans look amazing cropped so that’s always worth trying out.

Remember the Brand

The jeans I’m wearing in this post are from Guess so I know if I’m looking on eBay or a vintage store online what size I’ll need. This takes the risk out of it and by keeping a log of my size for each vintage brand I save a lot of time when shopping.

I hope that you guys find these useful when trying to find a good pair of vintage jeans! I’m personally on the lookout for another pair in a darker denim, so if you have any other tips or advice make sure to pop them below.

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This post was written by Christy Llewellyn.
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