The Do’s and Don’ts of buying and collecting vintage items

Entering the world of vintage clothing can be a tad daunting for a beginner. When we first started collecting vintage we had so many questions: how do you tell the difference between an authentic item and a replica, how do you keep your clothing so it stays in good condition, what is 1920s celluloid? Luckily vintage buying and collecting is very much a community and seasoned sellers, which we like to think we are,we will happily impart some of the tips and tricks we’ve learnt along the way so you can avoid the pesky trial and error:


  • Do focus on something, an item or a style, that you genuinely enjoy and find interesting or you’ll lose the passion for hunting it down when you are buying and collecting
  • Do research different eras, learn about what trends and pieces were iconic in different periods, figure out what styles you are interested in
  • Do pick vintage clothing you’ll want to wear yourself, items that you will use and enjoy
  • Do know what you’re looking for, take a keen eye to fabrics, labels, stamps. Learn what the real thing looks like so that you can avoid knock offs and over-priced reproductions
  • Do know how to maintain your vintage, how to fix, wash, and preserve your clothes. Tips: padded hangers are good for fragile dresses and coats, knitwear and beaded items should be kept in boxes or cases, acid free tissue paper is the best padding


  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions and dig around in vintage shops and at fairs
  • Don’t be afraid to try the unexpected and keep your mind open to different styles and pieces
  • Don’t store items in vacuum bags in the long term, the lack of air can harm the fragile fabric
  • Don’t pile clothes too tight inside wardrobes, it can cause the clothes to get mouldy
  • Don’t be afraid to get rid of items and tailor your collection, whether you sell the item, pass it on to a friend, give it as a gift, repurpose it etc.

We hope these tips and suggestions will help encourage and guide your buying and collecting of vintage clothing and items. Our shop is the perfect place to start or expand your vintage collection! Here at Seraphine Vintage we stock an extensive collection of unique, high quality vintage dresses, garments and accessories from the 1920s onwards. Please take a look around and just give us a call or email if you have any inquiries or questions.