30 DAY PRIMER: DAY 13 – Become A Savoy Thrifter with The Vintographer

In 30 Day Primer - Tips To A Better You, Style by The Gents Staff

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We all have that one item in our closet or on our shoe rack that we absolutely love! This is an item that we’ve either purchased ourselves, or we were lucky to have passed down to us from our grandparents. Purchasing new clothing every year is one thing, but finding some great garments from the 1940’s or 80’s is a priceless feeling. When you find vintage clothing and it fits you, you tend walk around with a upbeat feeling of knowing it is going to be very rare to see someone else with it on. Thrifting can be fun but also can be a waste of money if you purchase something that ends up not working for you in the end.  We’ve contacted The Vintographer, owner of the Chicago based blog, The Vintage Vandalism for some helpful tips that will help the preservation process of maintaining those priceless thrifted items.


  1. When purchasing older/vintage items, you must first take into consideration that the fabrics and thread will be slightly more fragile than in-store retail items. The first thing you need to check before purchasing from thrift stores and/or consignment shops is for rip, snags, holes and irremovable stains. This evaluation should help you determine the worth of the item enabling you with enough information to decide if it is worth paying for. Once you have made your decision, these three steps will help you keep those nostalgic pieces looking good as new.

  1. All blazers, suits, jackets, and shirts should be steamed before taking it to the dry cleaners or using a household wash/dry method. Use the water mixed with vinegar to eliminate the smell of old clothes. (Surprisingly, almost all thrift stores have this stench). Once that the smell is eliminated, feel free to wash the washable items and take the blazers/suits to the dry cleaners if needed.

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  1. All shoes must have insole replaced immediately as well as shoe strings. Both hold bacteria, bugs, micro-organisms that have had plenty of time to “set-up camp” inside of the shoe. Use very light wax/shine products. Harsh and heavy dyes, polishes, shine kits tend to destroy the vintage look of shoes through my experience. 

  1. Pants are important to pay attention to. Pants usually have heavier wear that is noticeably visible on the seat, knees, and thigh area. Due to the stress on the fabric in these areas, extra steps may be taken to ensure a top quality look. Be aware of the threading because there is a slight chance it may be deteriorating. For knees that have been worn down on slacks, use light fabric/ or patch to put inside the pants on the actual spot (flip pants inside out to complete task). This will prevent the fabric from ripping, and still looks durable. Use step one for pants as well, in most cases pants will need some sort of alterations unless IT’S YOUR LUCKY DAY!!! which happens from time to time.

Hopefully these few tips will help the aspiring “thrifter” inside of you add more life to your priceless items. For more tips and tricks on maintaining thrifted items please visit: www.ThevintageVandalism.com


All images via thevintographer