The past several weeks have been spent making sure my shop is fully stocked for this weekend’s big sale.

As I post my fun finds, I keep getting asked the same question:
“Where do you find all these things??”

I try my bet to include small tips from time to time on the best places to look for vintage, but though it was high time I devoted a whole post to it.

Estate Sales

One of my many estate sale finds.

By far my favorite place to find vintage clothes is at estate sales. I use to find the best sales in my area. Usually, I’ll devote an entire day to estate sale-ing and will be prepared for lots of driving.

Fair warning though: estate sales can get dirty. Like, allergy-inducing, makes-you-want-to-bathe-100-times dirty.

But it’s usually worth it. I’ve discovered decades of dresses, shoes and jewelry at these sales. All they need is a little tlc and you’ve got some great treasures!

Sometimes I’ll leave a sale empty-handed, but it’s always educational. I usually chat up the owner of the estate sale company. If I’m lucky, they’ll tell me the history of the person who used to live in the house, or point me in the direction of cool jewelry bin that I missed.

Thrift Stores

One of my many, many, many
thrift store finds.

The easiest places to find vintage clothes and accessories are thrift stores. Generally speaking, the stuff I find at thrift stores is not as old as the stuff I find at estate sales (think 1970s and 1980s instead of 1950s).

This isn’t alway true though. If I’ve arrived at a store just as new items go out, or find a really well-hidden dress, I can sometimes find really old pieces at thrift stores.

My favorite thrift stores are the non-chain ones. You know, the ones a town church will run or maybe one that benefits a women’s shelter. They are usually less picked through and have very reasonable prices.

After that, I really enjoy Goodwill and The Salvation Army. Their prices are comparable, though Goodwills are generally much, much cleaner. If you feel like digging, go to a Salvation Army.

I rarely run across them, but when I do I really like stopping at St. Vincent de Paul thrift stores. I’ve only been to a few, but the ones I have visited had a really nice selection and very good prices.

My best tip for vintage shopping at thrift stores is to be aware of the sale days. Most chain stores (and sometimes even the smaller stores) will have weekly sales.

Garage Sales & Yard Sales

My new obsession, this hand painted 1940s
slip is from an antique store.

If the weather is right, you can bet I’ll be on the
look out for some garage sales.

At the moment, I don’t think I have anything in my
shop that came from a garage sale, but I do have
several dresses and accessories in my own closet
that I scooped up for next to nothing. I’m talking
50 cents for a necklace, guys.

Antique Stores

Normally, I would caution against antique stores
because their prices can be so high. But I have had
some really good experiences at antique stores that
offer unique pieces at fair prices.

As with thrift stores, I would check and see if the
antique store has any sales going on. You can also
sometimes negotiate prices with the salesperson if they
are around.

If you’ve been eyeing an antique store but are nervous about the prices, I’d say go in and look, because you might be surprised.