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How to Buy Vintage Lingerie on a Budget

I am absolutely thrilled to be guest posting here on Confessions of a Lingerie Addict! My name is Kristin and I am the writer over at Vintage Frugalista [Editor's Note: As of January 2015, this site appears to be defunct], where vintage style is given a budget friendly twist. 

Vintage-inspired lingerie is everywhere right now and with the gorgeous Christina Hendricks wearing lingerie on the cover of New York Magazine and the classic pinup look more popular than ever, it’s really no surprise. If you’re a fan of the vintage look, not only is there ample vintage-inspired lingerie, but with a little hunting you can easily find authentic vintage lingerie to add to your collection. Here’s what you need to know:    

  1. There are many great places to buy vintage lingerie online. For your first purchase, you might want to start with shops like Dollhouse Bettie, Heavenly Vintage Lingerie, and Blue Velvet Vintage. Both carry a lovely assortment of lingerie and the condition and measurements are clearly stated for the buyer. If you’re feeling more adventurous, you should also try the vintage lingerie listings on Etsy. With Etsy, you are going to be doing more hunting; scouting for the right items, the right color, and making sure that the fit and condition are perfect for you, but the advantage to Etsy is that the majority of the lingerie is listed at very budget friendly prices.
  1. Look for Dead Stock or Old Stock (sometimes referred to as New Old Stock). Dead / Old Stock refers to vintage items that have never been worn. Often, these items include their original tags or packaging. Obviously, this is the best choice if you want your vintage lingerie to be in the best possible condition. Dead Stock is also a great way to buy vintage lingerie if wearing other people’s skivvies makes you at all nervous.
  1. Double and triple check your measurements. This is true with any vintage clothing purchase, but is especially true with the purchase of lingerie. Blue Velvet Vintage provides some great guidelines for measuring yourself to ensure the best fit. Remember, this is not the time to subtract an inch here and there or to assume that you know your measurements without actually pulling out the measuring tape. For your lingerie purchase to be comfortable correct measurements are crucial.     
  1. Once you get your purchase home, know how to care for it so that your vintage lingerie will last a lifetime. If you were lucky enough to get dead stock, your lingerie may have a care tag. If so, follow those instructions. If not, here are a few rules of thumb. If there is anything (straps, buttons, etc.) that you can remove before washing, do so. This will help prevent snags. Wash by hand, being careful to use a detergent made specifically for delicates and to wash each item individually to help avoid colors bleeding into each other. When rinsing, never wring out or twist the lingerie. Gently squeeze instead and rinse repeatedly until the water runs clear. Lay flat or hang on plastic hangers to dry. If you have a particularly delicate item, once dry, you may want to store it in tissue paper in your drawers to help prevent it from rubbing against or getting caught on other pieces of lingerie. Also, you can use tissue paper to help retain the shape of bras and other items.

I hope these tips help you select and maintain your vintage lingerie. Here are a few selections to get you started filling your drawers with pinup girl undergarments.

Cora Harrington

Founder and Editor in Chief of The Lingerie Addict. Author of In Intimate Detail: How to Choose, Wear, and Love Lingerie. I believe lingerie is fashion too, and that everyone who wants it deserves gorgeous lingerie.