Thursday, May 29, 2008

My eBay Search for Vintage Dresses

Long-time readers may have gathered that I get into buying phases. There was the sequins phase. The clutch phase. The sweater chain phase. The enamel flower pin phase. eBay makes quick work of collecting anything. Lately I've been focusing on vintage dresses. I love my plaid one (that I got hemmed seven inches) and my flowery one (the jacket is great).

Last night I won an auction for a darling pink dress that also comes with a matching jacket.

I've found that for vintage dresses, I do better saving favorite searches of entire stores. The pink dress is from Nova Vintage, the plaid from Violettville Vintage, and the floral from Timeless Vixen. (To save full-store searches, you need to click on the seller's name in an item listing to get to their profile, then click on Items for Sale. Once there, you can save the search. I can't find another way to do this.)

I like these stores because they have small inventories and all the items are well chosen, well photographed, and well measured. Note about buying vintage clothing online: You gotta have measurements. Vintage sizing is way different than current sizing. But it's really easy to know if something will fit when you've got bust, waist, hips, length and shoulder-to-shoulder measurements (and sometimes more). That really takes the risk out of buying items that are often non-returnable. (Nova Vintage will accept returns for clothes that don't fit if you send them back in seven days--always check for return policies in item listings. I've found most sellers to be very reasonable when it comes to returns.)

In addition to store searches, I also do category searches. I put in "dress" then filter to "vintage" then pick an era. Once that list is up, I'll add and "M" to "dress" in the search field to narrow down the list. The smallest vintage offering I can fit into is what most sellers consider "M." Those ladies in the '50s and '60s had tiny little waists. Or girdles. Or I'm just too thick in the middle. It's probably a combination of all three, but it seems that the busts are usually a good ten inches larger than the waists in these dresses. That's not so in Material Girl's figure. If I had a 26-inch waist I could have a dynamite vintage dress wardrobe in my closet.

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