Vintage clothing has only grown in popularity over the last decade, making it more than just the latest fad. Backed up by big name stars and facilitated by rapidly growing fashion sale websites and apps like Depop and Thredup, while many vintage pieces still have a modest second-hand value, there’s bound to be a buyer out there whatever you’re selling. This said, some vintage fashion has real value to it and the challenge is sorting the quick buck from the valuable sale.
Valuing Designer Vintage
Vintage designer clothing has had an auction value for some time now, selling alongside other lots such as textiles, antique accessories and travel items. When it comes to high value designer clothes, they need to be unequivocally genuine; this usually means labels along side and waist seams but also client numbers on haute-couture clothing. In most cases a label alone will dramatically change the value of an item. In cases of early designer clothing without labels, plenty of provenance and an expert opinion is crucial. Telling the difference between tailored clothing and ready-to-wear ranges isn’t always easy and labels can also help with this; made-to-measure Dior clothing is marked ‘Paris’ as opposed to London, for example.
Buyers of vintage designer clothing will usually be buying wearing in mind, although some pieces may have a value purely as collectors’ items. Whichever it is, the condition of the fabric is important, as is the presence of any serious alterations. The use of high-quality materials such as leather or furs under big names can add value to the right accessory or piece of clothing. In the case of labelled, good condition designerwear the highest sales are achieved by examples that typify their era and were made by designers at the peak of their careers. This is especially important in clothing that might be displayed, particularly in the outlandish styles of the 1970s.
Valuing Everyday Vintage
The vast majority of vintage buyers are not looking to spend hundreds of pounds on designer haute-couture, and this is why services like Depop are so successful. In selling this type of clothing, some aspects remain important; for example, while people are looking to buy second-hand clothing, they’re still interested in comfort and durability, so the condition of items is important. Design is often what will catch the eye for those browsing on any internet platform or in a marketplace so eye-catching text and identifiable style can very useful – the more iconic the better! Many buyers are also looking to buy multiple or many items and so marketing clothing together can be a way to increase value whether you’re selling at £5 or £100.