GQ Editor’s Classic Shopping Tips and Tricks

If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed by the vast world of vintage shopping, don’t worry: you’re not alone. A decade or two ago, the thrift scene looked like your local dusty thrift store. Now, there’s a huge online ecosystem of forgotten treasures and an expertly curated vintage store around every corner. It’s the most sustainable and economical way to expand your wardrobe, but finding the perfect pair of vintage Levi’s 501s can be an frustrating experience even for seasoned shoppers. most experienced. Here at GQ, we’ve seen it all — and then some. As we have followed some classic elements tees and Covetable’s 80s Armani Clothes, we’ve picked out a ton of tips and tricks. Here are a few things that can help you on your own vintage journey.

Hashtag Your Obsessions

Instagram hashtags are your classic shopping secret weapon. Do you, like me, have a completely normal, non-obsessive relationship with Ralph Lauren’s Polo bear image? If you follow #polobear, you’ll be able to keep track of all the ursine sweaters, scarves and coloring books that appear on the app. Sure, you have to sift through a lot of nonsense (like those coloring books, depending on what you’re after), but those thumb swipes are all worth it when the cup you’ve been waiting for slide across your screen . –Cam Soi, Screenwriter

Save your search

Related, be wary! As cravings for Tom Ford-era chocolate brown Guccis explode, if you take the extra step of saving your eBay, Grailed and The Real Real search terms, you’ll get your first dents when The perfect couple appeared. And nothing beats the pleasant surprise when a long-ago warning pops up in your inbox. –Sam Schube, Deputy Page Editor

But be open to exploring

I can’t count the number of times I’ve focused my laser on my latest grail that I’ve finally passed on something transcendent along the way. For example, if you suddenly find a pair of Miu Miu pants that are out of proportion to your size, it doesn’t matter what you walk into the store for. Buy them and buy them fast. It’s all about using common sense and reallocating the dish budget when something even better emerges along the way. Woe to the shopper who ignores the whims of the universe, and in this case, the universe is telling you one thing: the police. Unless it’s a pair of Miu Miu pants my size. Please message me. –Avidan Grossman, Trade Writer

Make friends with your agent

With so many thrift stores popping up on Instagram since the pandemic began — the announcement of Uncertain Rags, Santa Fe Masks, Maintenance-Free, Moth Food, and Handbook — your secondhand expert just is a DM. Don’t hesitate to contact the measurements on a rare Picasso t-shirt they post on their stories or ask if they have any more OG 107 anti-fatigue pants your size in the traditional back room. . You’ll be surprised by how helpful a personal connection can be, especially if you’re looking for a super specific piece. If you’re a good and patient customer, odds are that when they find the Levi’s 646 straps you’re looking for, you’ll get your first. –Samuel Hine, Fashion Writer

Bring a Wingman

There’s a section in the back of my closet that holds all of my vintage Ls. This just proves how important shopping with a woman can be. There’s nothing like a second opinion from a trusted soul mate to help improve your savings record — and having an extra set of eyes to spot rough diamonds you have There’s nothing like missing out. –Gerald Ortiz, Trade Writer

Street slide

Last summer, Chad Senzel started wearing classic Stüssy tees and Polo sweaters on a busy Canal Street corner. Every Saturday and some Sundays, weather permitting, Senzel arranges her clothes (#streettrack, as it’s known), and the stylish citizens of the neighborhood show up in tights camo and whatever interesting items Senzel stumbles across. Since then, other hawker stalls have sprung up around the city, some just a few steps from Senzel’s, others across town. Selling clothes on the sidewalk, improperly, is nothing new in NYC, but they have never been so well organized — and, importantly, better managed. The only limitation? There are no changing rooms at most of the street prices. Fortunately, Senzel accepted the return of the pants. –Samuel Hine, Fashion Writer

One in, one out

When you’re ready to bring in a big antique car, make sure you’re clearing out some space first. Donate or sell some clothes to your local thrift and consignment stores as an offering to the vintage gods. You’ll prevent your wardrobe from exploding while keeping your old system round. –Gerald Ortiz, Trade Writer

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