A Guide to Second-Hand Gems with Roam Vintage
Vintage shopping has its perks: It is better for the environment, you’re likely to find stunning one-of-a-kind pieces, and it is easier on the budget. But, it can also be pretty intimidating with a host of variables – I’m talking sweating in thick polyester, overlooking underarm stains, and scratchy wool sweaters. Fear not, all that is needed is a bit of support when it comes to digging into the world of vintage. As such, we figure it is best to consult a professional when it comes to pre-worn treasures.
Meet Natasha Zoë Garrett of Roam Vintage. Vintage is literally her birthright – she comes from a line of vintage dealers and lovers. “I grew up in flea markets and antique shops. It is where I feel the most at home.”
After spending ten years in the fashion industry as a wardrobe stylist, she started selling vintage to reinvigorate her love for fashion when styling started to feel a bit passionless. Fast forward – vintage is her main squeeze. Let’s dive in and learn the ropes of vintage shopping.
I grew up in flea markets and antique shops. It is where I feel the most at home.
1. What to look for when shopping?
“When sourcing pieces, I go with my gut. I’m usually drawn to earth tones and natural fiber pieces (cottons, silks, linens). I also look for pieces that are well-made and have interesting design details.” Note the emphasis on natural fiber pieces, as those are the items that tend to feel comfortable on the body and have straight-forward care processes.
2. Where to watch out for signs of wear in pre-loved clothes?
A part of purchasing second-hand is developing an eye for what can be fixed and what can’t be fixed so easily. “The seams of clothing are where you can find the most wear. If pieces are worn often and not properly cared for, then the seams will start to bust. However, if anything busts right on the seam, it is usually a very easy repair if you have a good tailor or your own skills!”
3. When caring for vintage items, does dry clean only always mean dry clean only?
We’ve been there, unpacking our haul of pre-loved beauties only to find that we need to take a trip to the cleaners immediately. “Dry cleaning isn’t the most environmentally friendly option so it’s not my favorite to use. I do believe that many items cannot just be thrown into a normal load of laundry. I sometimes will just hand wash and hang dry pieces that are marked dry clean only and then use a good steamer to take out the wrinkles and bring it back to life.”
4. A little love goes a long way with pre-loved pieces.
Nothing is worse than pulling a vintage lace camisole from your dryer only to find it shredded. There’s a workaround! “I always wash like colors and use a gentle, natural detergent. I love using a drying rack to hang dry clothing as I don’t have the outdoor space to line dry. I also recommend investing in a steamer like the Jiffy J-2000 as I find a steamer to be so much gentler and more effective on clothing than an iron. Sometimes I’ll even put a few drops of an essential oil, like lavender, in the steamer water to make the clothing smell extra fresh!”