Shopping vintage clothing online can be dreadful. Authenticity of the garment is the number one issue, but there is also the problem of size and who knows if it will smell or be in good condition. For trustworthy online vintage shopping, E-bay has some reliable sellers, but I adore Shrimpton Couture. Shrimpton Couture has an incredible selection of authentic designer and unique vintage garments, and the business is run by a lovely and ethical woman, Cherie. Cherie is always available for questions, queries and has incredible taste. Right now I am eyeing her 1940's cardigan as well as her Hanae Mori silk chifon caftan. I have alwasy loved a caftan.
When shopping vintage, you must make sure it will fit. Keeping this in mind, each Shrimpton Couture item has extensive descriptive details, specific measurements, and modern sizing standards. With different sizing for each brand and decade, Cherie has created sizing categories to rely on. For instance, by Shrimpton Couture's sizing, a 25-inch waist is a size small (6-8). All garments with a size 25-inch waist is labeled small on the website regardless of the outdated size on the tag. There is a feature on the website that allows you to search by these sizes - a great time saver.
You must also understand the garment. Read every word of the garment's description and watch for wear and tear. Often, vintage garments are sold as is, but Shrimpton Couture's items are selected for their near mint condition, so unless otherwise stated, you can trust your forty year old garment is new. They are also wrapped, packaged and shipped with the utmost care. Not all online vintage stores are like this, so read thoroughly and ask questions.
Lastly, I adore Shrimpton Couture because she accepts returns. Very few vintage stores allow this, let alone an online vintage store. For myself this is not as important, but I need a good return policy when shopping for my clients. Unless discussed beforehand, I guarantee my clients any item I buy can be returned. Although Shrimpton Couture's return policy is strict, I am incredibly grateful my clients can enjoy my return guarantee with vintage shopping, particularly when buying an $3000 dress. Thousands of dollars is nothing to sneeze at for most people. Even though a vintage garment may seem perfect online and my client approves the price, I can't order from vintage stores with no return policy at the risk of losing their money. We are willing to pay $3000 for a fabulous vintage dress. We are not willing to pay $3000 for a dress that turns out to be unflattering. Ergo, if I shop vintage for my clients, I shop Shrimpton Couture.