Lately I've been really into antiquing to find clothing and accessories! There are so many different styles of vintage clothing that blend with harajuku fashions, and it can be so much cheaper than buying brand items. Vintage pieces from the 20's and 50's are great for mixing with classic and sweet lolita. Peignoirs and knit sweaters that can be used with fashions like cult party kei and mori kei are frequently turned in. And if your local antique and vintage stores carry pieces from the 80's or 90's you can find a lot of main pieces for fairy-kei. Read more under the cut to see the details, outfits, and breakdown of my finds over the past two years.
Most of the pieces that I've bought were for lolita. I love antiquing because it can be a cheap alternative for wardrobe fillers. The picture above shows most of my finds from the past 2 years.
Blue knit cardigan - $8
This is probably the cheapest cardigan I've ever purchased, and it's so comfy. The material is soft, and it's a very perky shade of pastel blue that effortlessly matches so many of my lolita JSK's. I can throw it on for a very quick coord.
Blue Pearl Necklace - $10
A versatile accessory in my favorite color.
Lace Gloves - $3
I still can't believe I found these for only $3. They're so beautifully detailed, and were completely unused when I bought them. (Picture from my Instagram).
Red Hat with Ribbon - $10
Hats are very easy to find at antique stores, and can be an good alternative when you can't find a matching bow to your coord. I pinned a broach to the back, but it's not visible here. Next time I want to pin some flowers to it, to bring out the pink colors in the skirt. (Picture from my Instagram).
Crystal Necklace - $8
It literally matches anything.
Black Blouse - $18
The cheapest blouse I've ever bought, but by far the nicest one in my wardrobe. The materials are all soft and comfy, it's very well made. No scratchy lace! Lower price and better quality than Bodyline makes this such a great find. The floral motifs are pretty neutral, allowing me to wear this with sweet, classic, or gothic coords depending on what I pair it with. My hair is covering it, but you can see the lace overlay on the sleeves.
Tips for Antiquing
1. Learn about the time-frame that your local stores accept items from. The store that I visit the most only accepts pieces from the 70's and before. Which means if I want to focus on finding fairy-kei pieces, I would have to look for a store that takes pieces from the 80's and 90's. Think about what time-frame best supports the styles that you wear.
2. Check frequently! Antique and vintage stores are constantly selling and buying their stock, which means every time you go in there are probably new items. Sometimes you may not find anything, but don't give up! I've been slowly collecting pieces for the past 2 years.
3. Don't buy something just because it's a good deal. I have a bad habit of impulse buying pieces when I see them for cheap prices. Make sure you have an outfit that it would match, otherwise it could end up unworn.
4. Look for plain pieces too, you can always modify them. If you see something that you like but think it's too simple a few quick fixes can really make a big difference. You can dye pieces different colors, change buttons, sew more lace, restring beads from jewelry into new pieces, modify with fabric paint, or do something as simple as adding pins. If there's a piece of clothing with fabric you like, you can always take it apart and use the fabric for a new sewing project.
5. Be careful when shopping to look for items that are in good shape. It would be so disappointing to buy something, only to have it fall apart quickly.
6. Just because something may match your coord in color, doesn't mean it would match if it's a clashing style. Think about if the piece has a similar aesthetic to your look. Does your style focus on light and sheer fabrics? Or knit and warm fabrics? Are the colors similar in tones? Think about bright pastels vs. muted pastels. Does it meet the modesty requirements present in many j-fashions?
Thank you for reading!