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Fashion Outfit of The Day Vintage

FASHION – How to Get a Vintage Wardrobe on the Cheap!

October 25, 2018

At the moment I’m trying to really budget my spending when it comes to clothing. Only buying pieces I really love and making good choices. I’ve been trying to wear stuff I already have more. I’ve also been getting back into the habit of wearing my vintage pieces more. Although I do have older, more rare and collectible vintage pieces, I also love wearing retro bits from the 60s, 70s and even 80s. It’s amazing what lovely unique pieces you can buy for an absolute steal. Today I wanted to share some of recent bargain vintage outfits and also talk some of the ways I buy clothes really really cheaply.

Bargain vintage - How to Get a Vintage Wardrobe on the Cheap!

The Under £5 Rule

If I’m on a tight budget and want to buy some new to me vintage clothes, I always set myself an under £5 rule. This makes it more fun looking for serious bargains and it’s absolutely amazing what you can find in that price range. I have so many gorgeous bargain vintage pieces that cost me as little as a few pence.

Bargain vintage - How to Get a Vintage Wardrobe on the Cheap!This dress was a recent car boot sale bargain which cost just £1.50

Car Boot Sales

I’m starting at an obvious place, but if you wan’t to build a budget vintage wardrobe, you just can’t beat a good car boot sale. I find them by looking in the back of my local paper and googling sales in my area. I started going to every single one I could find and quickly started to realise which ones were bigger or were particularly good for buying bargain vintage. I often get great bargains from regular sellers and house clearance people. But there’s really no way of guessing where you’re going to find the most vintage. I’ve found amazing things at small sales and just got lucky. Don’t be afraid to ask for a sellers best price, you can often take a little off the first price offered and you can save even more by making an offer on a few items at a time.

Bargain vintage - How to Get a Vintage Wardrobe on the Cheap!Another car boot sale bargain dress which cost me just £1. My belt was £2 in a charity shop.

Learn some basic repair skills

You can get some really great bargains if you’re not afraid to put in a little extra effort. Being able to replace missing buttons and restitch seams, will be a godsend if you’re looking for vintage bargains. Don’t be put off by items that need a little work, it’s definitely one of the best ways of getting lovely pieces for a very low price.

Oxy cleaner is your Friend!

In the same respect as other damage, don’t be put off by a little dirt or that lovely vintage smell! As soon as I buy vintage pieces I soak them in Oxy cleaner (depending on the fabric). This usually gets the worst of the odour out and removes most dirt and stains. I always think if you’re getting something that doesn’t cost much, its worth the risk that it might not come out perfect, most of the time it does. Find out more about how I clean delicate vintage pieces here.

Bargain vintage - How to Get a Vintage Wardrobe on the Cheap!This dress cost me £2 in the bargain bin of a charity shop. My belt was £2.50 in another charity shop.

Charity Shops

I’m sure most people who regularly shop in charity shops, will have noticed how ridiculously expensive they are these days. However I do still find lots of bargain vintage by going to shops that I know are cheaper and by visiting my local shops regularly. There are a couple of shops near me where everything is £1.99. Most of the stuff there isn’t worth more than that, but because everything has the same price, when they get an amazing vintage piece in that costs £1.99 too! Definitely worth popping in every time I pass. It’s also worth noting that most of those pennies spent in charity shops, go to good causes, so it’s a brilliant way to shop more ethically.


You can still get nice vintage bargains on eBay all the time. Just keep searching and looking at auctions that are about to end. I’ve bought plenty of nice bargain vintage pieces for as little as 99p. This is great if you have the time and don’t mind trawling through listings. To be honest, it’s not my favourite thing to do, but I’m always happy when I find something good. It’s also worth factoring in postage costs. If you’re sticking to the under £5 rule, this makes it a little tricky.

Bargain vintage - How to Get a Vintage Wardrobe on the Cheap!Another £1 car boot sale buy that I wore recently. 

Jumble sales

My very favourite place for absolute bargains. I go to one at my local scout hut every few months and the clothing is usually under 50p. I’ve bought everything from a 1940s sweater to by favourite 70s straw bag and there’s always some second hand toys for the kids too. Find jumble and church sales listed in your local paper or loot out for posters.

Bargain vintage - How to Get a Vintage Wardrobe on the Cheap!The rest of my outfit isn’t vintage, but my gorgeous vintage bag was a bargain 20p at a jumble sale and I love it!

Invest in good accessories

Good accessories can make your bargain vintage items really pop. I love to throw on a belt with my dresses, or carry a really nice bag. I’ll also usually buy good quality shoes that I know will last for a long time and go with my outfits. Although I also grab a couple of pairs of Primark ballet pumps every season too. Having a good selection of accessories will make your wardrobe go further and make it easier to put completely different outfits together using the same pieces of clothing. If you’re not a capsule wardrobe kind of person, this is a great way of making fewer clothes go further.

Kilo Sales / Fill a Bag Sales

Look out for kilo sales and fill a bag sales, I usually find these on Facebook or Google. I’ve found some amazing things and nabbed some real bargains at these sales. My biggest tip is to check over garments really carefully. These sales usually use grade C sorted vintage. this can mean that there are missing buttons, stains and rips. However these are often very minor and nothing a little effort can rectify.

If you like it, buy it!

It’s also worth noting, that wearing vintage and fashion in general is meant to be fun. It’s very easy to fall into a rut with vintage and only stick to one era or avoid another. I tend to think, if you like it – buy it, wear it and enjoy it.

Pass it on

The great thing about buying vintage clothes for so little money, is that when you’re done with them you can easily give them away, donate them back to the charity shop or if you have time sell them. They also won’t depreciate in value if the condition is OK, so you can even support your vintage habit by selling the bits you no longer want or need.

I hope these tips have helped. If you have any more tips for budget friendly vintage shopping, please leave them in the comments. If you have any questions about buying bargain vintage, or there’s anything you want to know that I haven’t mentioned please let me know in the comments.

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