Retro is hot. Most every shoe label out there makes it easy for stylish women to achieve their retro look by creating vintage-inspired styles. But, it’s always fun to stand out and be unique, and nothing can accomplish that goal like a pair of authentic vintage heels.
Vintage shoes can transport the wearer to another place in time. So, if you find a pair of vintage heels and they fit, wear them. Here are some tips for purchasing vintage shoes.
1. Don’t believe the size listed on the shoe. If you can, try them on. If you’re buying online, ask the seller for measurements of the inside sole from toe to heel. Be sure these measurements match the measurements of your own best-fitting shoes.
2. Remember that soles can be repaired and heel caps can be replaced. Find out who the best shoe cobbler is in your town and when shopping vintage shoes, keep in mind that damage to the soles or heel caps can be easily repaired for $30-$50. Keep repair costs in mind when paying for the shoes. Don’t be afraid to negotiate the price of the shoes if repair is obviously needed. Nowadays, especially, vintage retailers are open to negotiating prices.
3. Remember that some damage can never be repaired. If the shoes have a rubber sole that is crumbling, know that it will only get worse over time. And if the leather is cracking, again, age will only make it worse. Walk away from this type of damage.
4. Know where to shop. Investigate and familiarize yourself with your local vintage and thrift stores. But if you prefer to shop online, here are a few reputable vintage and thrift e-tailers available online:
ShopGoodwill.com – Online auction site for Goodwill Industries.
Ebay – No explanation needed here, but before bidding, always check the seller’s feedback rating.
Nelda’s Vintage Clothing – Cute online vintage boutique.
Etsy.com – There are tons of sellers on Etsy who sell vintage items, including shoes. I’ve never met an Etsy seller I didn’t like. Just don’t make a purchase until you have any and all of your questions answered. And if you don’t hear back from the seller in response to any questions you may have, walk away from the purchase.