Take Five: Hunting Stylish Treasures

Yes, we hear you. 

Sometimes, it's difficult to make that online purchase, especially when it comes to pre-loved or vintage pieces. We get it. So, we've done the work for you. 

This week, our resident experts, the Curator and the Merchandiser, shell out pointers you should keep in mind when wanting to purchase pre-loved and vintage pieces. 

ANGIE CHEN, The Curator

1. Is it unique?

One of the first things you need to figure out is the uniqueness of the piece. So when you're buying a vintage piece, for instant, ask yourself if it's a one-of-a-kind. You see, at the rate we consume fashion in this day and age, we want to stand out and not look like everyone else. It's ok, to be slightly overdressed - that just means you've put in some thought into your dressing. 

So buying vintage allows you to stand out from the sea of basic dresses and LBDs. After all, you'll be one of the few people to have it. 

2. Is it timeless?

Everyone needs an LBD/good pencil skirt/sheath dress in their wardrobe. Those are staples you can't really run away from. Some things may be seemingly simple but a well-made designer piece will stand the test of time. The devil is, after all, in the details. Which is why a pre-loved designer or vintage piece stands out from those blogshop copies. Plus, shopping pre-loved or vintage means you'll get it at affordable prices. 

At THE FIFTH COLLECTION, we always price the pieces we stock to benefit not only the seller, but also the shoppers - which is you, our dear Collectors.

3. How is the quality?

You can always be assured of the quality of the piece, especially when it is a vintage piece. Many ready-to-wear pieces today are not made with the same techniques anymore. Alot of these techniques are actually not in production anymore. I mean a dress that has lasted more than 10 years will definitely last another 10 more right?

4. Read the descriptions

At THE FIFTH COLLECTION, we always try to be as precise as possible. That's because we understand the uncertainty of shopping online. As such, we always put in the description every flaw, every detail and every scuff marks. Having said that, never be afraid to ask for more photos and contact the company for more details. 

When it comes to buying pre-loved or vintage bags, look out for the key areas, such as the edges and handles, to gauge how much wear the bag has had.

5. History

Was it an iconic piece? Was it a piece from an era from an important designer? Pieces like these can gain value over time and are considered an investment.

SHAN WEE, the Merchandiser

The most important first step is to keep an open mind. Don't think preloved = old and damaged. People who owned the clothes most likely took more care of their designer items than the staff at one of those high street stores do. I mean, how many of us dump the clothes on the floor right after trying them on in the fitting room? 

You also need to be sure that the price is "worth it", so it's important to check the estimated or original retail price. Make use of the free shipping and returns to try the items! You'll never be able to feel the quality of the items just by looking at the screen, so trying them out is the best way to go. 

Always check the condition but bear in mind the age and be manage your expectations. A vintage piece, for instance, will never look or feel brand new - no matter how pristine the condition is. Plus, I feel that those little bumps and scratches give these items more character! 

In any case, shopping vintage pieces, as Angie has mentioned above, means that you'd probably be one of the few people who are in possession of this rare item. Plus, the quality is always better. 

For me, I think of vintage fashion pieces almost like precious artwork. Also, what are the chances that something has "survived" the test of time and still be in such good condition? So when you see these pieces and they are priced at such a steal, isn't it obvious that you need to get it?  You'll pretty much never be able to buy the exact same piece! This instantly makes it rare, right?