Vintageween — when the Halloween racks roll out at Goodwill featuring unique vintage pieces among the costumes — is my favorite time to shop thrift.

This dress, featured in the blog image, was one of my first Vintageween finds, and since then I’ve collected all of the treasures pictured in this blog.

I scored this dress on a September day that served as a reminder of the warm summer days that soon would be behind us. “It will be a short trip,” I told myself. As I entered the sliding doors, I grabbed my cart, and my eyes caught the black and orange signs in front of the store. My heart skipped a beat, and I instinctively walked a little faster to the Halloween section.

While most shoppers are searching for the perfect Halloween costume, I am determined to find all the vintage. Through my experience of thrifting and my love for vintage clothing, I have learned you will hit the jackpot of pieces from the past hidden in the Halloween racks.

To spot vintage items, the first thing you’ll want to do is to look at the tag and then take a peek inside the piece. Make sure to check out the hardware and the details. If any of the items listed below are true to your piece, there’s a good chance you’ve found vintage.

  • If the logo is sewn into the tag
  • If it says, “Made in the USA”
  • If it says, “union made”
  • If there is no tag at all
  • If it looks like it was handsewn
  • If the zipper is metal, it more than likely was made before the 1960s
  • If there are detailed buttons, embroidery, rickrack

When you shop for vintage items, keep these tips in mind.

  • Sizes have drastically changed throughout the years. More than likely, your vintage size is much larger than your current size. The only reason this matters is to look through all sizes and don’t rule a piece out because it isn’t your size. Try it on!
  • Make sure it’s comfortable enough to wear. I’ve purchased a few pieces that were adorable, but the polyester was just way too much to handle.
  • Look it over really well. Unless you have the skills to sew or you pride yourself in getting any stain out, you do not want to get a piece home and realize it’s not in the condition you thought.

When styling vintage clothing, keep it to one or two pieces at a time. If I am wearing a vintage dress, I will pair it with trending shoes and accessories. Wearing vintage head to toe may leave you looking like you are ready for trick-or-treating, and you don’t want that!

Do you have tips to finding or styling vintages pieces? I’d love for you to comment below.

Happy Vintageween, friends!

About Ellen: Follow thrifter Ellen on Instagram