How to Keep Your Vintage Clothes Intact

How to Keep Your Vintage Clothes Intact

How to care for your vintage clothes to retain their quality and value.

As fashion trends from past decades become vogue, vintage clothes are becoming increasingly popular. Thrifted clothing is an affordable way to achieve fashionable looks from the past and present without breaking the bank.

While vintage clothing is becoming more popular, many people don’t realize how to maintain their vintage clothes properly. Thrifted clothing is sometimes higher quality than modern versions, but they’re not impervious to wear and tear. However, with the proper maintenance and care, you can retain the look and feel of your vintage clothing pieces for years to come.

Understanding Preventative Maintenance

man holding vintage shoes in store

Caring for your clothes is an ongoing process. Whether you’re purchasing new items or acquiring vintage pieces, the process is relatively the same and just as important.

With newly acquired clothes, it’s always best to wash them. This will help eliminate unwanted odours and germs from your clothing before storing it at home. Further, you will get a sense of the actual size of the clothes in case they naturally shrink during the washing process. Remember always to check the labels of your new clothes to see what the recommended washing method is.

Getting Rid of that “Vintage” Smell 

vintage clothing hanged on clothing rack

For whatever reason unknown to scientists, the grandparent smell is found in every thrift store, and on many pieces of vintage clothes. While the scent is nostalgic, it’s not exactly the perfume you want to carry with you on evenings out.

Immediately washing your clothes will usually get the job done, but not always. One tip is to use dryer sheets and fabric softeners to absorb and eliminate the smells. However, be cautious when using a deodorizing spray, as these products are known to cause reactions with some fabrics that can change the colour of the garment.

Hang-Dry Your Delicate Vintage Pieces

child and mother hand drying clothes

When it comes to wear and tear, it’s not the late night of partying that’ll ruin your vintage pieces; it’s the dryer. Drying machines are known to be tough on delicate materials. Even durable materials like wool and denim can become frail over time, especially for vintage pieces.

When it comes to your valuable vintage garments, it’s always best to hang-dry them. Drying your clothes in natural air will prevent pieces from shrinking or prematurely aging. This can help clothes retain their original shape and colour better over time.

Store Your Clothes with Care

organized closet of clothing

Marie Kondo did more than organize millions of homes during the pandemic; she taught us how to put our clothes away properly. Depending on the type of garment you own, it will need to be stored differently in your closet.

For instance, knitwear should be folded and never hung from a hanger; otherwise, it will stretch over time. Dresses and other hanging items should have lingerie straps for proper storage. Shoes should be stored with shoe trees, preferably wooden ones. While formal attire, should be stored in dust-proof bags and on wooden hangers to avoid creases and other damages.

Vintage clothes are more susceptible to damage compared to new clothes. Therefore, the discount you get on vintage clothes should be reinvested into protecting them for the future.

Store Your Off-Season Items 

vacuum sealing clothing bag

You know you’re a true fashion fanatic when you store your season-specific wardrobes yearly. Fashion experts love this trend because it helps protect clothes, improving their quality and life.

Before packing away your winter coats or summer suits, you should make sure to do it properly. Clothes should be packed in airtight space-saver bags to keep out moisture, sunlight, and bugs. You can also invest in moth repellent and cedar blocks that offer natural protection against moths. With proper care, items like cashmere, silk, and knitwear can last for years.

Befriending a Tailor 

tailor and man trying on suit

Tailors are the unsung heroes of the fashion world. While many young people don’t take advantage of their local tailors, tailors have been mending and preserving vintage clothing for years.

Vintage clothing often comes in sizes that don’t match modern standards. Whether it’s vintage blazers, denim jeans, or other vintage pieces, tailors can help repair and alter clothing to your specifications. You will be amazed at how a $20 suit from a thrift store can look brand new after a quick trip to the tailor.

Find Vintage Clothing Worth Taking Care Of

girl shopping at vintage clothing store

Vintage clothing is an excellent opportunity to achieve modern and vintage looks for an affordable price. While vintage clothes may already have a bit of wear and tear, with some true love and maintenance, your quality vintage pieces can last a lifetime.

1 comment



This was such a good read! I love the tip of using dryer sheets and fabric softeners to get rid of the classic thrift store smell. I’ll definitely try it next time!

This was such a good read! I love the tip of using dryer sheets and fabric softeners to get rid of the classic thrift store smell. I’ll definitely try it next time!

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