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Reviewed by Lizzie Bramlett – The Vintage Traveler

Secondhand Chic: Finding Fabulous Fashion at Consignment, Vintage, and Thrift Stores
by Christa Weil
(Pocket Books: ISBN: 0-671-02713-1)Buy Now

This book is a guide to shopping the secondhand market for wearable clothing. It tells how to identify the elements of a top-quality garment, discusses labels and designer diffusion lines, and discusss when not to buy a flawed item. It also compares and contrasts the various types of secondhand stors in which clothing is generally found.

I love this book. It is a guide to buying quality clothing: spotting construction techniques that indicate quality, telling the difference between types of fabrics, knowing the difference between Geoffrey Beene and Geoffrey Beene Sport.

Christa loves lists. There are lists of quality labels from other countries, lists of the advantages and disadvantages of each fiber used in making cloth, lists of designer diffusion lines, lists of the elements that make a quality shirt. The book is full of lists, which I see as a real plus. It makes the information easy to find.

In addition to being a shopping guide, Christa tells how to care for and properly store clothing. She gives pointers on choosing clothes that fit correctly, and she tells when NOT to buy articles that are flawed.

Even though this book is not a book about vintage clothing, it is an excellent resource for anyone who buys and sells used clothing. It’s fun to read and informative. The only problem with the book is that it was written in 1999, and it could use an update.

An additional review by Sue – bartondoll

An easy and fun read! This book does not focus on vintage clothing, however the points, tips and information given are invaluable to any vintage clothing shopper.

Straightforward lists for labels, fabric care, how to identify couture garments (i.e. construction details), fabric identification~~just about anything that pertains to buying ‘gently used’ clothing can be found in this small little soft-cover book.

Written in a “let’s side down and chat” style, with whimsical (and helpful) illustrations, this book is a must for any vintage clothing affectionado!

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