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Shopping vintage is not only for Grateful Dead roadies

Clothing “foster mom” has some advice for you

Looking vintage does not necessarily mean looking old.
Looking vintage does not necessarily mean looking old.

For most men, buying secondhand clothing is an alien experience, and that puts them behind a steepening curve. According to industry reports, the secondhand clothing market is set to match or surpass new clothing sales in the next decade.

Brandi Muñoz is owner of San Diego’s La Loupe Vintage clothing shops (one on Adams in Normal Heights, the other on Park in University Heights). The self-styled “foster mom for cute clothes” says that only about 10 percent of her customers are men. But that number is growing. Slowly.

Vintage clothing sells itself. It’s more durable, tends to be slimmer cut, looks interesting, and doesn’t come with a high ecological and ethical price tag. Even if you don’t dress like a roadie for the Grateful Dead, you wind up with better clothing when you buy vintage.

Still, shopping for it can be intimidating. Thrift stores such as Goodwill are the cheapest source, but they swallow your time. There are great deals to be found online, but you don’t get to try the item on until you’ve bought it. Resale shops like La Loupe represent an attractive middle ground, offering curated selections that can be cheaper than the mall.

Brandi says the most important tip for newbie secondhand shoppers is to browse with an open mind. If you expect to find something specific, you will likely be disappointed.

She also cautions that sizing can be tricky. You may have to try on many pieces before you find something that fits properly. The juice is worth the squeeze.

Vintage shops aren’t all rodeo shirts and bellbottoms. Resale should be considered an option even for men who dress conservatively. The value for money is just too high to ignore.

If shopping for clothes feels like a chore to you, vintage might turn it into a hobby — a potentially lucrative one. When you get bored with your wardrobe, sell it.

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Looking vintage does not necessarily mean looking old.
Looking vintage does not necessarily mean looking old.

For most men, buying secondhand clothing is an alien experience, and that puts them behind a steepening curve. According to industry reports, the secondhand clothing market is set to match or surpass new clothing sales in the next decade.

Brandi Muñoz is owner of San Diego’s La Loupe Vintage clothing shops (one on Adams in Normal Heights, the other on Park in University Heights). The self-styled “foster mom for cute clothes” says that only about 10 percent of her customers are men. But that number is growing. Slowly.

Vintage clothing sells itself. It’s more durable, tends to be slimmer cut, looks interesting, and doesn’t come with a high ecological and ethical price tag. Even if you don’t dress like a roadie for the Grateful Dead, you wind up with better clothing when you buy vintage.

Still, shopping for it can be intimidating. Thrift stores such as Goodwill are the cheapest source, but they swallow your time. There are great deals to be found online, but you don’t get to try the item on until you’ve bought it. Resale shops like La Loupe represent an attractive middle ground, offering curated selections that can be cheaper than the mall.

Brandi says the most important tip for newbie secondhand shoppers is to browse with an open mind. If you expect to find something specific, you will likely be disappointed.

She also cautions that sizing can be tricky. You may have to try on many pieces before you find something that fits properly. The juice is worth the squeeze.

Vintage shops aren’t all rodeo shirts and bellbottoms. Resale should be considered an option even for men who dress conservatively. The value for money is just too high to ignore.

If shopping for clothes feels like a chore to you, vintage might turn it into a hobby — a potentially lucrative one. When you get bored with your wardrobe, sell it.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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