Friday, November 26, 2021

Black Friday Favorites 2021

The Black Friday sales are upon us! Although I'm mostly focused on buying gifts for others this year, there are a few little things I wouldn't mind getting for myself. Here are just a handful of things I've got my eye on, as well as a bunch of discount codes compiled for you to use!

Please note that this post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking on one of these links, I may receive a small commission (at no cost to you!) that helps to run my blog. Thank you for supporting The Soubrette Brunette!

black friday sales 2021

As always, I'll try to add new promo codes throughout the weekend as they're announced! For now, here are some of my favorite sales.

Anthropologie: 30% off select items

ASOS: up to 80% off everything

Betsey Johnson: 30% off with code BETSEY30

BoxLunch: 30% off sitewide

Cath Kidston: up to 60% off with an extra 15% off

Collectif: 50% off sitewide with code TG50

ColourPop Cosmetics: 30% off sitewide 

DSW: 25% off with code BFDEAL

Erstwilder: 30% off 400+ designs 

Heart of Haute: 25% off sitewide

Hot Topic: 30% off everything

Irregular Choice: up to 50% off

J.Crew: 40% off with code SHOPEARLY

Kate Spade: up to 50% off everything

Kitten D'Amour: 25% off select full-price designs

Loungefly: extra 30% off select sale items

Madewell: 30% off with code OHJOY

ModCloth: 40% off sitewide + daily doorbusters

Modern Millie: 15% off storewide with code FESTIVE15

Nordstrom: up to 50% off select items

Old Navy: 50% off your online purchase

Packed Party: 30% off sitewide with code CHEERS30

The Pretty Dress Company: 25% off with code FRIDAY25

Timeless London: 200 dresses for £25

Thirdlove: up to 60% off sitewide, get 20% off orders $150+ with code TL-BESTBFCM20

Too Faced: 30% off sitewide + free shipping with code THANKS30

Trixie Cosmetics: 25% off with code TRIXMASTIME25

Retrospec'd: 30% off with code BIG30SALE

Rifle Paper Company: 30% off everything with code HOLIDAY30

Selkie: up to 40% off select items

Sephora: Cyber Week sale

ShopDisney: 20% off sitewide with code MAGIC

Sourpuss Clothing: 25% off with code BLACK

Steady Clothing: 25% off sitewide with code HOLIDAY2021

Tatyana: 50% off everything with code BLK2021

Ulta: Black Friday deals

Unique Vintage: 25% off with code OHMYGOURD

Urban Decay: 30% off sitewide

Vendula London: up to 50% off select items

Vixen by Micheline Pitt: 35% off sitewide with code BACKTOBLACK

Voodoo Vixen: up to 70% off + an exta 10% off with code BF2147

Happy shopping!

Thursday, October 28, 2021

The Soubrette Brunette's Big Birthday Giveaway! [CLOSED]

blog birthday giveaway

This birthday really snuck up me! I think (or hope, at least) that 33 will be a good year. And to kick things off, I'm hosting my annual birthday giveaway!

This year's giveaway is really special. I'm partnering with 4 brands I absolutely love to give away some incredible prizes... to FOUR DIFFERENT WINNERS!

That's right: 4 of you have a chance to win something amazing!

Keep reading to find out everything you need to know!

blog giveaway prizes

This year's prizes are courtesy of my friends at Heart of Haute, Sarsparilly, Modern Millie, and Stitch Shoppe by Loungefly – four of my absolute favorite businesses! I'm so excited that 4 of my followers will get a chance to win something from these awesome shops. Read the details below!

enter to win

• $75 gift card from Heart of Haute
•  $300 (AUD) gift voucher from Sarsparilly
• $33 gift card from Modern Millie
• Mary Poppins "Sandy" skirt from Stitch Shoppe by Loungefly

Now that you know about the incredible prizes you could win, 
here's what you have to know to enter.

blog giveaway rules

Here's the deal: everyone will enter the giveaway through the Rafflecopter widget. You'll need to complete ALL ENTRIES in order to be eligible to win. (Yes, I will be checking to make sure you've done them all!) 

One (1) winner will be chosen for each prize at random. That means 4 winners will be selected – 1 for each prize. *Note that I cannot accommodate requests for specific prizes!* In the event of availability issues, comparable selections may be made.

This giveaway is open worldwide and will run from now until 11:59 PM (EST) on Wednesday, November 3, 2021. The giveaway winners will be chosen through the widget and contacted via email only. Remember to include a valid email address in your blog post comment! Winners must respond to emails within 48 hours of being contacted or new winners will be chosen. Once confirmed, winners will be displayed via the widget. This giveaway is sponsored by the aforementioned brands and no other brand or business, including Instagram. 

Thanks for entering and best of luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Favorite Gardens in Rochester NY: Parks, Gardens, and Green Spaces Guide

best parks in rochester ny
Photo credit: Emma Rizzo Photo

One of my favorite things about blogging is that it's always given me an excuse to spend time outside. As a result, I've also gotten the opportunity to explore lots of beautiful and hidden places in Rochester NY.

Whether you're looking for outdoor photo locations in Rochester or you simply want to expand your horizons, I'm sharing some of my favorite Upstate gardens some of the best parks in Rochester NY so you can enjoy them as much as I do! I've also included some photos for reference so you can match the location to the post. (I've posted a similar guide on Instagram that's even easier to use when you're on the go!) 

Highland Park Rochester NY

highland park rochester ny
Photo credit: Emma Rizzo Photo

One of my favorite gardens in Rochester NY technically isn't a garden at all – it's a HUGE park. Of all the parks in the Rochester NY area, Highland Park is probably the most well-known (and most beloved). Not only is it among the best parks in Rochester NY, but I'd argue it rivals some of the loveliest parks anywhere. I'd call it the crown jewel of the Flower City.

Highland Park is the home of the annual Lilac Festival (and more than 1,500 lilac bushes!), as well as magnolia and weeping cherry trees, rhododendrons, azaleas, and so much more. It's beautiful at virtually any time of year and is a popular place for dog-walking, jogging, picnicking, and shutterbugging. There are so many reasons why it's on the best parks in Rochester NY list – and I'm just grateful it (and the Highland Park Conservancy) exists. 

George Eastman Museum Rochester NY

eastman museum rochester ny

The George Eastman Museum is renowned for its dedication to photography, but it also has some of the prettiest gardens in Rochester NY. Eastman loved flowers; he would order thousands of tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths from Holland every year – a tradition commemorated with the museum's annual Dutch Connection exhibit. Outside, the gardens are well-kept and open to the public for around half the year. While professional photographers do need a special license to have sessions on the George Eastman Museum grounds, it's a great spot for amateurs like me. :)

Tinker Nature Park Rochester NY

tinker nature park rochester ny

Tinker Nature Park may not technically be categorized as having gardens in Rochester NY, but there are some wild, picturesque spots throughout the park's almost-70-acre parcel. Of all the parks in Rochester NY, this one probably provides the most versatility – making the Tinker Nature Park a popular spot for photographers during this time of year. 

Maplewood Rose Garden Rochester NY

maplewood rose garden rochester ny
Photo credit: Emma Rizzo Photo

These rose gardens in Rochester NY sit smack in the middle of some of the busiest city intersections. The juxtaposition is a strange one, but I've loved every visit I've made to Maplewood Rose Garden. The roses are in peak bloom during June and July, so I highly recommend making a trip downtown to the Maplewood Rosen Garden during the beginning of summer before the blooms fade.

Webster Arboretum

arboretum webster ny

If you're looking for the best community gardens Rochester NY has to provide, you probably wouldn't immediately think of the Webster Arboretum. But this planned community park is beautifully maintained and features ponds, bridges, gazebos, and flowers. Of course, the arboretum in Webster NY has an emphasis on all kinds of trees! While it's not one of my most-visited parks in Rochester NY due to its distance from my apartment, it's a quaint spot that isn't overly crowded.

Lamberton Conservatory Rochester NY

lamberton conservatory rochester ny
Photo credit: Emma Rizzo Photo
When you live in upstate NY, you know that winter seems endless. That's just one reason the Lamberton Conservatory is so popular. These are arguably the best (and possibly the only?) indoor gardens Rochester NY has to offer. While the Lamberton Conservatory is small, it features plenty of tropical and desert plants that you can't ordinarily find in our climate. Those who are looking for year-round botanical gardens near Rochester NY don't have to go far to feel like they're transported to somewhere much warmer.

Warner Castle – Sunken Garden Rochester NY

warner castle sunken garden rochester ny

Although this photo doesn't look especially garden-like, the Warner Castle is one of Rochester's hidden gems with plenty of green space. This photo was taken in the Sunken Garden, located below the Warner Castle and some other green spaces on the property. Technically, professional photographers need to reserve this space. But for quick amateur photoshoots with a spooky vibe, no one usually minds. I wish I had a photo of the beautiful gardens above! You'll just have to take my word that they're enchanting.

Sonnenberg Gardens Canandaigua NY

sonnenberg gardens rochester ny

Feel like taking a short trip? Head to the Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion State Historic Park. The Sonnenberg Gardens in Canandaigua NY have different themed gardens and exquisite historic buildings. They also host events (pandemic-permitting) at Sonnenberg Gardens! The sprawling 50-acre estate is truly something to see. 

Genesee Country Village and Museum

genesee country village and museum rochester

You can quite literally step back in time at Genesee Country Village & Museum in Mumford NY. In addition to the breathtaking buildings in the recreated 1800s village, you can explore the gorgeous gardens and the nature center right on the property. The Genesee Country Village & Museum is a popular field trip spot for kids, but it's just as captivating for adults. I want to go back to the Genesee Country Village and Museum before it closes for the season!

Linwood Gardens Pavilion NY

linwood gardens new york peony
Photo credit: Emma Rizzo Photo

If you don't mind hopping in the car for about 45 minutes, you can head to one of my favorite gardens near Rochester NY for special events. Home of the Tree Peony Festival, Linwood Gardens is a privately owned estate that's open during specific times of the year. You can stroll around to view the different varieties of peonies and other flowers during their festival or their open garden days. The lovely Linwood Gardens New York State residents love never cease to delight during the early summer.

Ellwanger Garden

ellwanger garden rochester ny

This is another one of the gardens in Rochester NY that's open only during particular times of the year. The Ellwanger Garden is maintained by Rochester's Landmark Society and welcomes visitors during the Lilac Festival and during peony season only. Although I have taken photos at Ellwanger Garden a couple of times, I was informed during my last visit that they don't allow tripods or professional photography. (Unfortunately, I didn't have a photographer with me!) Still, it's one of my favorite hidden gardens in Rochester NY.

Mirbeau Inn & Spa Skaneateles

mirbeau inn & spa skaneateles

If you're seeking gardens near Rochester NY and are up for a day trip, might I suggest making a visit to the Mirbeau Inn and Spa? While there are several Mirbeau locations, I imagine that the Mirbeau Skaneateles NY fans know well would be hard to beat. Not only does the Mirbeau restaurant provide an incredible experience, but the spa acts as a much-needed oasis. The highlight for me, however, is the garden at this Mirbeau Inn & Spa. Modeled after Monet's garden at Giverny, the Mirbeau gardens make me emotional. It's a magical place (albeit a pricy one) – so if you're in the position to go, I'd highly recommend it.

Mackenzie Childs Aurora NY

mackenzie childs aurora ny

Although there are certainly other gardens near Rochester NY that would be a lot closer to the city, I absolutely love the grounds next to the Mackenzie Childs Aurora store. It's a little over an hour away from Rochester, but I think it's worth it. The Mackenzie Childs outlet in Aurora is known for its whimsical home decor and housewares; it's a fun visit in itself, but you can also explore the property and all it has to offer. The highlight for me is the Mackenzie Childs farmhouse Aurora residents know well, in addition to their gardens, their "Chicken Palace" (pictured above!), and their adorable animal residents. Don't miss the chance to take a tour of the Mackenzie Childs property!

Want to Virtually Visit More Gardens Near Rochester NY?

Putting this post together made me realize just how fortunate I am to live somewhere with so much beauty and history. I tried to cover as many of my favorite spots as I could, but there are so many other gardens and parks in Rochester NY to discover. I've made it my unofficial mission to see as many of them as possible (and capture them on camera!). 

While things aren't back to normal quite yet, visiting different gardens and parks near Rochester is a great way to stay active, immerse yourself in nature, and stay safe. If you want me to explore more green spaces in Rochester or elsewhere, let me know – I'd be happy to bring you with me! 

Which of these places looks like somewhere you'd like to explore? What's your favorite park or garden like? Do you have lots of green spaces where you are? Let me know in the comments!

Monday, August 23, 2021

The Soubrette Brunette's Care Package Giveaway! [CLOSED]

win a care package from the soubrette brunette

Whether you're heading back to school or it's been years since you lived in a dorm room, you might need a little pick-me-up right now. That's why I'm giving away a care package to bring some creature comforts into your life! 

Keep reading to learn how to enter.

blog giveaway

One (1) lucky follower will win:
  • $25 Sephora gift card
  • "You're on mute" mug 
  • July 2021–June 2022 planner
  • LOTS of assorted snacks and goodies from my favorite stores (Trader Joe's, Wegmans, and more)

Now that you know what's up for grabs, pay close attention to the giveaway rules below! Make sure you follow them exactly so you don't get disqualified. Here's how to enter.

Giveaway Rules

Enter the giveaway through the Rafflecopter widget below. Note that you must leave a blog post comment and follow me on Instagram to win. You must also include your email address in your comment so I can contact you! Be sure to complete all mandatory entries and optional entries for the best chance to win.

This giveaway is open worldwide and will run from now until 11:59 PM EST on Saturday, August 28, 2021. This giveaway is hosted by The Soubrette Brunette and is not sponsored or endorsed by any other brand or business.

The giveaway winner will be notified via email (NEVER by DM, tagged comments, or another Instagram account) after the giveaway closes. The winner must respond to the email they receive within 48 hours of being contacted or a new winner will be chosen. Once confirmed, the winner will be displayed via the widget. In the event of product unavailability, comparable selections will be made. The winner should also let the host know about any pertinent food allergies or special requests for product selection. Thanks for entering and best of luck! 

Monday, May 31, 2021

Memorial Day Must-Haves (+ SALES)

There are always lots of good sales during the Memorial Day holiday! While I'm trying to watch how much I'm spending ("trying" being the operative word), I probably won't be able to resist some of these deals. Here are a few of my favorite items you can snag on sale right now! 

Please note that this post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking on one of these links, I may receive a small commission (at no cost to you!) that helps to run my blog. Thank you for supporting The Soubrette Brunette!

memorial day sales

a   ||   b   ||   c   ||   d   ||   e   ||   f

I've also compiled some sales info and coupon codes for you to use! Be sure to check this list before you check out:

Anthropologie: extra 40% off sale items
ASOS: $30 off $150 with code MEM30 (spend more, save more)
Betsey Johnson: 30% off sitewide with code STAR30
BoxLunch: buy 2, get 1 free sitewide
Colourpop Cosmetics: 30% off sitewide
Hot Topic: up to 50% off sitewide
J. Crew: 25% off full-price styles + extra 50% off sale items with code WEEKEND
Kohl's: $10 off $25 with code TAKE10 + deals on select styles
Loco Lindo: 25% off sitewide with code MEMDAY25
Macy's: 20-60% off + extra 10-20% off with code MEMDAY
ModCloth: 30% off sitewide + extra 50% sale items
Old Navy: up to 50% storewide, 25% off online orders
Re-Mix Vintage Shoes: 10% off your purchase with code Memorial21
Retrolicious: extra 25% off sale items with code SAVE25
Sephora: off to 50% off + free shipping with code FREESHIP
Tatyana: 40% off with code MDS40
Unique Vintage: 20% off everything with code RELAX
Vixen by Micheline Pitt: 25% off with code MEM25

I hope you have a fun and relaxing holiday!

Monday, May 24, 2021


 picnic giveawayretro summer picnic

As hard as it is to believe, summer is nearly here! I'm really looking forward to lots of outdoor activities this season – and picnicking is definitely one of my favorites. (I even wrote a blog post that outlines all the picnic essentials!) 

Since we might not live close enough to dine outdoors together, I wanted to find a way to share a picnic with you from afar. This giveaway includes the must-haves for your next nature excursion (with snacks, of course) – everything you need for a fun meal to share with your favorite people. Read on to find out what's up for grabs and how to win!

picnic giveaway
picnic essentials giveaway

One (1) follower will win:
  • Gingham-lined wicker picnic basket
  • Checkered picnic blanket
  • Acacia wood charcuterie serving board
  • Picnic: A Picnic Cookbook With Delicious Ideas
  • Portable Bluetooth speaker
  • Bottle of Belvoir Fruit Farms elderflower and rose lemonade
  • Specially chosen assorted snacks (non-perishable) 

Worth over $125, this prize package will help you live out your cottagecore picnic fantasy all summer! 
Now that you know what you can win, here's how to enter.

Enter the giveaway through the Rafflecopter widget below. Please note that you must leave a blog post comment and follow me on Instagram to win. You must also include your email address in your comment.

This giveaway is open worldwide and will run from now until 11:59 PM (EST) on Saturday, May 29, 2021. The giveaway winner will be chosen at random through the widget and contacted via email. The winner must respond to this email within 48 hours of being contacted or a new winner will be chosen. Once confirmed, the winner will be displayed via the widget. In the event of product unavailability, comparable selections will be made. This giveaway is sponsored only by The Soubrette Brunette and by no other brand or business. Thanks for entering and best of luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Vintage Clothing Etiquette: How to Behave When Buying and Selling Second-Hand

buying and selling vintage clothing

Greetings, vintage lovers!

When I say I've been wanting to write this blog post for a while, I mean I've been thinking about doing it for years! I've been jotting down notes every so often and keeping the list in my blog post drafts, but I kept putting it off. It's tough for me to feel creatively inspired during this gray, in-between season... so now seemed like the perfect time to finally write my vintage clothing etiquette post for buyers and sellers!

how to buy and sell vintage clothes

I'll preface this post by saying that I love shopping for vintage clothing, but I'm by no means an expert. I'm knowledgeable enough to recognize some vintage brands, in-demand prints, and certain styles or silhouettes. 

While I'm not a collector, I understand most of the basics of knowing how to shop for vintage clothing in thrift stores, at estate sales, and online. 

I'm not a purist, which means I have a lot of vintage reproduction in my closet alongside maybe ~20 true vintage dresses (plus lots of vintage brooches and hats). 

With that said, the tips I've come up with here are based on my own opinions. Some were sent in by my Instagram followers who were kind enough to weigh in. There are really no hard and fast rules that apply to every situation when shopping for vintage, but these are generally agreed upon by most people I've spoken to. 

Without further ado, here are some of my top vintage clothing tips for both buyers and sellers! 

vintage clothing tips for sellers

Etiquette For Vintage Sellers

  • List (Accurate!) Measurements: This is the number one comment I heard from everyone who weighed in on Instagram and it's crucial when you're selling vintage online. A size estimate (S/M/L) or dress size (especially a vintage one!) isn't going to suffice for most buyers. I will absolutely skip right over listings that don't include measurements because it's too hard to guarantee accuracy. I've seen dresses with a 28" waist be classified as anything from a small to an XL, depending on the seller. I've also seen sellers who go by the number on the tag, which simply doesn't correlate to modern sizing. At a minimum, sellers should provide the bust, waist, and hip measurements for a garment, as well as some kind of length (either total or from the waist). If you're going to correlate those measurements to a modern-day size, make sure that it's as standardized as possible (e.g., no vanity sizing). Make sure to specify whether you're including flat measurements or if the measurement has been doubled, too! 

  • Inspect and Disclose Any Damage: Another one of the most popular responses I received on Instagram is that sellers should make every effort to inspect their garments carefully and disclose any flaws, no matter how small. Everyone is human and small pinholes or stains can be easy to miss. However, most people view the job of a vintage seller as making sure that their listings reflect the piece's true condition. As such, make sure to note any possible fading, pilling, staining, or evidence of previous alterations. Many buyers will be happy to purchase an imperfect dress that's in wearable condition as long as the seller has disclosed any flaws they see. But if they receive an order and it doesn't reflect the information in the listing, you'll have an unhappy customer on your hands.

  • Include Accurate Product Photos: When buying vintage online, buyers already know they're taking a bit of a chance. But no one wants to gamble on a piece with poor-quality photos (or, worse yet, only one photo). Although platforms like Poshmark are full of listings with not-so-great images, it's beneficial for vintage sellers to take product photos in good lighting and with the product on a model or on a mannequin. Flat lays and hanger shots aren't ideal, but it's great to have a variety of different shots. Make sure to color-correct for accuracy without going overboard. If you boost the saturation to make garments look thicker or richer in color than they really are, buyers will probably be disappointed. Every effort should be made to include photos that are true to life.

  • Provide Lots of Detail: It's generally recommended that vintage sellers provide as much detail as possible (even beyond signs of damage) in their listings. This is for a couple of different reasons. For one, it can alleviate questions from prospective buyers and make sure everyone has the information they need from the start. Secondly, it can potentially protect you in the event that a buyer files a claim later on. If you can prove that you did your due diligence and that you provided accurate information to a buyer, you'll have a better chance of winning if a claim is filed against you. Plus, you can position yourself as a truly knowledgeable seller that buyers can trust.

  • Always Be Honest: If a buyer does message you for information that isn't in the listing, be forthcoming. For example, don't mislead a customer to believe that a dress will fit them if you know the fabric doesn't provide stretch. You don't have to definitively say whether a piece will fit someone's body or not, but don't lie just to make a sale. The same goes for "80s-does-50s" style pieces. Both decades are technically considered to be vintage at this point, but make sure the garment is labeled accurately. Calling it a 1950's dress might be better for SEO purposes, but it's not accurate. If you don't have enough knowledge to provide the info a buyer is looking for, tell them that! It's okay not to know. But it's not okay to claim something that might not be true.

  • List Your Price Upfront: This might be a bit controversial for some sellers, but many buyers I've talked to really take issue with the practice of being secretive about pricing. This applies mainly to Instagram sellers, but it could be applicable to other vintage sellers, too. While it's fine to ask buyers to make an offer for an item, asking people to "DM for pricing" scares many buyers off. It can also allow a seller to create a secret bidding war, which can really be a turn-off. If you're looking to sell an item you know will go for a lot and you don't want to settle, consider taking your listing to eBay. And if you're willing to accept an offer before an item is listed, make that clear in your post. 

  • Don't Buy Just to Resell: Okay, hear me out. I realize that this is a common practice and that sellers have to acquire their clothing from somewhere. HOWEVER. The vintage community is pretty small. Sellers tend to follow each other and buyers will follow a lot of different shops. Because of that, it tends to be pretty obvious when a seller buys a piece from a lesser-known seller and turns around to sell it immediately for a huge price increase. It's one thing if you buy a piece for your personal use and it just doesn't work out. But to swoop in on the sale only to drastically increase the sales price in order to make a major profit is just plain shady. It also ends up driving prices up for everyone. While it's great that many sellers have large followings and can make a great living from selling vintage, buyers tend to know when one seller has taken advantage of another. It might not bother some sellers, but it definitely bothers me. 

vintage clothing tips for buyers

Vintage Clothing Tips for Buyers

  • Know Your Measurements: This is my top tip (and the mirror image to the first tip under the sellers section) for anyone who wants to buy second-hand clothing. You need to know your measurements! Sizes have changed so much over the years and you can't always trust an estimated size that a seller assigns to an item. Whether you're buying in-person or online, knowing at least your bust and waist measurements can keep you from being disappointed after you purchase. You can use a tape measure on yourself or on a clothing item you already own. But remember that vintage garments made before the 1970s or so wouldn't have had much stretch – so measure carefully and err on giving yourself a little bit of breathing room! If you're buying in person, bringing your tape measure along can let you know whether you should try the garment on or skip it. Remember: if you rip it, you buy it!

  • Buy Your Size: At first glance, this might seem redundant. But this is about more than knowing your measurements. As someone who could be classified as "mid-size" or on the larger end of straight sizing, I know how hard it is to find affordable vintage in my size. It's much more difficult for plus-sized folks. For whatever reason, vintage in extra-small and small size ranges are much more plentiful. So if you wear those sizes, please don't buy a much larger size with the intention of wearing an oversized look or having the garment altered! When you have thin privilege, you can take advantage of the plethora of vintage clothing that's already at your disposal. Unless you're buying for a theatre production or for a friend, I would suggest refraining from buying any vintage items that are more than a few inches larger than what you'd normally wear. A lot of people see buying to alter as a crime against vintage; not only would you be doing a disservice to other vintage lovers, but you could also damage the piece during the alteration process. The exception here is if it's a piece that you already own and love. But if you can bear the thought of setting it free, it can find a new home with someone who will love and wear it as it is – and you can find something you like even more.

  • Read Descriptions and Ask Questions: One pet peeve of many vintage sellers is buyers who fail to read product descriptions or ask questions before buying. When a seller puts in all the work to create a detailed description and it becomes clear that the buyer hasn't bothered to read it, it's no wonder that they might take offense. While most are more than happy to answer any questions you may have, you'll need to take that step before you purchase. Most vintage transactions really don't allow for buyer's remorse. Some sellers do have return policies in place, but you shouldn't expect to be able to return a vintage item if the issue is on the buyer's end. As a rule, always check before you check out!

  • Don't Make Your Budget the Seller's Problem: Believe me, I understand that the high price of true vintage makes this style of dress inaccessible for many people. My own collection of vintage items is relatively small for this reason (and also because my size is harder to find!). But that doesn't okay to beg the seller to lower their price or to send them a low-ball offer. The seller has the right to set their price as they see fit; you should assume that they've done their research, have determined what the market will allow, and have priced the item accordingly. You may not like the price, but unless the seller has explicitly said that they're open to offers or you're negotiating at a flea market, you should assume that the price is as marked. It never hurts to ask if the price is flexible, but it's rude to imply that the seller should lower their price because it's out of your budget. If it's out of your price range, move on and try to find something that's more budget-friendly. 

  • Be Careful About Unsolicited Messages: Of course, it's fine (and encouraged!) to message a seller about a piece they're selling. But it's a bit invasive to message someone to ask if they're willing to sell something from their personal wardrobe. I understand the "nothing ventured, nothing gained" mentality. But I've frequently been on the receiving end of emails, DMs, and Facebook messages from people who ask to buy pieces they've seen me wear on my blog or on social media... and I don't think I've ever agreed to sell what they're asking for. Most sellers (even non-vintage sellers like me!) have online storefronts for a good reason. If we're ready to sell something, it will be listed there. When I'm on the hunt for a specific piece, I watch resale sites like a hawk. I would never even think about messaging someone I don't know to see if I can buy a random item from their closet. Some people have even asked me to promise to let them know if I do decide to sell something. Unfortunately, I can't remember everyone who has messaged me about an item over the years – and besides, the request feels pretty presumptuous. Instead, I'd recommend following a seller's Poshmark, Depop, eBay account, or website. You could also message a vintage or second-hand seller to see if they might be able to source something similar to what you're looking for! 

  • Write a Review: Showing your support for a small business can have a big impact. Whether it's on Etsy, Poshmark, or another platform, you should make it a point to leave a review for a seller if you've had a great experience with them. Most people are actually more inclined to trust sellers with a few negative reviews mixed in than sellers with no reviews at all. Anything you can do to boost the seller's brand perception will be appreciated. On the other end of the spectrum, it's a good rule to think before leaving a negative review. That's not to say that you shouldn't let other buyers know about a bad experience. You absolutely should! But if the problem comes down to a misunderstanding or is something you can resolve with the seller directly, try that first! (The same goes for filing any kind of payment claim against a seller.) Think about what you'd find most helpful as a buyer and include that in your review – and don't leave them only when you've had a poor experience!
dapper day vintage

If you buy or sell vintage online, do you agree with these tips? What did I miss? Did you find these to be helpful? Tell me in the comments below and feel free to share some of your favorite sources for vintage!
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