Let’s Talk About Vintage Shopping

Ashley Brooke in Vintage Shirt Dress - www.ashleybrookedesigns.com
Ashley Brooke in Vintage Shirt Dress - www.ashleybrookedesigns.com

Treasure Hunting

Some of my favorite pieces in my closet are from thrift, consignment, or vintage shops. For a while a number of years I made a habit of ducking into consignment shops whenever I saw one, just for a quick peek.  I almost always found a gem or two. Vintage shopping is like hunting for treasure and until recently I’d forgotten how much I enjoy it.


Vintage Dress-Shirt Find

It wasn’t until a few weeks ago when I was going through my closet, pulling all of my Fall pieces to the front, when I came across this amazing shirt dress. I hadn’t worn it since last year. Not only was I reminded about how magical this dress actually is, but also how much I love the thrill of vintage shopping.

I bought this dress five years ago at a little vintage shop in town called Retromended Vintage.  Ryan and I had been dating for a few months at that point. We were spending the afternoon antique shopping on Ivanhoe Row when I spotted this knife pleat dress and HAD to have it.  I tried it on and immediately felt like a movie star. I was checking out before we knew it, but with a $30 price tag, can you blame me?! I’ve worn it each Fall and Winter ever since. (keep reading for the full story!)

The handbag – I should also mention that this bag (bought on a separate occasion) is also a vintage find from my home town of Titusville!


Shop With An Open Mind

The thing with thrift or vintage shopping is that you have to go into it with an open mind and a vision for something beautiful.  Dream a little and see something for what it could be.  

Take this dress, for example.  The skirt was down to my ankles and the top was made for a bustier lady, but nothing a good tailor couldn’t fix! I took it to my girl, Kim, (she’s THE BEST tailor in Orlando) and she took the skirt up, bust in, and boom – I had a vintage dress that looked like it was made for me. She has literally done the same with countless pieces – vintage or not. We’ve taken sleeves off dresses, shortened maxis, and tailored the heck out of shift dresses. Sometimes it just takes a little creativity and a little elbow grease!

Every single time I wear one of my vintage creations I get a zillion compliments because they end up coming out so unique! I love taking a $20 castaway item and making it look like $200 fashion statement.

I haven’t actually vintage shopped in a few years, but as rediscovering this dressed inspired me to write this post, I’m also going to get back in the habit of hunting for hidden gems. Maybe I’ll even document it along the way! 

What about you, though?! Do you ever thrift or vintage shop? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

P.S. If you don’t have a great vintage shop in town, try Etsy first! So many cute things like this green dress, this silk bow dress, and this print dress.



  1. October 16, 2018 / 9:11 am

    I used to be huge on antiquing when I was in high school and college. I got this one incredible fur-collar cashmere car coat for $15 at a flea market and I STILL wear it EVERY SINGLE WINTER. (It’s kind of amazing, really.) I don’t go hardly at all anymore because I have children (and they will break everything) and am trying to cut down clutter (and usually my “finds” clutter up our house), but I bet one day I’ll return. My parents were HUGE antiquers, so I imagine it’s just in my blood. 🙂

    • Ashley Brooke
      October 16, 2018 / 9:12 am

      Kelly! I love that! Also, isn’t a good find like that GOLD?! I’m with you though on only buying good pieces… it can definitely take over your closet! EEKKKK

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

powered by chloédigital