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5 Expert Tips on Shopping Hollywood's Vintage Clothing Stores

Darren Cohn of Iguana Vintage Clothing shares some guidelines on how to be an effective vintage clothing shopper and what to expect from a vintage clothing store.

Iguana Vintage Clothing opened its doors on Hollywood Boulevard in 2004, and since then, it has become a hotbed for some of the most orignal and hard-to-find vintage clothing in the country.

Darren Cohn, one of three brothers who operates the vintage clothing store, checked in with Patch to share some thoughts and advice on navigating their selection. (Stay tuned for a feature profile on the family business.) 

1. Vintage shopping requires patience

The Iguana Vintage Clothing location in Hollywood is the largest vintage clothing store in the nation, at about 15,000-square-feet. There are three floors which incoporate clothing and shoes for men women and kids, as well as practically any clothing accessory you can imagine.

Needless to say, shopping at Iguana can be overwhelming, which is why Cohn reminds shoppers that patience is key when vintage shopping. Options are somewhat endless and in order to find that perfect piece of clothing, it may take a while to scour the racks. 

2. Bring in pictures

There is a difference between a vision and an idea, Cohn said. If you have an idea, but not a vision, bring in pictures. Allow vintage store employees to help you create the outfit you have in your mind. It could save you a great amount of time if you print out a few pictures or save them on your smartphone. 

3. Always try on the clothing

Buying clothes that are previously worn means that they have been previously washed. In fact, some Iguana clothing dates back to the '90s and '70s. What used to be an extra large could now fit like a medium. What says large could have been tailored, and now fit thin.

So, do not trust the tags, always try things on before you buy them. 

4. Know the function of a vintage clothing store

There is a misconception that vintage clothing stores are also consignments stores. A consignment store is an establishment in which a customer can bring in an item, have it sold at the store, then have the store give that customer a percentage of the proceeds. 

Iguana, for instance, is not a consignment store, and they accept no donations. It is a clothing store with buyers and specific merchandise, none of which they buy from customers. No need to bring in a big bag of clothes and hope to receive store credit, similar to a Buffalo Exchange-type of business.

5. Vintage clothing stores are meant to be affordable, not cheap

If you think you are going to walk into a vintage clothing store and get a well-crafted vintage blazer for $5, you are mistaken. However, you may get that blazer for $25. The word vintage often confuses customers into thinking that all merchandise will be dirt cheap, which is simply not the case. Vintage clothing is significantly cheaper than new clothing at your local retail store, though.

Most importantly, it is almost always more unique. 

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Jayden Eden May 08, 2014 at 11:23 PM
I love going to the thrift store to find some new outfits. I haven't gone for a long time now, but I used to at least once a month. When I get some time I would love to check it out again. Jayden Eden | http://www.polyvore.com/calgary/set?id=87225103

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