Vintage In San Francisco with Ashley Ording

We had a chat with super stylin' vintage fanatic and blogger, Ashley Ording of Fancy Fine, who shared her top tips on hunting down second-hand clothing in San Francisco, as well as the low-down on the vintage pieces to keep an eye out for...

Do you set yourself a budget or haggle when you're shopping second-hand?

I usually only budget myself and get into haggling when I go to the flea market or an estate sale. I will bring a certain amount of cash and plan on spending all of it on the best pieces I can find. I attempt to haggle with every single dealer and usually it works, especially if you're super friendly and recognize that they spent a lot of time finding these pieces and probably have some kind of attachment to them.

Top thing to look out for when you're shopping for vintage?

I think the condition of things is incredibly important. It may be cheap, but that won't matter if it's stained or ripped beyond repair. I often buy things that need a little bit of care when I take them home but sometimes a piece is too far gone and it's best left on the rack. Only buy a fixer-upper if you know you will actually take the time to fix it!

Your biggest second-hand bargain? What was it and where did you find it?

I recently found a perfect pair of classic 1980's Ferragamo shoes in a gorgeous brick red leather for only $10 at a flea market. I could hardly believe my good luck! I wear those babies all the time.

Is it a question of “seek the brand”, “go for quality”, or just pot luck? 

I never, ever seek brands, I just hunt for pieces that I love. I do look for quality above all else, and sometimes the best thing will have no label and be some lovingly handmade treasure. I'm always looking wherever I can for vintage and secondhand goodies, so I tend to get lucky often because I'm out there scavenging often.

Are you into mix and match, old and new? Do you recut, sew, change, add to items etc?

More and more I find myself wearing head-to-toe vintage. Sometimes the only new things I end up wearing all week are my tights and undergarments! But I do still look for new pieces to mix with the old because sometimes I have a shape or color in mind that I can't seem to find at a thrift store or flea market. I also love how fresh and modern some vintage can appear when styled with newer pieces. As far as altering goes I do tend to hem a lot of my dresses and skirts so that they're quite short. Got to show off the gams!

Held Over // 1543 Haight Street This is the best spot in San Francisco for vintage dresses, they have hundreds from every era and the prices are super reasonable. I have found many a dream dress there!

Thrift Town // 2101 Mission Street The ultimate thrift store, two stories of amazing and cheap finds. Plus they have an excellent vintage section!

Goodwill // 1663 Mission Street There are many Goodwills in San Francisco but this is the biggest and best. I never leave without finding some lovely treasure and they are constantly refilling the racks with new finds.

Suitably inspired? Check out how Ashley styles up her vintage finds on Fancy Fine, before booking those plane tickets to sunny San Fran!