Clothing Labels of the 1980s & 1990s
Thrifters love clothing labels for many different reasons. Some look for brands with quality, others with a high resale value and people like me just like finding funny brand names or learning more about fashion history.
There are a number of vintage clothing labels from the 1980s and 1990s that I’m always excited to spot at the thrift store. They evoke a certain nostalgia in me and the designs are usually pretty rad.
Let’s look back at some of my favorites, why I love them, and what to look for if you’re trying to pick up this genre of clothing!
My Favorite ’80s & ’90s Clothing Brands
It’s hard to say which came first – my love of thrifting or my love for fashion. It’s a tie! But thrifting introduced me to so many different styles, silhouettes, and most importantly, brands!
The following brands became my favorite from repeated sightings at the thrift. I liked what I kept seeing and, eventually, I came to know a lot about the brands just from the clothes I was finding. Many of those pieces now live in my closet and are well-loved!
- Contempo Casual
- Lee denim
- Members Only
Honorable Mentions: More ’80s & ’90s Clothing Brands I Love
There are a lot of vintage brands I’ve gotten to know from my years of thrifting but don’t see as often or don’t have much of in my closet. Regardless, they’re always fun to find or research in old magazines or books. (Or even trying to spot in old movies!)
- All That Jazz
- Avon Fashions
- Paris Sports Club
- Taurus II
Tips For Thrifting ’80s & ’90s Clothing
Thrifting true vintage clothing can be very hit-and-miss and really comes down to where you’re thrifting, the type of store you’re at, and who donates there.
To find brands like the ones on this list, keep these tips in mind:
- Where: Big cities and college towns are usually populated with broke students and young professionals. To find vintage items, get into the burbs!
- What: Aw, chain stores vs. independent shops. Many chain stores like Goodwill or Salvation Army tend to have more current donations or even surplus inventory from retailers like Target. That means to find true vintage, you’ll want to dig a little deeper at independent shops, antique malls, or curated vintage clothing stores.
- Also, keep an eye out for estate sales where older residents might have an entire closet of vintage garbs up for grab! That’s a great way of finding an entire collection with similar labels.
- Who: Vintage is more likely to come from folks who lived through the decades you want so keep in mind where that age range might settle. Again, they’re likely not living or donating in bigger cities but spread throughout the burbs and small towns.
What’s your favorite thing about thrifting vintage clothes? And what brands do you love to find? Any tips you would add to this list?
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