For some Disney Style fans, including myself, the hunt for vintage Disney fashion is one of our biggest thrills. There’s something so satisfying about finding a Mickey tee from the ’80s or a hat from Mickey’s Toontown’s opening day! Plus, vintage fashion is sustainable, and who can say no to cool and good for the environment?
Like so many Disney Style fans, I am an avid hunter for vintage Disney fashion. I collect vintage tees, hats, jackets—you name it—all at least 20 years old and all Disney originals. But finding really cool, authentic vintage Disney style is not easy and can become very overwhelming. The key is just knowing what to look for and how to look for it! After years of triumphs and tribulations (and miles of steps along stalls), I’ve learned a few tips and tricks to hunting for the best of vintage Disney fashion:
Tackling the Flea Market
Flea markets are some of my favorite places to find vintage Disney style, but you have to know what to look for.
- Hunt for the basics. Basic Disney tops haven’t varied too much over the last 20+ years. On a rack of tops, look for crewneck sweatshirts in heather grey, white, and washed black, and check if they’ve got that smiling classic Mickey at the front.
- For t-shirts, white, grey, and pastel colors are worth pulling out to look for Disney character graphics on the front.
- White ringer tees, mustard yellow sweatshirts, and navy sweatshirts tend to be good colors to pull out to look for Disneyland and Walt Disney World vintage logo tops.
- Sift through tables of jewelry to find fun Disney watches and other jewelry.
- Disney hats are fun finds at the flea market. Keep an eye out for Mickey patterns or Park logos. My favorite find? An Enchanted Tiki Room hat from the ’90s.
The Online Search
The internet has graced us with vintage marketplaces flourishing with Disney style, but to find licensed Disney originals, stick to our tips!
- Get inspired! From old Disney Store catalogues, to your own photos as a kid, get inspiration for what to search for online! For example, here’s a Meeko watch we wouldn’t have known to search for had we not seen it in this 1994 Disney Store catalogue! NEED.
- If you search the words “vintage Disney shirt,” you’re going to get a lot of results. Try being more specific with what you might want with searches like “vintage Aristocats shirt” or “101 Dalmatians sweater.”
Garage Sales and Thrift Stores
Make a day to garage sale hop with girlfriends! It should be a fun thing to do together, not a daunting hunt through other people’s stuff. After all, “one man’s junk is another man’s treasure!”
- Do a drive-by to see what kind of items are being sold at the garage sale. If you see a rack of vintage clothes, it’s probably a good idea to stop. Just a pile of electronics? On to the next!
- Luckily for us, Disney character faces really stand out. Look for our beloved Disney characters and then look at what the item is, rather than looking for an item and noticing that it’s Disney. That’s how I scored this Minnie suitcase for $20!
- Thrift stores can be very overwhelming, so go section by section. Don’t forget to shuffle through knick-knacks to find Disney buttons and pins! The more random, the better!
- One of my favorite things to do when I travel is visit local vintage and thrift stores. What might be popular in one place may be sitting on racks in another. I’m a California girl, but here’s a tee I found at a vintage store in Hawaii!
Hopefully these tips will steer you towards a less overwhelming experience of shopping vintage Disney fashion! We want to see your vintage finds! Share them with us by tagging @DisneyStyle on Instagram!
Where are your favorite spots to shop vintage Disney? Tell us in the comments below!