Where to Shop!

I get asked frequently where I get clothes for my shoots, so I wanted to put together a list of places you can go to find really neat costumes without having to drive through the middle of America trying to find a random amazing thrift store. So, while I have not purchased from all of these places, they all seem like amazing options and I definitely would buy from them, or will be in the future…

…I just need to pace myself.
(In other words: Brooke, be good. Please don’t fizzle your money away on costumes.)

Victorian Choice
(on Ebay)

Purpose: Period piece + drama.
Price: $30-150

American Vintage
(online and in stores in Los Angeles)


Purpose: Vintage pieces by era.
Price: $50+

Nifty Thrifty


Purpose: Inexpensive vintage items.
Price: $10-50

Rusty Zipper

Purpose: Prairie dresses.
Price: $40-60

Adored Vintage

Purpose: High-end vintage.
Price: $60-500

Aside from online shops, whenever I travel to a new town I ask the locals where to go for vintage, second hand shops, or costume stores. A lot of towns do have places like this, and while they can be expensive, you can always try to haggle with the price. I have even “rented” from stores like this even though it is not their policy to do so – it doesn’t hurt to ask!

If you are searching on a site like Ebay or Etsy, some key words that I often use are:

Long dress
Gunne Sax (brand)

I don’t worry to much about size when looking for vintage outfits, since one size is usually all that is offered. I always carry with me binder clips and safety pins so that I can make an outfit fit the model.

I hope that you find this helpful, and if you have any suggestions, please list them in the comments! This can be an ongoing helpful list for everyone!

  • March 18, 2015 - 10:14 am

    Robert Cornelius Photography - This is such a goldmine of glorious characters just waiting to be brought to life! I’m right there with you on the pacing yourself, ROBERT BE GOOD! I can see how it will require some restraint not to run up a scary bill buying all the gorgeous gowns!! Thanks for sharing. <3ReplyCancel

  • March 18, 2015 - 10:37 am

    T - Thank you, Brooke!! I spend too much money at Goodwill lol! All the sizes for vintage stuff are super tiny so I have to lose a couple pounds before I shop again. 😉ReplyCancel

  • March 18, 2015 - 10:44 am

    Swati Chakraborty - Thank you so much for the information, Brooke.
    I am just a beginner. I love doing portraits and nature & wildlife.

    Although I don’t do fine art photography, I love your creation -it is so fabulous and inspiring.ReplyCancel

  • March 18, 2015 - 4:06 pm

    Liz - There’s something very emotionally stirring about gowns. The billowing in a breeze or the soft sensual feelings that flowing satin stirs. So many emotions can be evoked simply by the image of fabric.

    Thanks for the links Brooke. And thanks a heap for all your video’s. You inspire me and I’m very grateful for that. xReplyCancel

  • March 19, 2015 - 1:09 am

    Hanna - Great Brooke, thanks! I so hope they ship to Sweden! Another place you can find dresses and props is http://www.aliexpress.com, with free shipping. I have found props there such as wigs, angel wings, butterflies. I have to say that I don’t know about the environment impact of this kind of shopping, maybe some things are manufactured unethically, I don’t know! So if those things are important maybe it’s best to shop at another place. The deliveries take like a month or more but they do arrive eventually….ReplyCancel

  • March 19, 2015 - 4:06 am

    Margherita Introna - This is just bad bad bad 😛 but it in good way 😉 I have a serious prop dress addiction! Vintage shops are all the rage at the moment here in South Africa, so they are everywhere! I pop in whenever I can when I am out and about. On my last trip to Europe I bought 3 dresses on my travels by finding out where to go from locals. Typically though I purchase prop dresses from charity shops and regularly do my rounds – so much so that most of the staff know me already 😉 Finding a new prop dress is a massive source of inspiration for me!ReplyCancel

  • March 19, 2015 - 5:28 pm

    jenessa - Seriously, though, I would just wear these things every day if I could.

    But also for shoots! I’ve been a fan of the go-to bed sheet for most of my shoots, but I’d like to get a small stockpile of dresses.

    Thanks for the information!

    (P.S. – my butterflies should be here soon!)ReplyCancel

  • March 20, 2015 - 12:24 pm

    Addie - Oh my, its probably not a good thing to be introduced to the nifty thrift site… I see a lot of money going there… and my husband will not be happy as props and especially dresses are taking over our whole garage – I am definitely a hoarder when it comes to this sort of stuff

    you should also check out http://www.shopgoodwill.com – its like ebay but all from goodwill stores… I find some great deals there just check shipping costs before you bid

    love you work… maybe we will work together in the future sometimeReplyCancel

  • March 21, 2015 - 1:06 pm

    Mira - Brooke, thank you for sharing your experience!!!!! Sometimes, the outfit can inspire the creation of the image, for me, for example, clothing is one of the sources of inspiration!)))))ReplyCancel

  • March 23, 2015 - 10:46 am

    Elisabeth on Earth - Oh boy. I’m in trouble.ReplyCancel

  • March 23, 2015 - 3:36 pm

    Victoria Stever - This is absolutely amazing! I just go to my thrift store here in town and think, we have 0 vintage items but plenty with stains and other mysterious items on them. Or I do find something amazing but can not afford it. Thank you so much for sharing!ReplyCancel

  • March 25, 2015 - 3:33 pm

    Elisabeth on Earth - Oh ~ If anyone lives near the historic (and allegedly haunted) town of New Hope, PA, I love popping my head in Love Saves the Day. Only a store, no shopping online. Here’s their FB page:


Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *