If you’re looking for a way to instantly make your outfit look cooler, it’s pretty easy—throw on a vintage T-shirt. Vintage T-shirts are everywhere on the street style scene right now. Celebs are regularly snapped in them and fashion girls wear them on repeat. They’re an instant way to make any outfit feel fresh. But because they’re so covetable, finding the best vintage T-shirts can be tricky.
For expert tips, we tapped celebrity stylist Ilaria Urbintati, who works with everyone from Nina Agdal and Jenny Slate to Chris Evans and Tom Hiddleston. When it comes to vintage T-shirts, we wanted to know what her secrets are. It turns out there’s one store that’s so great for finding vintage T-shirts, she doesn’t look anywhere else: “I only shop for vintage tees in one place—the only place anyone needs to look (at least in L.A.): Kelly Cole on La Brea.” If you’re in L.A., this spot is definitely worth a visit.
Keep reading to find out Ilaria’s top five tips for finding the best vintage T-shirts, and then shop some of our favorites.
“For vintage concert tees, best to stick to bands you actually listen to, not just because it’s a cool looking T-shirt. I love a concert tee for a more obscure band or even a kind of nerdy band. I have a George Strait tee I love.”
“Having said that, I like to collect vintage tees and sweatshirts from smarty-pants colleges I did not attend. Like Harvard and MIT. And they tend to be cheaper than concert tees, which are more collectible. And always very soft for some reason. Maybe the college kids really wore them to death studying the nights away.”
“I’m not afraid of a little (or a lot) of wear and tear, but stay away from stains especially in the armpit area.”
“If it’s way too thin and holey, keep in mind it will likely disintegrate after a few washes.”
“I look for tees where the short sleeve isn’t too baggy. If the body is a little baggy, you can cheat it with a little half tuck but it’s hard to hide a giant arm. I’m also particular about the neck—I like it a little stretched out.”
Keep reading to get some styling inspiration, and then shop our favorite vintage T-shirts.
Next, read about the cool sandals celebs won’t stop wearing.