One of the things that was amazing was that in the pile of 15 or so items I picked up to try on...all of them pretty much fit. Some might have been a bit loose here or a bit tight there, but nothing that totally screamed "yeah that's not going to work". Was that luck or just picking up items that I have a gut feeling would work? Hmm, I'm going to say its my savvy shopping skills :-) Here are some of my tips for vintage/flea marketing/thrift stores or general mass merchandisers.
-Know what works for your body. And if you don't know, find something in your closet that you have been complimented on everytime you wear it. A-Line? Pantsuit? Wrapdress? 50's flare with a poofy skirt? Jeans and a white tank? Whatever it is, if you've been complimented on that style, most likely its something that you wear well and can pull off. Me--I know I can't pull of a wrap dress or wrap-shirt, even if it was a DVF I still wouldn't pick it up, because anything wrap makes me look 7 months preggo.
-Don't pay attention to size. Especially when it comes to vintage things. Sizing 50 years ago is so different than today's sizing and one designer varies on size versus another designer. Know your body--if it looks like it will fit, it probably will, regardless of size.
-Be willing to stretch your fashion boundaries. So a pantsuit makes you feel like you run a 5 million dollar company and you get a free drink at your local coffee shop because people think "you're somebody", well stretch those pantsuit boundaries with a flirty tank underneath or some killer shoes to poke out. What doesn't say sassyfrass like some leopard pumps peeking out from under a black hemline?
-Make sure to check for stains/rips/seaming etc, some of those are easy fixes, some make the item a loss (I secretly believe those beautiful vintage pieces with a tear go to some vintage store in the sky where they get fixed and are beautiful again)
-If in doubt take a tried and true friend that will give you their honest opinion. If that doesn't work, leave the item and go back a week later, if you still love the piece and its still there--it was meant to be--take that sucker (or seer-sucker) home :-)