Hello and happy THURSDAY vintage lovers!!!!
One of my favorite “vintage discoveries” is when I find a piece of DEADSTOCK VINTAGE.
It’s like finding a diamond amongst the jewels: I’m already so satisfied with the vintage finds I’m discovering, but then I see a shimmer that truly makes my heart beat faster — a piece of vintage with the original tags.
HOW TO IDENTIFY DEADSTOCK
When thrifting or shopping vintage and you find a piece of vintage (clothing at least 20 years old, or roughly from the early ’90s and earlier) with its original tags still on, you’ve encountered what the industry refers to as DEADSTOCK.
WHY IT’S CALLED DEADSTOCK
Deadstock vintage are called as such because they have “passed away” [i.e. died] from the original stock where they previously existed [i.e. lived] in a store. The piece of vintage clothing was never sold from that store for whatever reason — perhaps it was a piece of sale clothing that was unbought, or the store/boutique/department store chain fell bankrupt and its remaining inventory found its way to a thrift store or the hands of a vintage boutique owner.
OTHER NAMES FOR DEADSTOCK
“Deadstock” vintage carries a slight negative connotation because of the word “dead,” so many vintage boutique owners have taken to calling it “Livestock” because by selling it on their racks and shelves again, they are essentially breathing new life into a piece that is alive and well to be sold.
Other vintage dealers may refer to dead/livestock as “New Old Vintage” or “Never Off the Shelves,” abbreviated with the acronym NOS.
HOW TO SHOP ONLINE FOR DEADSTOCK
When shopping vintage online, use “deadstock” in your search keywords. I’ve noticed many sports fans search for “deadstock snapbacks” on Google, and “deadstock sunglasses” seems to be another popular item sold on Ebay, Etsy, Market Publique and other online vintage marketplaces.
If your search results don’t satisfy your deadstock shopping needs, then try “livestock” or the abbreviation “NOS,” too. I just search for “NOS vintage” on Etsy and yielded these search results.
OTHER WAYS YOU MAY FIND DEADSTOCK
The term “deadstock” arguably should apply only to the pieces which were never sold straight from a store, because what I’m finding more and more are pieces from the late ’80s and beyond which were bought by a consumer and lived in their closet, however were never worn by that buyer themselves.
As a society and culture we have become very consuming hungry individuals. Instead of buying only what we need, we buy what we want — and often. How many of you have something “new” hanging in your closet right now … that you have yet to wear?! How many of you have been shopping your local thrift store to find a piece from H&M new with tags?
I’m not sure what this “unworn merchandise with original tags” should be called — because it’s not vintage, it may be more appropriate to refer to it as “New Not in Store” pieces, or NNS instead. Perhaps we can start a trend, thrift & vintage lovers?!
WILL DEADSTOCK VINTAGE EXIST IN THE FUTURE?
I predict that “deadstock vintage” will be harder and harder to come by in the future because “second season chains” like TJ Maxx, Marshal’s, Ross, Filene’s Basement, Loehmans, etc. are making it more difficult for inventory of today to exist unworn without purchase for the time it needs to become officially “vintage.”
So, the H&M, Forever 21, Zara, etc. clothing of today is not sitting around in some storage unit for 50 years, only to be discovered in 2061 by a vintage lover and sold as deadstock from 2011. Rather, the pieces from mainstream stores are just being sold to consumers out of season at stores like Marshals.
EXAMPLES OF DEADSTOCK VINTAGE
Keep scrolling to see examples of deadstock vintage I’ve captured along my thrift and vintage journeys. The tag design, typography and language [not to mention price!] make me smile so much that I even wrote this post on how to identify vintage in a thrift store with tags & labels. Check it out for more vintage shopping know-how!
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