Sewing is one of those essential life skills that I honestly don't know how anyone, man or woman, gets by without. It's just such an easy thing to learn, and it's so handy. Even before I started wearing vintage, I found it helpful to know how to sew a button back on, or repair a split seam. Now, reinforcing buttons and seams is as regular a part of my wardrobe maintenance as washing my clothes.
This dress, for example, is actually in beautiful shape. However, it's also about 60 years old, and the first time I wore it, 5 of the buttons popped off, one right after the other. I wasn't doing acrobatics or anything - one of them literally popped off just from me breathing. After I sewed all of the buttons that had fallen off back on, I went in and reinforced all of the other buttons, loose or not.
Similarly, this coat (which was an absolute steal at only $60) was in perfect condition when I purchased it back in December. However, it's gotten a lot of wear over the winter, and there have been a few issues that needed fixing. I basted together the seams at the buttonholes, which had split, and reinforced the buttons when they started threatening to fall off.
I consider myself a mediocre seamstress at best. I don't have a sewing machine, and I know precisely two stitches. And really, that's all I need to know for basic mending. If you're interested in vintage clothing, but are worried about things like repairs, I would definitely recommend picking up a needle and thread and giving it a go. After all, even if you mess up, all you have to do is pick it out and try again.