How To Shop Vintage Fashion: Our Tips
In my humble opinion, shopping for vintage clothes is way more fun than shopping new. Getting out of the ever-changing trend cycle has meant I can define my own style and shop for pre-loved pieces that are unique and work specifically for me. One woman’s trash is really is another woman’s treasure!
Vintage fashion is a term that’s often thrown around but loosely means clothing 30 years and older. (Yes, that means 90’s clothing now too… Sorry to the millennials reading this!)
If you’re looking to start shopping for vintage clothing – or you’re already a seasoned thrifter – have a read through the Sustainably Influenced team’s top tips to find the hidden gems and pre-loved bargains. Between us, we have decades of experience, and every vintage item we own has its own story to tell!
(Just a word of warning: shopping for vintage items can start to become a hobby and a bad habit… Just be sure to budget wisely and try not to get addicted!)
Why Shop Vintage Fashion?
If you’re not convinced about shopping vintage just yet, let us also share a few reasons why it’s a sustainable alternative to shopping new:
1. Better For The Environment
The first reason is quite self explanatory. When you give an unwanted garment or product a new home, it has a new life. One garment may not mean much to the last wearer, but it may be the next best thing to hit your wardrobe. Rather than sending your unwanted clothes to landfill, sell or give it to someone who may want it more, you will make their day and the planet’s life.
2. Better Quality Product
It’s a fact that many products produced a few decades ago are better quality than pieces made today. Fast fashion has seen brands reduce quality in order to speed up production, and while their items may keep up with microtrends throughout the year, they aren’t built to last. Shopping second-hand and vintage can help you to tap into higher quality clothing, as well as luxury labels that are more affordable now.
3. Spend Less Money
In some cases, not all, but in some cases, vintage is a cheaper alternative to high-end high street, which often emulates vintage clothing anyway. If you have a discerning eye, you can find vintage clothes that also fit new trends and get the best of both worlds. Save money, shop vintage.
4. Support Small Business
Finally, instead of spending your money with big brands, why not support smaller, more curated brands? We’re big fans of curated vintage brands like Atijo, Bonsergent, and Retold, and it’s nice to know we’re supporting small businesses that are often female-founded too.
Our Favourite Places To Shop Vintage Online
Here are the Sustainably Influenced team’s top recommendations for shopping vintage. Bookmark these for payday at the end of the month…
Besma: My favourite vintage Instagram page has to be Atijo Store. Not only are their pieces just gorgeous, the team is super friendly and accommodating. I gifted a friend a pair of YSL heels ahead of her graduation a few years back and the team did such a perfect job sending them to her in secret!
Curate & Rotate
Alice: I’m a designer girl through and through, but my bank account just isn’t on board to fully embrace that lifestyle at present! I love shopping for high-end pieces, vintage or preloved, and if you commit some time to searching, you’ll find hidden gems that are still in great knick at such a steal – which I think is all part of the fun of second hand shopping.
If you want to shop designer vintage with a specialist reseller I highly recommend Curate & Rotate, an independent resale brand curating independent and contemporary brands.
Esme: Everyone knows what Farfetch is but sometimes their prices iares way over what I’m willing to spend. So instead I’ve taken to looking at their pre-owned section – some of the best pieces on the website can be found there, and at lower prices too.
On my wish list is this 1995 renewed vintage Hermes Kelly handbag. This classic bag is such a unique colour but will be perfect for every occasion, and outfit.. If I was to save for anything it would be this bag. Why pay full price for a Hermes, when you can get one pre-owned which looks brand new, from a reputable seller.
Bianca: Retold sells one of a kind, renewed pieces that are well worth the wait. If you are looking for heightened sophistication and the best possible product quality, wait for their drops and be the first in the door by subscribing to their newsletter.
This beautiful 1970s Baccarat Coat in camel caught my eye. The intricate detailing makes it a one of a kind purchase and is perfect for all year round wear. This is an instant wardrobe staple.
Esme: If you’re looking for true vintage which looks like true vintage, Sororité is the place for you. Similar to Retold, Sororité sells one of a kind designer pieces that aren’t like anything you have ever seen before. This Parisian brand specialises in lingerie, shoes and accessories that are so perfectly vintage you will want to buy everything. They supplied some of the garments for Pat Cleveland on the cover of Vanity Fair, and Madonna and Billie Eilish for a cover shoot with Vogue.
If you are wanting to shop something a little bit more risqué, maybe this red Stella McCartney slip, as seen on Blake Lively in Gossip Girl but in black. I think it is so vibrant yet so delicate. Definitely something special to invest in.
Besma: Vinted is the first place I go when I want to shop second-hand, but if you search hard enough you can find some beautiful vintage items on the app too. Last year I scored a pair of vintage cowboy boots from a dance studio on the app… It’s all about what you search for.
Our Favourite Places To Shop Vintage In-Store
Our Editor-in-Chief Bianca swears by in-store vintage shopping: “When buying vintage in stores I think it helps to have an idea of what it is you are looking for. As when shopping for anything, know what you want so that you can minimise the risk of buying something on impulse. Another key thing to remember is that sizing has changed over the years so always try things on!”
If you are looking for some pre-loved luxury vintage pieces, that you can try on in-store, check out these shops.
Annie’s Ibiza (Carnaby)
Beyond Retro (UK)
Laura Von Behr (Islington)
Loop Generation (Kensington)
Paper Dress (Hackney)
Sign Of The Times (Chelsea)
Wolf & Gypsy (Brighton)
Got a vintage store or site we should check out next? Let us know on IG.
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