TOP 5 ONLINE STORES FOR VINTAGE & SECONDHAND FASHION
Nearly all my cherished fashion items are vintage or second hand.
With interests in fashion and anthropology, vintage items give me a glimpse into our history allowing me to sample and taste the different style, moods and spirits of that particular era. Vintage items themselves can be works of absolute beauty, not often found in the mass manufactured fast fashion items you find in retail stores today.
Having been introduced to vintage early in my life through my fathers obsession with purchasing second hand bargains at garage sales and ‘Trash & Treasure’ markets, I quickly became a fan of buying second hand items at various opshops, thrift stores and antique shops.
I no longer have the stamina to go vintage and opshopping, frantically looking through racks to find hidden garment gems. I’m a true size 6 (I’m Asian) with a size 5 shoe size (more a 4.5 shoe size) so I’ve wasted many hours trying to find things that fit. After nearly 20 years of doing this (I started very young), you can imagine I have neither the time nor the inclination to do this especially when there’s a veritable number of online store options available. People have done the hard work for me so I’m happy to pay a little bit more for an item. I figure the time saved not having to do the hard scavenging is worth paying a little extra.
Since I’ve evolved to being the ultimate click chick, here’s where I go to find vintage and secondhand items online:
eBay is my go to online shop for pretty much everything. Shoes, accessories, hats, bags, dresses you name it, I’m searching for it. To make it easier for myself, I filter the website so I focus on just auction items in Australia. I also use my watch list to keep a track of items I like and exercise self-control so I don’t bid (pay) more than I’m willing to.
The vintage clothes on Etsy are lustworthy. If you’ve never browsed the site, you are in for a treat. Diehard vintage lovers brace yourself. You’ll find 50s prom dress, 80s wiggle dresses and if you’re lucky 20s beaded flapper dresses. Prices are not for the faint-hearted but justifiable as you’re purchasing real couture.
Dear Gladys was where I frequently shopped when I lived in Melbourne. When I needed something to wear for a particular event (engagement party, the races) their store was THE destination for vintage. Unfortunately they no longer have a physical store, but they have an amazing online store. Perfect as I no longer live in Melbourne! It’s guilt free shopping too as Dear Gladys is a social enterprise owned by a not-for-profit, Fitted for Work an organisation that helps transform the lives of disadvantaged women.
I trawl Gumtree when I’ve exhausted the first three options. I often find bargains on here as most people don’t often think to head to this website for fashion. It’s a little harder going because the search functionality isn’t as good as eBay but if you’re desperate (like I often am given my petite frame and tiny shoe size) it’s worth browsing. While it’s not great for fashion, it is great for most other things. Currently I’m in need of a freestanding wardrobe so I’m on Gumtree regularly for this item.
While it’s annoying that you have to be a registered user to browse the TuShare site, the fact that all items are free (the only cost is postage) more than compensates for this. While people are giving away some fabulous fashion items, I’ve also seen bikes, pianos, books, baby furniture being given away. If you have patience to browse through the site (did I mention everything is free?) you’ll definitely pick up some fashion bargains and indirectly help to reduce waste by ensuring things don’t go to landfill.
Now over to you: Where do you shop for online vintage or second-hand items? Do you shop at any of these online stores? What’s the best vintage item you’ve been lucky enough to nab? We would love to hear your thoughts so please leave a comment below.
Author Bio: Jennifer Nini is cofounder of The Social Copywriter and Editor-in-Chief of Eco Warrior Princess, one of the worlds leading ethical fashion and green lifestyle blogs. When she’s not coaching business clients or perfecting a sentence, you will find her cultivating her organic green thumb and experimenting with vegetarian recipes.
Huge big thank you to Jennifer for sharing these tips, hopefully another avenue for some of you to explore for when you just can’t find what you’re looking for at the local op shops.
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