I have been a vintage convert for many years now.
As I live in Central London it’s easy to access the best shops, however, I know that lots of you don’t have the same proliferation of shops on or near your doorstep and I know that most of my own friends just can’t be bothered rifling through rails of clothes. Comments such as ‘I hate the smell’, ‘all looks a bit too fancy dress’ often prevail.
Yet, by not giving vintage a proper chance, you are missing out on the most glorious pieces that will add interest to your wardrobe and it will allow you to find showstopper pieces for the same price as you will find on the high street.
I used to spend ages on Zara online but now I would rather spend my time hunting down vintage.
So, where to look?
Start with Etsy, it is an amalgamation of loads of vintage sellers from around the world and it’s so easy to search hundreds of stores and thousands of items in one place. My other favourite places are ASOS Marketplace (more grungy) or Oxfam Online. There are loads of other places to look but as a first step these three have the widest range and the best prices. Obviously Ebay is also brilliant but you have to have the patience!
You have to be very SPECIFIC when you search, otherwise you will just get overwhelmed.
Vintage is a brilliant way to shop the hot trends, so for Summer 2018 everyone is still lusting after…
…baskets and mini bags.
…longer length blazers
Also, classic pieces like Levi’s/cashmere cardigans/denim shirts and silk shirts.
Don’t be put off front purchasing from foreign sellers, just be aware of customs and tax charges and always negotiate on shipping as most sellers just have a fixed fee, however, if you message them they will usually come back with a more specific fee. There are also loads of UK sellers too so you can simply select domestic sellers if you cannot be bothered with extra charges from foreign sellers.
I was always wary of vintage as sometimes it can look (particularly if one is 40, like I am) a bit like you have been wearing it 1st hand and stuck in a time warp! This only happens if you dress head to toe in vintage, I only ever wear one piece at a time.
I have developed a formula for myself. I try to keep investment pieces to 60% (mostly preloved, in my case due to sensible budgeting) then 20% high street (would prefer it to be less) and then 10% vintage and 10% emerging/new brands. It means that I mix it up and it stops me obsessing too much on ASOS/H&M and I have more or less eliminated Zara as i feel that it’s just not worth the money (despite what Trinny says!).
I have loads of pieces below to get you started. As someone once said to me, buying high street is like eating sweets, you have an instant high but you never feel full or satisfied! I tend to buy it in the sales now when it is around the £20 mark and then you don’t tend to run into everyone in the same piece.
My top choices for easy searching are:
Etsy (follow me and you can see what I am liking and the sellers I use)
Check below for examples of what you can find! Most of the items are also linked in Shop Instagram if not below