Written by Lara Faye
As Secondhand September rears its head again, we round up the best vintage sites which are perfect for finding diamonds in the pre-loved rough.
As fast fashion brands race to the bottom to provide throwaway pieces at low prices and an unacceptably high environmental cost, style lovers are choosing to say “no” to new, and embrace pre-loved fashion instead.
Giving a new lease of life to clothes that would otherwise be destined for landfill, this zero-waste approach is one of the most sustainable ways to shop. Not only are you limiting the environmental impact of shopping pieces, but you are curating a wardrobe of one-off sartorial stars.
The prospect of spending hours browsing vintage boutiques and hunting for hidden jewels may sound like shopping heaven, but it doesn’t always translate into reality. Between our busy schedules and social lives, the idea of dedicating so much time to the pursuit of sustainable fashion sounds impractical if you don’t live close to a thriving vintage scene.
And as if there wasn’t a better time to switch to vintage, it’s now #SecondHandSeptember time, Oxfam’s annual challenge where consumers are encouraged to wear or shop secondhand clothing.
But thanks to an array of vintage boutiques, which are now offering the very best of second-hand fashion online, shopping pre-owned has never been easier. From sustainable luxury to affordable retro designs, these are the best destinations offering curated vintage fashion.
Open For Vintage
Sourcing pieces from luxury vintage boutiques around the world, Open For Vintage is your one-stop digital shop for the most exquisite second-hand pieces. If you dream of Tom Ford-era Gucci and Mary Katrantzou’s eclectic prints, then consider this site all of your fashion fantasies brought to life.
As part of its Project Earth initiative, retailer Selfridges has cemented its commitment to circular fashion with its Resellfridges edit, a permanent online and in-store platform to provide new ways to shop (and sell) pre-loved, vintage, collectable and archive products. In the market for a Carrie Bradshaw-approved Dior saddle bag? You know there’s one on Resellfridges virtual shelves, plus a whole lot of Burberry and Prada goodness.
The joy of shopping secondhand is that you never know what you’re going to find. The Oxfam website delivers all the excitement of visiting one of their shops, without leaving your desk. A quick lunch-hour visit to their site today revealed black Burberry blazers, printed Alexander McQueen tops and Jimmy Choo heels for less than £50 each. What gems will you uncover?
Reign Vintage has been providing stylish shoppers with an affordable alternative to newly manufactured high street fashion for over 17 years. Every piece is selected based on its design and originality, meaning less time spent sifting through the rails and more time to style your new pieces. Can’t get to its Soho and Oxford Street stores? Their offering of womenswear, menswear and accessories is now available to shop online.
The Camden market institution is one of the best-loved names on the vintage scene – in fact its Brick Lane store is where this fashion writer bought her prom dress and (countless) handbags. With hundreds of new products added to their site every week, you’ll find everything from classic vintage jeans to retro knitwear, all in impeccable condition. You can even pick up ski essentials and pre-worn designer pieces at accessible prices.
Proving that sustainability and luxury aren’t mutually exclusive, Vestiaire Collective is one of the most environmentally conscious ways to build a luxury wardrobe. A global consignment store at your fingertips, fashion lovers can buy and sell their designer pieces – quality-vetted by an in-house team to ensure their authenticity. Whether you’re looking for an iconic It bag or a sell-out Gucci belt, this website is a truly luxe treasure trove.
Fashion’s love for the 90s remains undimmed, so why buy imitations when you can shop the originals? Enter True Vintage, who are making sustainable streetwear accessible thanks to one of the biggest ranges of 80s and 90s sportswear favourites that you’ll find online. Think colourful Coogi-style knitwear, Tommy Hilfiger jumpers and Calvin Klein denim jackets that feel even cooler now that they did the first time around.
If you spent your teenage weekends trawling east London’s vintage stores then you’ll already have fond memories of sifting through Beyond Retro’s Shoreditch warehouse. If you haven’t shopped there since The Libertines dropped out of the charts then now is the time to fall back in love with this vintage juggernaut. Shopping their website feels every bit as exciting as diving into their IRL stores, and their prices start from just £7.
The Stellar Boutique
Offering an eclectic selection of dresses, jewellery, shoes and accessories, The Stellar Boutique is a love letter to the style maverick who loves to stand out from the crowd, with quirky pieces from the 50s, 60s and 70s that you won’t find anywhere else on the high street. Their online store even includes a curated selection of vintage homewares, guaranteed to make a unique style statement in your home.
Images courtesy of brands.
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