The best online vintage clothing stores to shop now

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  • Find yourself some vintage gems thanks to these online clothing stores.

    There’s no better time than now to familiarise yourself with the best online vintage clothing stores. If you want to overhaul your wardrobe for the long run, mixing vintage with high street clothing is the key to being trendy as well as sustainable.

    But vintage shopping isn’t easy, you can easily spend hours in a store and walk out with nothing – which is why online shopping is the answer (especially because you don’t have to leave the house).

    So I’ve rounded up the best online vintage clothing stores for you, whether you’re after designer handbags to invest in, like a vintage Chanel 2.55 bag, or the perfect pair of jeans and retro t-shirt.

    Is shopping at vintage clothing stores more sustainable?

    By its very nature, vintage clothing is sustainable, as you’re going against the throw-away side of fast fashion by practicing circularity and giving old clothes a new lease of life.

    It also depends on which era the garment is from. Items from say the 50s or 60s wouldn’t have been as mass produced as items from the 90s or 00s, whilst non sustainable fabrics such as polyester and nylon became popular in mainstream fashion in the 50s and 20s respectively.

    While those non-biodegradable fabrics can take decades if not centuries to fully break down, by rewearing them, you know you’re not sending them to landfill.

    I spoke to Claire John, founder of Denim Library, the denim resale platform giving upcycled and preloved jeans a new chapter, who said that she loves to shop pre-loved clothes as it helps to reduce the environmental impact of manufacturing.

    “On average, it takes 10,000 litres of water to make a single pair of jeans, which is the same as a single person’s drinking water requirement for 38 years. We have to be change agents and be proud of wearing pre-loved/vintage clothing.”

    “At Denim Library, it’s fabulous to see many of our younger customers purchasing their first pair of Levi’s, because we make them more affordable. So many of our customers want to shop sustainably, but are often put off as it can be more expensive. Pre-loved is a fab alternative.”

    How to find good vintage clothing pieces online

    As mentioned above, vintage shopping isn’t always easy. Claire recommends choosing vintage stores that offer great returns policies, as one of the challenges of buying vintage is consistency of size.

    “Jeans in particular often come up smaller”, says Claire. “I always advise our customers to not get fixed on ‘I’m always a 10’. Don’t worry about what the size the label says, it’s all about how it fits and how it makes you feel. Having the opportunity to try on is so important in vintage, and a flexible return and exchange policy is key to customers confidence.”

    Best online vintage clothing stores

    Cult Danish brand GANNI has just launched a peer-to-peer resale platform, giving you access to pre-loved GANNI styles that you can buy and sell. This follows the launch of GANNI REPEAT in 2019, focusing on resale and repairs, in an effort to create more circular solutions.

    The reselling platform Reflaunt is GANNI’s operating partner on the project, using their technology to facilitate the new peer-to-peer platform that works like a marketplace where customers can buy and sell their pre-loved GANNI products. Reflaunt’s technology helps sellers quickly set their price, and once sold, sellers can choose between a bank transfer or a purchase credit with an additional 20% value to spend on once their item is sold.

    You’ve probably already bought or sold your items on Depop, as it’s one of the biggest resale platforms on the market. I love it for tracking down those sell-out items you missed out on, and it’s also great for designer finds. The biggest, most popular categories on Depop are vintage, streetwear, one-of-a-kind and Y2K (late 1990s/early 2000s) fashion.

    Y2K is one of the most prevailingly popular search terms on Depop. From April 2020 – July 2020, the amount of searches for ‘Y2K’ and ‘Noughties’ increased by over +640%. Wedding guest dresses and preppy clothes also saw an increase last summer thanks to the end of lockdown and the Gossip Girl reboot respectively.

    Hewi, which stands for hardly ever worn it, is a great little gem for finding pristine designer items. It stocks hundreds of designer labels, including Prada, Chanel, Loewe, The Row, Gucci and more. Think handbags, clothing and jewellery. You can also sell your own items on the platform.

    Introducing a new vintage store which curates pre-loved garments to celebrate where they’ve been. Expect a collection of handpicked vintage, retro, designer and high-street pieces for modern wardrobes, each of which tells someone’s story.

    Founder Sarah says: “In the blur of maternity leave with my first, and the sudden lockdown of society as we knew it, I realized that the hole left was more than the thrill of physically finding each piece, it was hearing about the different lives behind them. Whether they were selling it with an elaborate story, or recalling a time from the past where it’d been worn, or just staring at me utterly confused by my interest in their lives, I felt like no one had ever asked. When the majority of my conversations have been with a toddler for what seems like a lifetime, I have hung onto their human stories. In a time that we don’t fully understand, their very real stories resonated with me more than they would ever know. Each collection is sold with a story; some elaborate tales of the past and others seemingly insignificant. Yet, all very human. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.”

    The pre-loved mecca sources and sells rare luxury items from Dior, Hermes (it’s the no.1 re-seller for the house in the UK) and Chanel, as well as coveted cult brands such as Pangaia and Zimmerman. Sellier brings exclusive items that would otherwise be off-limits to a wider audience, making of-the-moment brands more accessible.

    As part of the Selfridges sustainability initiative, Project Earth, the retailer has launched Resellfridges, a permanent online and in-store platform to provide new ways to shop (and sell) pre-loved, vintage, collectable and archive products, in collaboration with 20+ brand partners including Levi’s, Barbour, Dukes Cupboard and more.

    The Paris-based re-commerce site focuses on the best online vintage clothing pieces from past collections, including Celine, Chloe and more. The Fall Editorial line-up has lots of exciting features including the launch of multiple payments options, Digital Bag Authentication and Repair Services, alongside collector Balenciaga Nicolas Ghesquière and Vintage Saint Laurent Sales and Editor Picks from the likes of industry greats Melanie Ward and Jenke Ahmed Tailly.

    Etsy might not be the obvious choice for vintage clothing, but it’s a treasure trove of retro dresses, blouses and accessories, as well as newer vintage-inspired pieces.

    Mother Vintage is a curated collection of vintage and preloved womenswear, established in 2020 by Kim (the name is a nod to her mother, whose 70s and 80s wardrobe shaped her style), who has worked in the fashion industry for almost a decade, at the likes of Stella McCartney and Emilia Wickstead. Expect to shop statement sleeves, bold florals and rare designer pieces.

    If you’re more into modern preloved pieces rather than hardcore vintage styles, then COS Resell is for you. The high street brand has created a new digital space to provide customers with a platform to buy and sell their pre-loved COS clothing, offering their community the opportunity to re-invent their wardrobe in a considered and sustainable way, and to prolong the lifespan of their preloved COS clothes.

    Resell reinforces COS’ ambition and journey to becoming fully circular and renewable, and their commitment to quality and longevity by re-imaging the lifecycle of each pre-loved piece. The community-curated online selection provides peers with the opportunity to sell old favourites and shop new pieces from the brand’s archive, spanning the last 13 years.

    Established in 2018, Retold curates online vintage clothing for today’s fashion conscious women who love a modern aesthetic but want to shop sustainably without compromising their style and time. Everything is handpicked by owner Clare Lewis, and there is also a bridal section of alternative collection of vintage separates for all your wedding needs.

    Who said vintage can’t be minimalist? For those of you who hate the idea of 80s Laura Ashley dresses, Atijo store is for you. Sold exclusively on Instagram, paired back designs include oversized Balmain blazers and Yves Saint Laurent pumps, though there are lots of lovely unbranded items too. You can also shop homeware and menswear.

    Founder Holly scouts car boot sale to curate the very best of vintage, from more modern contemporary brands such as GANNI to designer items like Dolce & Gabbana.

    You are very safe in Stella’s hands. Having worked at Levi’s, Marks & Spencer, Topshop and own a stall at Portobello Market (Kate Moss and Stella McCartney were regulars, FYI), she set up The Stellar Boutique. It’s bursting with one-off gems from designers and artists from all over the world. Warning: you will lose hours of your life pouring over Stella’s cleverly curated collections.

    You’ve probably already heard of Beyond Retro. And for good reason. What started off in an old, disused dairy factory in East London, has grown so much that now they have shops in Brick Lane, Dalston, Soho, Brighton and even Sweden. In store, they pride themselves on providing an ‘enchanting and unexpected shopping experience’, and the online offerings are just as dreamy.

    With clothes for men, women and children from the 20s to 80s, Rokit is a veritable treasure trove of vintage and retro gems. The site is so easy to use with a search-by-era tool that we just love.

    A vintage-hunter’s idea of heaven, this shop curates online vintage clothing, fine art, furniture and jewellery from across Europe and America. It’s worth noting that it is mainly aimed at those with bigger budget.

    Farfetch brings together boutiques from all over the world, including the best vintage stores. Head straight for the ‘Vintage’ section and a few carefully selected filters will lead you to your dream Prada bag, YSL sunnies or Balenciaga dress.

    Granted, not everything is vintage on Vestiaire, as you can buy anything from last season’s designer items to 60s Chanel, but it’s still one of my favourite destinations for online vintage shopping. Every designer item is quality controlled too, so you know it’s authentic and in a good state.

    Founded in 2015, Open for Vintage lets you discover and shop the finest collection of luxury vintage from the world’s most prestigious boutiques. Supporting independent vintage stores and encouraging a more circular initiative within the luxury fashion industry.

    Shop and save lives on Oxfam’s online store. With a curated designer boutique filled with accessories and ready to wear pieces from brands like Burberry, Max Mara and Gucci. Photographed, styled and listed by volunteers across the country, the most fabulous and coveted donations are always listed online so it’s worth checking the site for designer wish list pieces you may have missed over the season.

    Denim Library is a denim resale platform giving upcycled and preloved jeans a new chapter. Founded by Claire John in 2021, following a 30-year career working for one of the world’s most recognised denim brands, John set out to create a designated denim space within the resale landscape, to offer hand-picked edits of lovingly worn-in and upcycled jeans to conscious consumers. Brands such as Levi’s, Acne and Wrangler are all available.

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