While vintage shopping is one of my favourite pastimes (I miss my student days spent thrifting for goodies on the regular), I often find it difficult to come up with the spare time to rummage through countless thrift store racks. So, how's a girl to get her retro clothing fix? Online, of course.
Shopping for both designer and affordable second-hand clothing and accessories online has become easier than ever before—thanks to the rise of DM-ready Instagram accounts that make it possible to buy directly from your feed. If that's not enough, digital hubs such as ASOS Marketplace and Etsy are also becoming increasingly well stocked with vintage gems.
Whether you're into picking up minimalist Helmut Lang pieces from the '90s, rockabilly dresses from the '50s, rare vintage bridal wear, quirky '00s pieces or the '70s styles that made their way onto the latest runways, we've tracked down 22 of the coolest places to buy vintage clothing from. Get ready to be inspired by the new styling ideas you'll receive from those sharing and selling their pre-loved pieces from all over the world.
Keep scrolling to see our favorite online vintage shops.
Na Nin Vintage is a favourite among the Who What Wear UK team. Although this store is based in the U.S., its '90s-tinged, super-minimal aesthetic feels particularly right for hipster girls across the UK. Simply DM the team on Instagram when you want to make a purchase. If you're the first to message and pay, you'll receive the item.
You probably know Rixo as the contemporary brand that has made an absolute success story out of vintage-inspired printed dresses. The girls behind the brand were asked so often about the retro accessories they style its lookbook images with that they decided to start selling a selection of them online.
ASOS Marketplace currently houses 404 separate vintage boutiques, where you'll find wallet-friendly retro pieces that are also the latest must-have styles. If you're searching for the perfect pair of authentic Levi's jeans, tinted sunglasses, '80s party dresses or old-school sportswear, this is your one-stop shop.
Kendall Jenner and Selena Gomez are just two of the many A-listers who head to this shop to buy their vintage eyewear. From nerdy, geek-chic specs to incredible 1950s Lucite sunnies, the Vintage Frames shop has a whole lot of stock to offer. This American shop ships worldwide and also has a new collection inspired by archived silhouettes that are made with interchangeable coloured lenses.
Established by fashion editor JJ Martin, Milan-based La DoubleJ stocks great retro pieces (most of which are bright and printed) as well as her own vintage-inspired line. La DoubleJ's website features a wealth of super-bright, fun pieces, styling and shopping tips and profiles of industry It girls.
Any London girl who considers herself to be a vintage expert has plenty of experience sifting through the racks of Beyond Retro's many stores. The buyers here often tap into trends before they've begun, so expect to see the virtual shelves stacked with items you didn't even know were cool yet. What's great about the online store is that you can return most items—a true rarity in the vintage world.
Farfetch features vintage pieces from various boutiques across the world, so if you are looking for a fast track to retro designer goods, this is a great place to start. Use the filters to find items that are within your specific size and budget, then peruse the selection and be prepared to find some serious gold. Currently, there's a special edit of Gianni Versace's archive, thanks to a collaboration with William Vintage (more on that store below).
William Banks-Blaney is a leading figure in the world of designer vintage, with his London store being a honeypot for A-listers buzzing around to snatch up rare, red carpet–ready gowns from. While his pieces are on the more expensive side (though worth the money), you can shop them online before you visit the store to purchase. Another perk? The visual merchandising of the items provide plenty of outfit inspiration.
House of Vintage is my favourite East London shopping destination. I always come away with something special that isn't overpriced but also isn't the complete tat you'll often find in thrift shops. My last purchase was a purple wrap top from Yves Saint Laurent, though the team is particularly good at picking out Victorian and turn-of-the-century items that feel current, as well as cool vintage T-shirts and menswear staples.
Many brides-to-be want to pick up either a vintage dress or accessory to make their day even more special. I discovered Luxe Bridal Vintage on Etsy when I was searching for my own veil, but some of the pieces (like the little beaded bags) are also perfect for wedding guests.
Here's another American vintage store specialising in simple, understated pieces that fit into any kind of closet. What I really like about this handpicked selection is that it proves you can wear pieces from different decades together without looking completely mismatched. Wear It Well Vintage offers international shipping for around £20 per order, so it might be worth placing an order with a friend to split the cost.
Anyone who lives in Manchester, Nottingham, Birmingham, Liverpool or Sheffield will know the chain of Cow stores very well. Cow's online edit is on the lower end of the price spectrum—perfect for picking up trendy styles like this season's coloured corduroy trousers.
Once upon a time, you could support Oxfam only by purchasing items in its brick-and-mortar stores. Luckily, the store has gone digital by bringing its inventory online. With thousands of new items added every week, I'd suggest following its dedicated Instagram shop to see the best of what's new.
Vestiaire Collective offers both high-end vintage designer pieces and unlabelled, rare finds at reasonable prices. I'd recommend checking out its range of vintage jewellery and handbags since these pieces often retain their value and are universally flattering. VC's authenticity team also routinely checks each item before it's sent out, so you'll never receive a counterfeit item or an order that's in less-than-great condition.
Founded by Stacey Nishimoto, this Instagram-first vintage store has been described as "magical" by some—and it's clear as to why. Her chosen pre-loved pieces appear to be taken straight out of a dollhouse (in the best way possible). If you're looking for a showstopping party dress, stop the search and get onto The Corner Store's website right now.
One of the best stores I've found that specialise in much older wares is Guermantes on Etsy. This shop has some really intricate, delicate pieces from the 1920s to the 1940s. Based in the U.S., this is one store with an impeccable rating and even an online catalogue that acts as a digital museum.
If you've ever shopped for vintage in Notting Hill, it's highly likely that you've walked into Retro Woman and immediately wanted to try everything on. This store acts as a kind of clothing exchange, selling pieces from the closets of chic fashion girls across the capital. This means that you'll find some real designer gems, both new and old—like this '90s Dior bag. Follow Retro Woman on Instagram to sell your own pieces and see the latest arrivals.
Persephone Vintage is another store to bookmark if you like gold earrings, neutral tailored separates, cosy knitwear and "ugly" shoes. See the entire collection on Etsy and be amazed by the number of shining reviews its received.