It's no secret that I'm a self-confessed vintage-fashion fiend. Give me a sunny Saturday afternoon, a takeaway coffee and a high street dotted with charity shops, and I'll happily wile away the hours rummaging through densely packed rails. It's all about the thrill of the chase and the unique buzz that comes from spotting something special that has its own unique history.
If I'm honest, when I first started out second-hand hunting as a teenager, my main motivations were budget, and it's only been in the last decade that I've also come to appreciate the creative and environmental benefits. From dusty charity shops in remote Welsh villages and city-centre kilo stores to online treasure troves, I've been everywhere in search of my next second-hand find.
With this in mind, I thought I'd show you the nine pieces that I consider to be the highlights of my pre-loved-fashion journey. These are items of clothing that have slipped seamlessly into my day-to-day wardrobe and offered newer purchases a more distinctive twist. From cowboy boots to sailor-collar dresses, scroll down to see my vintage faves.
1. Leather Trench Coat
Style Notes: Back in September 2020, I joined forces with Retold Vintage to create my first installment of The Second-Hand Shopper, and one of my favourite pieces was this bottle-green leather coat. It fits like a glove, has the perfect tailored silhouette and always gets compliments when I wear it.
2. Checked Midi Skirt
Style Notes: I bought this fringed check skirt early last year but didn't wear it for ages due to lockdown, but now that events are starting back up, it's become the perfect fun-yet-polished style to wear with chunky knits and logo tees.
3. '70s Tailored Suit
Style Notes: This has got to be one of my personal vintage highlights. I found this two-piece on Depop and was instantly won over by its '70s silhouette and beautiful blue hue. The trousers were a little snug, but I got them let out a little on the hips. Top tip: Never underestimate your local dry cleaners!
4. Crinkled High-Neck Top
Style Notes: I think this was the first second-hand find that convinced me that, maybe, I could enjoy the return of '90s fashion. The crinkled fabric and high neck make it a perfect "nice top" to wear with jeans and a blazer.
5. Striped Sailor Dress
Style Notes: I feel a little like a mum in an '80s romcom in this dress, which is by no means a bad thing. The sailor collar, drop waist and pinstripes are all satisfyingly retro and look fab with both heeled boots and chunky sandals.
6. Printed Cropped Jacket
Style Notes: This was one of the first pieces I bought from Oxfam online, which is always a little bit of a risk in terms of sizing, but I find that jackets are easier to predict than skirts and trousers. The graphic print could easily lean into dodgy-wedding-guest territory, so I pair it with casual denim and boots.
7. Cowboy Boots
Style Notes: This was my very first Depop purchase, and it was a good'un. The boots are amazing-quality leather and cost way less than your average pair on the high street. I'll be wearing them all winter long with high-waisted jeans and blazers.
8. Embroidered Blouse
Style Notes: Despite not being much of a Boho-fashion lover, I couldn't not fall in love with this intricately embroidered blouse. I mean, just look at the stitching on those cuffs. It looks very cute tucked into a miniskirt or high-waisted jeans.
9. '70s Leather Shirt
Style Notes: This is a Pop Boutique find, which really delivered on sizing. (So many vintage pieces are either tiny or huge.) I wear this either on its own tucked into jeans or layered over a thin blouse. The collar is, obviously, my favourite part.