7 Wardrobe Classics That Look So Much Better Second-Hand

For anyone who isn't well acquainted with the world of vintage fashion, you would be forgiven for thinking that it's a market solely dedicated to OTT prints, extraverted silhouettes, and eccentric styling. In my experience, it's also a treasure trove of versatile, well-made wardrobe basics that act as the glue in my year-round capsule. I'm thinking tailored blazers, leather boots, and chunky knitwear that transcend seasonal trends and come with very reasonable price tags. Style, quality, and affordability? It's a win-win situation. 

Vintage wardrobe basics



So if you're looking for a few fresh fashion staples to kick off autumn 2021, why not give second-hand a try? It is Second-Hand September, after all. To get you started, I trawled some of my favourite vintage fashion sites (hello, Etsy and Rokit) to find some hard-working basics that will stand the test of time. Trust me. Once you go second-hand, you'll find it hard to go back. From jeans to silken blouses, scroll down to see and shop my vintage basics edit. 

1. Jeans

The best denim has to be worn in, and once you've found the perfect pair, you'll hold onto them for life. Cut out the middleman and opt for a pre-loved vintage pair. Straight-leg styles are ubiquitous on the vintage scene, but you can also find some fab '70s wide-leg styles if you look hard enough.

2. Leather Boots

The great thing about lots of second-hand clothing is that, while it may cost the same as the high street, the quality tends to be infinitely higher. Case in point: Leather boots are the sort of purchase that will last much longer when constructed well. Cowboy and riding boots are at the top of my wish list. 

3. Blazers

In a similar way to leather, by shopping for tailoring second-hand, you can get your hands on some seriously expensive brands for a fraction of the price. Whether you go for an oversized look with a menswear piece or embrace '80s shoulder pads, these babies can be styled with everything from dresses to denim. 

4. Chunky Jumpers

Do you ever find it hard to find substantial knitwear in the women's department of high-street stores? Same. Well in the vintage world, there's no shortage of chunky jumpers and cosy knits that will carry you through the winter in style. My favourite trend right now is the classic Aran sweater, and I may have just found the perfect style below. 

5. Chain Necklaces

I'm not a jewellery person, but my chunky vintage chain is one item that I wear on repeat. You can find chains at every price point (Susan Caplan has a great selection on Harvey Nichols), so you can choose a style to suit your budget. 

6. Smart Blouses

While many of us won't be going into the office as much as we used to, that hasn't stopped me wearing my fave smart blouses with jeans and slippers. Second-hand stores are my go-to for unusual prints, statement collars, and discount designer gems.

7. Shearling Coats

The shearling jacket is a timeless outwear piece that rarely goes out of style. Brand new, they can be pricey, so why not look at second-hand options? There are plenty to choose from—I particularly love teddy-bear textures and '70s collars.

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