What are your top 10 fashion items of all time?
My top 10 include a mix of dresses, sunglasses and bags, and almost all are vintage or second hand.
There’s the 70s floral see-through sleeveless dress with pleated skirt (pictured below). Then there’s my blue 60s style polyester mini dress that I pull out to create that ‘wow that dress is hot’ effect. There’s also the art deco bucket bag I picked up from the Camberwell Market for a bargain five bucks.
When you’ve gone to a party and someone else turns up wearing the same thing (to be completely un-modest, I looked better lol) it haunts you for the rest of your life. This scenario isn’t fabricated either. It happened to me when I was 15 and it drove my love of vintage even more. I blamed my mother for that situation. I wasn’t allowed to purchase what I wanted and after a gruelling day of shopping (where she pretty much vetoed anything too showy, too wild, too colourful, too whatever) she finally approved the purchase of a cream velvet dress from a retail store.
That same dress on that other girl still haunts me to this day.
Having been introduced to vintage early in life (refer to the post Vintage Lover) and becoming a fast fan after the party incident, vintage became my first preference when I shopped. Vintage items are works of absolute beauty, rarely found in the modern fashion stores of today. 20 years of immersing myself in the fashion history of vintage clothes, I am particularly drawn to the femininity of 50s fashion, 60s structured mod and 70s boho look.
Fast forward to today and almost 20 years (I started young) of scouring funny smelling shops, I am stoked that I no longer need to step foot in a store to find a vintage gem. There are a veritable number of online shops and websites that allow me to shop vintage and second-hand with glass (or bottle) of red wine in hand.
So here are the six websites I turn to for vintage and second-hand fashion online:
This is my ultimate go-to site for vintage fashion as Etsy has some of the most lust-worthy pieces I’ve ever discovered online. You’ll find 60s mod dresses, 50s prom dresses and if you’re lucky 20s beaded flapper dresses. Word of warning: vintage comes with a price tag on this site but remember it is true vintage (anything before 70s is classicly vintage) and not just a second-hand item being passed off as vintage.
I have a thing for well-made designer goods and I always seem to find second-hand designer goods at affordable (auction) prices on eBay. So this is my go-to online shop for pretty much everything, not just vintage. Whether it is a pair of Dolce & Gabbana sunglasses, Karen Walker pants or Chloe dress, if it’s on there and I need it, I’m bidding for it.
Dear Gladys Vintage
The ultimate in guilt-free shopping is my favourite vintage and social enterprise website all-in-one, Dear Gladys. The fashion is to-die-for, the photography is fabulous and I’ve personally met the red-haired model (although her name escapes me!) because she doubled as the retail assistant when Dear Gladys was a physical store located in Northcote (Victoria, Australia). If you dress with loads of colour and enjoy wearing vintage dresses, you must check out their site. Warning: your credit card will get a work out!
Gumtree is an option when I’ve exhausted the first three options. It’s a little harder going because the search functionality isn’t as good as the other websites and much of the time you can’t really ‘bid’ for items and rather take the price as it’s offered to you, but you can still find bargains on there. Right now I’m cruising size 5 hiking boots and still have yet to find a pair that are the right style and size (I purchased a pair of size 5 on eBay months ago only to find that they were in fact a women’s size 7 – they were a mens boot advertised in the womens section of eBay! Frustrating!)
While you can’t make purchases directly from the Instagram app (yet) you can browse images of vintage items for sale and communicate directly with the seller if you wish to purchase the item. Simple use the hash tags #vintageforsale or #vintagesale and you’ll find many items up for sale. Some sellers are overseas so it pays to ask questions before purchasing. Other sellers are so laid back that all you need to do is comment ‘SOLD” and the item is yours for the price they’ve listed plus postage. I haven’t found anything on Instagram yet, but I do a lot of browsing. I even have thoughtful sellers who tag me on size 6 or XS items as they know I’m keen on vintage fashion.
What I love about TuShare is that all items are free (the only cost is postage). What I don’t like about the site is that you need to be a registered user to browse (and I forget my logins each time). While people are giving away some fabulous fashion items, I’ve also seen bikes, pianos, books, baby furniture being given away. If you have patience to browse through the site (did I mention everything is free?) you’ll definitely pick up some fashion bargains and indirectly help to reduce waste by ensuring things don’t go to landfill.
Now your turn: Where do you shop for vintage or used items online? Does your top 10 fashion items include a vintage item found online? Would love to hear your thoughts so please leave a comment below.