Thrifting, vintage shopping, deadstock hunting: shopping for recycled clothes is not only a great way to incorporate unique, well-made pieces into your wardrobe, it’s also an easy way to reduce your carbon footprint.
One of the best parts about thrifting is the browsing itself. It’s as tactile of an experience as it is visual: wading through rows of multi-colored fabrics, feeling well-worn tulles and tweeds, trying on that perfect piece hiding in the clothes rack depths. As COVID-19 threatens to re-shutter small and large clothing stores alike, how can a secondhand shopper get their vintage-hunting kicks, hands-free?
Instagram vintage. Now, Instagram is not the only online platform for selling secondhand. Etsy, Depop, Vinted, and eBay offer hundreds of thousands of pieces for sale, ranging in price, size, and era. Instagram’s advantage? Chances are, you’re already going to be scrolling through your feed. By following small vintage shops through their Instagram pages, the vintage goodies come to you. You’re supporting small business owners without juggling a million tabs and apps on your phone at once.
As an avid vintage-lover myself, I’ve collected seven of my top vintage for-sale IG accounts. Whether you’re looking for denim, bold ‘80s pieces, or romantic mid-century gowns, those rows and rows of fabric can be right at your fingertips from the safety of your own home.
For authentic, prairie-chic brands from the ‘70s and ‘80s.
Nicknamed “The Gunne Godmother,” Strange Vintage Custom’s collection features authentic Gunne Sax, Candi Jones, and other similarly styled and discontinued clothing lines from the ‘70s and ‘80s. These brands focused on prairie, medieval, and bohemian-chic dresses, shirts, and skirts. SVC’s collection contains dreamy florals, classic calicos, and all-American gingham. Many of the pieces SVC offers are one-of-a-kind, limited edition collector’s items. These dresses go fast, so turn on your post notifications for a better chance of snagging one of these stunning pieces.
For bright and bold statement pieces.
Retro Ruby Vintage’s collection ranges from 1940s peplums to late 90s maxis, but what makes her shop really stand out are her bright and bold statement pieces. No matter the era, Retro Ruby has an eye for the colorful and jaw-dropping. Her collection features killer jumpsuits, disco dresses, and mod minis. If we’re being honest, it’s the vintage shop of Fran Fine’s dreams (and of ours, too).
For all-black-everything, from basics to LBDs.
Bright colors aren’t your thing? That’s okay, too - Thrift Shark has you covered. This shop has its fair share of bright and bold stunners, but from casual to formal and spanning decades of fashion trends, the all-black ensembles Thrift Shark offers are unmatched. Afraid of what it might look like off the hanger? Thrift Shark models all of her pieces on her page - giving you a real-life preview of each item for sale. This shop is particularly great for the petite vintage shopper, as many of Thrift Shark’s pieces run on the smaller side.
For reworked neutrals and animal patterns.
Beige, ecru, tan - all colors that have gained a bad rep for being blah, eh, and tired. That is, until Washington Ave Vintage gets a hold of them. Based out of Louisiana, this small business has made reworking vintage ‘90s flora and fauna patterns into an art. You get a double dose of originality with this shop - not only are the pieces hand-selected, but they are also altered, revamped, and modernized by the shop owners. As their website claims, mix a little Badu and Beyoncé, and you get the incomparable Southern Funk style of Washington Ave.
For psychedelic beauties of all sizes.
The at-times ultra-tiny measurements of older pieces can make vintage shopping seem inaccessible to those who wear anything larger than a modern medium. Luckily, more and more vintage shop owners are getting hip to size inclusivity, and this shop is no exception. Based out of Pennsylvania, Junie Moon Vintage has curated a collection of psychedelic-printed beauties from petite to plus size. This one-woman operation features flattering silhouettes, dazzling prints, and friendly customer service - including exclusive sneak peeks and regular Instagram story sales.
For the vintage men’s fashion lover.
So far, all of the shops mentioned cater primarily to traditionally feminine silhouettes and styles. But fear not! Vintage Hippie Couture’s online shop offers an exceptional collection of men’s suits, shoes, and separates. Browse their feed for expertly tailored fashion spanning a century of styles. Channel the timeless cool of Don Draper or the groovy grit of David Bowie or Jimmy Page. Not to mention, this shop also offers hundreds of pieces of women’s clothing and mid-century furniture and household items.
For all of your vintage denim needs.
Ah, vintage denim. Flattering. Sturdy. Timeless. There’s just something about a pair of 100% cotton Levis that makes every body shape look good. For those who have transitioned to a high-waist-only closet (ahem, myself included) - authentic vintage denim is sometimes the only option when looking for a specific rise and/or wash. Kuration Collective has developed a massive denim collection of classic blues, funky capris, and name-brand classics. Get your basics and your statements all in the same one-stop IG shop.
While nothing can quite compare to the thrill of finding vintage treasures in person, Instagram thrifting offers an environmentally friendly and socially distant alternative. For some extra tips and tricks to keep in mind while you scroll, check out this guide to online thrifting. Happy hunting!