“Depending on your taste, budget, knowledge, and willingness to search, you can find vintage clothing and accessories in many places,” says Wilds. And that also applies to newer used parts.
Wilds says your basic thrift store, like those operated by Goodwill or the Salvation Army, may have a more recent vintage, such as in pieces that are only 20 to 30 years old. Because there is often a hodgepodge of inventory, thrift stores often offer the option of mixing pieces from different eras.
Organized consignment stores, on the other hand, may sell for a slightly higher price than a thrift store. These stores often carry used and vintage clothing, but have generally been somewhat checked for condition and style.
“If you like pre-1980 clothes, you’ll have to look more carefully,” says Wilds. For these items, she recommends prowling estate, yard, and yard sales. “Flea markets sometimes have vintage fashion vendors, and auctions may include fashion, or even feature vintage and antique fashion exclusively.”
Shopping vintage while traveling is a unique way to explore the place you are visiting. “Whenever I’m in a new place, I like to find nearby thrift stores or antique stores,” says Saraid Claxton, fashion blogger and founder of Sunset Saraid vintage fashion blog. “You never know what you’re going to find.”
It is also possible to get your savings fix online. “There are plenty of vintage fashion sellers online, some with their own websites, and many on sites like Thrilling, Fashion Constellate, Ruby Lane and others,” Wilds says.
Claxton tends to frequent peer-to-peer platforms like Depop, Etsy, eBay, Poshmark, and Facebook Marketplace.
“I really like online thrift stores if I’m looking for a specific piece or more special vintage pieces that I might not find at my local thrift store,” she says.
Here are some of Claxton’s top tips for shopping used online:
Use search tools and filters. The Gem Vintage app or website searches several different shopping platforms at once, which can save you time if you are looking for a specific item. When shopping online, search filters are your best friend. Many sites allow you to filter by brand, size, price, and even item condition. Many sites allow you to configure notifications for a specific search.
Check where the item is being shipped from. Usually, shipping is cheaper and faster if done within the country. Often you can select from your search filters to see items shipping from the United States.
Make sure the seller is active. “Usually the site will tell you if they’ve been active lately,” says Claxton. “I found a few stores where I bought something from sellers who weren’t active and never shipped the item. Luckily it was pretty easy to get a refund.