It’s Official – In 2020, Princess Beatrice Made Us All Want To Buy Second-Hand Clothes

Hats off to her.

Princess Beatrice

by Natalie Hammond |
Updated on

When Princess Beatrice borrowed her grandmother’s gown for her wedding dress in July, she probably had an inkling that people would think it was sweet/romantic/fitting. What she couldn’t have predicted is how much impact it would have on shoppers, keen to follow in her footsteps and commit to making more sustainable fashion choices.

According to global search platform Lyst, and its year in fashion report that analyses data crunched from the searches, views and sales metrics generated by more than 100 million shoppers, the interest in both vintage and second-hand fashion has been steadily booming ever since. Just a few months later in September, the term ‘vintage fashion’ generated an average of more than 35,000 monthly searches, while searches relating to ‘second-hand’ increased by 104%, helped along by the fact that Jennifer Aniston, a frequent vintage-wearer, wore John Gallino for Dior circa 1999 for this year's SAG Awards. Crucially, brides-to-be, having made a mental memo after seeing Princess Beatrice, were searching for ‘vintage’, ‘second-hand’ and ‘pre-owned’ wedding dresses; with searches collectively jumping by 38%.

Princess Beatrice
Princess Beatrice's wedding dress displayed at Windsor Castle ©Getty

As well as shopping more consciously, the report says that 2020 is the year that fashion became a vehicle for social justice and politics. In the US, the search volume around the word ‘vote’, and terms like it, increased by 29% in October. In August, Michelle Obama wore a necklace with letters spelling the word ‘VOTE’, causing searches for ‘vote necklace’ to increase by 63% from the previous week. Political power dressing in 2020, meanwhile, can be summed up by that white trouser suit. Kamala Harris’s choice for her victory speech meant that 24 hours later, searches for ‘white pantsuits’ saw a 129% spike.

In terms of what we’ve been wearing, the one word that sums up this year is loungewear. In April, just a few weeks into lockdown here in the UK, searches for ‘joggers’ grew 123% compared to the same time last year; searches for ‘leggings’ also jumped 48%. This enforced period of nesting also produced a desire for a slower lifestyle, more deeply rooted in the natural world, with the concept of cottagecore. ‘Nap dresses’, a billowy dress that is comfortable enough to curl up in, spiked by 22% in July.

Off-White’s face mask topped the world’s most wanted list, followed by Birkenstock’s Arizona sandals, Telfar’s Shopping Bag and Nike’s Joggers, while the top five breakout brands were Marine Serre, Telfar, 1017 ALYX 9SM, Fear Of God and Pyer Moss.

2020 has also been the year when the small screen loomed large in most people’s homes, influencing our fashion choices like never before. Normal People’s Paul Mescal scooped the number six spot on the power dressers list, while Emily In Paris, Tiger King and I May Destroy You all had an measurable impact on consumers.


SHOP: The Best Vintage Sellers And Shops Online

Nina Gabbana Vintage1 of 9

Nina Gabbana Vintage

The source of Rihanna's blue Dior by John Galliano beaded choker, Nina Gabbana Vintage is run by Marie Laboucarié from her apartment in Paris. She mainly sells '90s and '00s pieces from designers including Dolce and Gabbana, Dior, Gucci, Fendi and more. Well, if it's good enough for Rihanna...

May de Vere Vintage2 of 9

May de Vere Vintage

If you're looking for a showstopper of an outfit that nobody else will have even seen, May de Vere is your answer. There are glittering sequined pieces, puff sleeve party frocks and wonderfully over-the-top, frothy concoctions with oversized bow details. There are more understated options, too, but it's almost impossible to resist the frills and flourishes on offer. Every piece is a one-off and can be purchased via Instagram.

ASOS Marketplace3 of 9

ASOS Marketplace

While you might not think of ASOS as the most obvious choice when it comes to buying vintage, there are actually a number of brilliant sellers on the brand's Marketplace. It's one of the best places to look for pre-loved designer pieces, some of which are very affordable. While many of the boutiques are worth checking frequently, look out also for The Rare Edit, a a limited curated collection of rare designer vintage pieces. Follow @asosmarketplace on Instagram to keep tabs on when the next drop will happen.

Darling & Vintage4 of 9

Darling & Vintage

Cassie set up Darling & Vintage as a store on Etsy, where she still sells everything from embroidered 1950s jackets to sun dresses and '70s maxis. It's certainly worth following her on Instagram, however, where she announces new items for sale. Given the speed at which most of them tend to sell, it's best to keep a close eye on her posts!

Bonjour Vintage5 of 9

Bonjour Vintage

A relatively new venture from influencer Rachael Clifton, this is a great Instagram account to follow if you're in the market for stand-out pieces you could wear every day. Think excellent accessories and statement jackets, all of which can be bought via DM.

A Virtual Vintage Market6 of 9

A Virtual Vintage Market

Not only will you find live markets that you can follow via Instagram (a very welcome way to spend yet another day in lockdown), you'll also find information on independent sellers around the world, giving you plenty of options. One of the founders has also established Peony Vintage, which allows you to shop pieces directly from the website.

Retold Vintage7 of 9

Retold Vintage

Every piece is handpicked by owner Clare Lewis, who favours modern, directional pieces that are built to last. As well as clothes that work for every day, Retold also offers a personal shopping service for prospective brides.

Rokit Vintage8 of 9

Rokit Vintage

A vintage stalwart in London, Rokit is a treasure trove packed with everything from perfect party dresses to knitwear, shoes, belts and bags. If you can't find something you love here, then you're possibly just not looking hard enough. Best of all, there's something for every budget.

Imparfaite Paris9 of 9

Imparfaite Paris

Imparfaite offers a curated selection of pre-loved clothes and accessories from France's most beloved vintage shops. From Gucci bags to Levi's shorts, this is certainly the place to find pieces that will collect compliments and become some of your favourite clothes in your wardrobe.

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