Whether your wardrobe is stuffed with one-off pieces that represent every decade since your grandparents were born, or if you've only ever worn clothes from your favourite high street brand, vintage shopping possibly conjures images of trawling through rail after rail in order to find one suitable piece to buy.
Some may delight in this – the thrill of the chase is, for many, entirely worth the sometimes arduous search – while for others, this is not the case. Whatever your stance, you may be interested to know that vintage shopping has never been easier thanks to online platforms like Instagram. This has been especially good news in light of the fact that a mindful approach to fashion has never been more important. Adding anything to your wardrobe, whether brand-new or pre-loved, will increase its footprint, but something that's already had a life is the more sustainable option - if, and only if, you treat it as something to be treasured, not as a passing trend.
And if that's not enough of an endorsement, look to Zendaya. In the latest season of Euphoria, her character, Rue Bennett, wears vintage Jean Paul Gaultier - and to the premiere, she pulled a similar move, arriving in a black-and-white gown that was vintage Valentino (circa SS92). Zendaya has made a name of herself over the past few years as a lover of vintage (ditto her stylist Law Roach). At last year's BET Awards, she pulled another vintage blinder, wearing Versace SS03. As well as being a gem from the (undoubtedly treasure-filled) archive of Roach, the purple number paid homage to Beyoncé, who wore an almost identical dress for her iconic performance at the same awards in 2003.
Of course, there's always been an appetite for wearing vintage on the red carpet. Jennifer Aniston is a huge fan and so is Olivia Rodrigo. In July 2021, she arrived at the White House, primed to talk about the importance of getting vaccinated and film a promotional video with President Biden, wearing vintage Chanel.
But if we're talking about being on a retro roll, Rihanna has got to be ultimate ambassador for old being the new 'new'. One of last year's greatest hits was a vintage coat from Dior by John Galliano, teamed with tie-dye trousers and a white crop top.
There was also a spring-ready pastel tweed coat from Chanel AW96, which she wore with a blue beaded choker from John Galliano's Dior era. The latter is from Nina Gabbana Vintage, run by Marie Laboucarié, who operates her online vintage business from her home in Paris. 'Wow this is by far the best thing that happened to me this year,' wrote Laboucarié on Instagram. 'Rihanna guys, RIHANNA!! 🙏🏻💙 She purchased this absolutely gorgeous Dior by Galliano blue pearls choker from me a little while ago, and how fabulous does she look wearing it?'
While many larger vintage shops have been selling online for some time now (and a lot of vintage fashion has long been sold via platforms like eBay and Etsy), Instagram has afforded smaller, independent sellers the opportunity to make a living with limited overhead costs. Many of these sellers are individuals – some of whom may already have a large following – who are sourcing, modelling and selling vintage pieces. As well as Instagram accounts that act as shop windows as such, linking back to an online store, the likes of Florrie Thomas and Daisy Murray – both fashion journalists with thousands of followers on Instagram – are selling their vintage finds directly through Instagram, encouraging people to browse and buy via Stories.
If you're on the hunt for pre-loved designer pieces that won't completely break the bank, meanwhile, it's worth keeping tabs on ASOS Marketplace, which is home to many boutiques selling verified luxury items. Even better is The Rare Edit, a limited curated collection of rare designer vintage pieces. From Fendi T-shirts and Dior bags to Celine jewellery and Chanel sunglasses, prices are far more accessible than you might think and everything is hand-picked to ensure the edit is the most exciting it could possibly be.
While ASOS doesn't usually announce the launch of each Rare Edit before it goes live, it's worth following @asosmarketplace to find out when the next one is coming.
SHOP: Where To Find The Best Vintage Pieces Online
SHOP: The Best Vintage Sellers And Shops Online
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...
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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 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.