Whether you want to wear head to toe vintage Gucci or just buy a few pieces to spruce up your everyday look, here are a few places and platforms that will aid you on your quest.

1.Charity shops – The holy grail of vintage clothing. The mecca of hand me downs and the metropolis of once worn goods. Many people are often disillusioned by charity shops as they are hard work. People usually roll their eyes when they are informed an item is from a charity shop as they think “there was nothing when I went in once”. That’s why charity shops are hard work, they take time and a lot more then a stroll in every 6 months. They take weekly check ins and constant perusal. They are like an on off relationship – ghosting you for a while, giving you nothing to work with other than a Dunnes Stores cable knit or a Wallis blazer. Then, finally, when you are about to give up, when you know there’s nothing more you can give and you’ve done it all you will go in and there sitting in front of you is a 1995 limited edition Louis Vuitton with original tags for one euro fifty. Those are the moments that charity shops are worth the trouble. A few tips in relation to charity shops – as mentioned earlier, visit regularly. Also investigate shops in rural areas- wealthy farming family’s pearls and cashmere are often hidden away in small nooks and crannies around Ireland so make sure to visit as many and as regularly as you can.
2. Depop – As the craze for social media only increases it’s easy to see how we can now shop second hand online. Depop is the self proclaimed “creative communities mobile marketplace”. It combines the easy buy and sell features of eBay with the simplicity and beauty of Instagram. Simply follow users whose clothes you like and spend hours swiping through different pieces, outfits and looks that they are selling. These accounts are even more interesting as many Instagrammers or “influencers” have profiles so you can search and buy their outfits and looks. As every good millennial knows it’s important to keep your friends close and your influencers closer. Depop has in many ways revolutionised the second hand shopping experience. It allows you to buy pieces from people for decent and often negotiable prices all across the world from the comfort of your own home.
3. Small Vintage Shops – now these are the real deal. My first piece of advice is to find your local vintage shop. Whether this is Siopaella or Tola Vintage in Dublin, The Edge in Limerick or the Waterford Vintage Factory these places will always be stocked up with hidden gems. These shops often involve a good root and a weekly check in however these always pay off. A trick of the trade is to find out what day of the week their new stock comes in. Then you have the first pick of their new pieces. Small vintage shops are really the backbone to a cheap eclectic retro wardrobe.
4. Kilo Sales – Never underestimate the power of a good kilo sale. With the right eye, pointy elbows and a willingness to sprint or wrestle for leopard print these places can take your wardrobe from a 5.3 to a solid 10 for a fraction of what you would pay in vintage boutiques. The main problem with these is usually the sheer amount of people who turn up and queue hours beforehand. The trick is to keep an eye out for sales that are happening outside of cities like Dublin or Cork. Search for Kilo sales in Limerick or Kildare where you won’t bump into half of your college. So don’t be disheartened if you can’t make Tola’s next event in Dublin. Take a road trip and go to their next smaller sale in Louth or Westmeath. Also keep your ear to the ground for kilo sales that are not being done by well known brands. The companies or brands that are doing these sales often buy the stock from the same places so keep updated on kilo sales in smaller venues like The Grand Social or Wigwam.
5. Asos Market Places/ Urban Renewal – Now I have to admit, one should be sceptical of “urban renewal clothing” or any brand that is trying to sell something that someone bought in a charity shop, sewed a Nirvana patch on and is charging quadruple the price for it. Hear me out- these sites and shops are often helpful as the sales can be very useful in acquiring statement pieces. Topshop and Urban Outfitters do these Urban Renewal pieces and they can be a life saver for a bold statement piece that will last you a lifetime. Loud, sequined, tasselled, you name it and they have it. These will all aid you in allowing your clothes to speak for themselves and developing your own personal style.
Emma Collins
Image Credit: Pexels, Depop