There is nothing more infuriating to the 21st century fashionista than asking someone where they purchased a statement piece and hearing “picked it up in a thrift shop”. For the majority of the population, vintage shops are where worn out dad jeans and ill-fitting shoulder padded shirts go to die.
As the number of designers lamenting bygone eras has increased, so has the quantity of vintage shops. Whether you want to wear head to toe vintage Gucci or just buy a few pieces to spruce up your everyday look, these are the shops and platforms that will aid you on your quest.
As the craze for social media only increases it’s easy to see how the vintage shopping bug has moved online. Apps and websites such as ASOS Market Place and Depop allow for many people to thrift pieces like never before. Depop is the self-proclaimed “creative community’s mobile marketplace”. It combines the easy buy and sell features of eBay with the simplicity of Instagram. Simply follow users such as your favourite blogger or influencer and spend hours swiping through different pieces, outfits and looks they are selling.
Instagrammer Emma Zoey Roche tells The Look that Depop and eBay are ideal for buying items that are “hard to find” or “sell out quickly”. Keen vintage shopper Grainne Binns also adds that Depop is perfect for finding specific items and looks and adds that it is key to search “different variations” of exactly what you are looking for on the app and make sure that your filter is switched onto worldwide as sadly there are very few avid Irish Depop users however she has found “gems” from the UK.
As every good millennial knows, it’s important to keep your friends close and your influencers closer. Depop, ASOS Market Place and eBay has in many ways revolutionised the second hand shopping experience and allows one to buy statement pieces from across the globe with just a few clicks of a button.
Navigating vintage shops themselves can be daunting. A good starting point is finding thrift shops in your locality, such as Siopaella in Dublin, Nine Crows in Galway and Spice Vintage in Limerick. Many of these smaller establishments purchase stock from the same retailers as large vintage boutiques and are a fraction of the price.
CEO of Siopaella Ella de Guzman informs The Look that vintage shoppers must be eagle eyed in their approach. Although wear and tear adds character to pieces one must be aware of “value for money” according to Grace from Vintageous Rags. Grace also adds that people sometimes lose themselves in vintage shops so creating a budget before you go in can maximise the quality of your vintage looks over the quantity of old clothes.
Grace reiterates that a good value system is key to a funky wardrobe. Grace advises that trying things on in vintage shops is essential as sizes and fits change throughout the decades. Ella explains that knowing a good seamstress can also aid you on your quest as reinventing vintage garments can breathe new life into bygone pieces. These second hand shops often involve a thorough search and a weekly check in however these can pay off. A trick of the trade is to find out what day of the week new stock comes in. Then you have the first pick of their new pieces.
Small vintage shops are really the backbone to an eclectic retro wardrobe. What all of the contributors agree on is that vintage shopping takes time. Vintage shopping takes weekly check ins and constant perusal. This time, in their eyes, is worth it for the pieces that evoke an emotive response in them and the way they feel wearing them.
So the next time you are perusing through a vintage shop and think that it’s a graveyard of garments remember that vintage shopping is a process and that even if you find nothing on that occasion, online websites and apps now allow you to thrift from the comfort of your own home.
By Emma Collins.