Finding online vintage clothing stores with great taste can be a hassle. To begin with, you’ll find many different types of shops that range from those who sell new items that look vintage to those who offer genuine, pre-owned actually vintage pieces that have been repaired, refurbished, or modernized. Both types of stores will help you add a retro touch to your wardrobe, but you need to be careful in that too much of a vintage look can quickly cross the line to costume. There’s a delicate and fun balance in mixing modern garments with vintage accessories or a retro pair of jeans with an edgy new shirt. Mix and match!
I’ll share a list of my go-to online vintage clothing stores in three categories: those that sell new garments with a vintage style, those that sell affordable pre-owned vintage pieces, and those that handle the more luxe end of the spectrum: valuable designer pieces whose value has increased over the years.
Where to find new retro style clothing
I’m actually part of the crazy group of brides that got #MarriedinModcloth. This online store carries everything from retro chic sundresses to cute peep toe shoes. What they’re best at, in my opinion, is formalwear. If you like lace, embroidery, and embellishments, this is the site for you. While we’re at it, here’s a shot of that time I eloped at San Francisco City Hall. The dress, called Gilded Grace, is still available at Modcloth and is one of their most popular garments by far.
Anthropologie is the type of store where you go in thinking you’ll buy one, maybe two, things and end up praying the credit card will pass for your absolutely-necessary 560 items. Like Modcloth, Anthropologie conveys a cute chic vibe: the type of retro outfit that gets you compliments from every woman around. They are not shops where you’ll find more rebellious looks with a grunge feel, for example. Anthropologie makes retro chic feel effortless. Take this easygoing floral top:
They also carry Mara Hoffman, one of my absolute favorite swimwear designers. She does other things, but it’s in swimwear where her magic textile design skills really shine.
3. Free People
Free People is for the boho chic vintage lovers that need something a little more laid back. Light cottons and raw details is what they’re most known for, but they cover a wide range of styles these days. In my opinion, no one competes with their loose beachwear that still makes you look like you own the place. It’s gypsy meets fancy resort in ways that I can’t explain. See for yourself and you’ll understand.
I’ll admit that I only learned about Madewell very recently. I had heard about the brand, mostly from people living in the US West Coast, but had never felt intrigued to learn more about it. A few months ago I started looking for a pair of jeans that would really last. I guess I was just exhausted to see my favorite pair look unusable just when the fit and wear had reached that awesome point. You know what I’m talking about: the point where it’s basically an extension of your body. And that’s how I found Madewell, and their incredibly well-produced garments, and fell in love.
5. Planet Blue
Another brand I learned about not so long ago. (In hindsight, how on Earth had I not bumped into them before?!). Planet Blue is similar to Free People in that it caters to us gypsies who prefer something loose and only subtly revealing in the right places. Comfort and style go hand in hand with a retro bohemian piece like the Rorey Romper.
6. Nasty Gal
While no longer owned by the original Nasty Gal, Sofia Amoruso, we have every reason to believe that the brand will preserve its loud, confident 1990s voice. Nasty Gal is not for the faint of heart: there are transparencies, bold necklines, and utter defiance to be found in every single outfit. It’s what you wear when you’re feeling daring and feminine, excited and powered up. If you’re anything like me, and like the delicate/bold mix, this is the kind of Nasty Gal dress you might fall for.
Where to find affordable pre-owned vintage clothing
Etsy is a fantastic place to find repaired vintage clothing at an accessible price. Because it is home to many global sellers, you will find fashion geniuses transforming vintage denim in places as remote as Russia. I say transforming because these artisans really do breathe new life into these pieces. Sometimes they end up looking better than the original! Here’s a pair of high-waist Levis from a shop I love and have ordered from before.
Again, another incredible marketplace where you’ll find global sellers hunting and refurbishing vintage garments. Asos classifies the vintage pieces by brand, so it is really easy to find what you’re looking for. Unlike regular, new Asos items, products in the marketplace are sold and fulfilled directly by sellers. Stella Blasi’s Collection, for example, is all about handmade reconstructed jackets like this one.
Where to find luxury vintage fashion online
9. Rue La La
Look no further than Rue La La for dreamy designer garments from decades ago that have now become 10 times more valuable. Here’s the catch: vintage clothing is sold in exclusive, time-limited events. That means you need to sign up as a member and stay on top of their emails to catch the right piece just in time.
Because Vestiaire allows direct peer-to-peer selling of pre-owned items, it is the perfect marketplace to get that special designer piece you fell in love with from an old collection. Vestiaire Collective is in the luxury resale business, so you’ll find brands as exclusive as Dior, Fendi, and Gucci. This site is particularly great to grab luxury vintage accessories like purses and jewelry — items that are timeless and age well.
Know and love any other vintage clothing stores?
I’d love to take a look. Leave a note in the comments below.