The Lazy Girl's Guide to Buying Vintage

If the mere thought of vintage shopping brings you out in hives before you've even left the house, this is for you. How to find the best retro pieces without rummaging, scouring the globe and getting your hands (sometimes literally) dirty? Leave it to the professionals. There are plenty of stores and online hubs that specialise in sifting through and editing in the very nicest items from days gone by, meaning you can either nod to the runway's many decade-dipping references (FYI the 1980s really are back) or blaze an entirely new trail of your own, straight from your sofa, safe in the knowledge that these buys have been dry-cleaned and mended. Some clever purveyors are even tweaking thrift items to make them more modern—see ASOS and Urban Outfitters for on-trend adaptations. But there are more rules to keep your foray into vintage shopping an easy one.

Keep on scrolling to see how, when and where we effortlessly buy our vintage…


Jewellery can be particularly game-changing in terms of updating your wardrobe. A standout pair of earrings will do wonders for that worn-out LBD hanging in the back of your closet…


If you can seek out mint condition handbags (sites like Vestiaire Collective do rigorous checks before sending them out to you), you'll not only have something you can use right away, but also an investment piece you can potentially re-sell. Did you know the Hermès Birkin bag can provide a very safe return on your money?


There are a handful of London-based labels who really specialise in producing old-school vibes in modern-day fabrics with up-to-date fastenings and realistic sizing. No stinky polyester, dodgy zips or tricky labelling here, thank you very much.


Not only are vintage sizes significantly smaller (you usually have to go up at least one or two to get it right), many pieces will have been altered in the past to fit the wearer. So don't worry about fitting into a 10 or having to opt for a 14, it means nothing so long as the items look good and you feel great.


One of our new favourites to this arena comes from fashion editor and street style maven JJ Martin. She's long been a vintage enthusiast, but she's recently made it official, setting up an e-commerce shop at, where you'll find only the coolest thrifty pieces that come with her stamp of approval.


For example, right now the 1970s (and it's most important trouser shape, the flare) continue to bask in fashion glory, so it's still a good time to locate items that reflect this epoch. Also, in regards to the jeans we've chosen below, did you notice Rachel Comey's studded flared jeans Man Repeller's Leandra Medine wore this week? Just saying.


The high street is particularly good at sourcing basic vintage pieces, such as cute floral dresses or cargo jackets, and giving them an overhaul for the here and now. They may alter sleeve lengths, add extra detailing or simply make sure that the finished article is of good quality and that you don't go home with something ready to fall apart in 30 seconds.

Hannah Almassi
Editor in Chief

Hannah Almassi is the Editor in Chief of Who What Wear UK. Hannah has been part of the the Who What Wear brand since 2015, when she was headhunted to launch the UK sister site and social channels, implement a localised content strategy and build out the editorial team. She joined following a seven-year tenure at Grazia magazine, where she led front-of-book news, fashion features and shopping specials as fashion news and features editor. With experience in both print and digital across fashion and beauty, Hannah has over 16 years in the field as a journalist, editor, content strategist and brand consultant. Hannah has interviewed industry heavyweights such as designers including Marc Jacobs and Jonathan Anderson through to arbiters of taste including Katie Grand and Anna Dello Russo. A skilled moderator and lecturer specialising in the shift to digital media and e-commerce, Hannah’s opinion and work has been sought by the likes of CNBC, BBC, The Sunday Times Style, The Times, The Telegraph and, among many others. Hannah is often called upon for her take on trends, becoming known as a person with their finger of the pulse of what’s happening in the fashion space for stylish Brits. Hannah currently resides in Eastbourne with her photographer husband, incredibly busy son and highly Instagrammable cat.