One of my earliest (and fondest) childhood memories is scuffling through racks of musty old clothes at the local secondhand store with my mother. It’s a shopping ritual I wholly believe lead to my enduring and adoring love affair with fashion. The clothes that enveloped me as I ran under the racks of hanging textures, colors, and grandma’s attic smells were unique, of beautiful quality, and told a story. But more importantly, we wore the bejesus out of the pieces we bought. They were eco-friendly pieces that were priced perfectly within our means. Win-win.
Today, I work in an industry that is all about the cutting-edge and new, but I still maintain a deep-rooted connection with vintage. There is nothing quite like the thrill of finding a one-of-a-kind piece that you know no one else will be wearing. Not only does shopping vintage maintain individualism, but it also offers affordable access to designer heritage brands (hello, Gucci and Manolo Blahnik). Thrift shopping is also cost-effective, favors quality over quantity, and, moreover, encourages sustainability—a topic we here at Who What Wear do our best to be mindful of.
Luckily, shopping secondhand has become more exciting and convenient than ever. Hunting through thrift shops takes time, patience, and dedication in order to spot the perfect item among tons of clothes. While I still love the tactile experience (and, yes, the unequivocal smell) of thrift-store shopping, these days, I’d much rather forfeit what can be an exhausting endeavor to shop from the comfort of my own sofa.
With the rise of beautifully curated, easy-to-navigate online vintage Instagram accounts, it’s simpler than ever to find that cool retro tee, vintage Gucci bag, or the perfect pair of Levi 501s—which for the most part, you can purchase with a simple direct message. I’ve scoured high and low for some of the best online vintage stores on Instagram. Scroll below for my favorites.
Lucky New Yorkers get to see and shop @awokevintagebrooklyn’s vintage gems in person at its cool brick-and-mortar store in Brooklyn. For the rest of us, we can purchase everything—from cool retro tees to gorgeous vintage purses—by clicking through its (addictive!) Instagram Stories every day.
From vintage hair barrettes to head-turning earrings to a beautiful selection of vintage apparel, @smallneeds is a verifiable treasure trove. Simply DM the account to inquire about the pieces it posts on Instagram. Bonus: Small Needs also has an Etsy account.
Loved by French influencers, @imparfaiteparis sells pre-loved one-of-a-kind clothes and accessories from France’s coolest vintage shops. While you can’t shop directly from its Instagram, you can head to its well-curated website to make a purchase, with new collections arriving every month.
Every piece from @luciazolea’s online store is incredibly dreamy—think unique pearl jewelry, satin cocktail dresses, and lacey sheer tops. And if you’re looking for vintage designers such as Saint Laurent, Gucci, and Giorgio Armani, you’ve come to the right place.
Los Angeles–based @courtyard_la has gained a cult following with its cool way of styling covetable vintage pieces from unique blouses to menswear-inspired pants. Moreover, each piece is very fairly priced.