5 Places to Shop Vintage on a Budget
Photography by: Lauren Hirsch
Location: UC Berkeley Botanical Gardens
I love me some vintage. Whether it's some worn out Levis or an 80's band tee, I can't get enough of vintage clothing. I'm lucky to live so close to the vintage capitol of the world - San Francisco - which helps feed (foster?) this addiction (If you've seen the show Girlboss, then you know exactly what I mean). I get asked a lot what my favorite vintage shops are, or even where I get my vintage pieces, so I figured today I'd talk about my 5 favorite places to shop vintage (and on a budget, of course).
1. Pretty Penny
Price Range: Varies (most non-designer items ~$50)
Location: 5488 College Ave, Oakland, CA 94618 or prettypennyclothing.com
What to Expect: 90% of the vintage I own comes from - you guessed it - Pretty Penny in Oakland, CA. I was introduced to this shop by a friend last year, and completely fell in love with it. It's a cute little shop on College Ave. run by the amazingly sweet Sarah, aka the most woke white woman you'll ever meet. They're champions for supporting POC, Immigrants, the disabled, otherwise marginalized people, and the City of Oakland as a whole. But policies aside, you can score some great vintage deals here. I've gotten some vintage Levis pieces for ~$20, and band tees for ~$30. Their store is always packed full of new arrivals, and if you're lucky enough to make it in, you could spend hours just browsing through racks. But since I'm not always there, I also love that I can send them a DM on Instagram and ask if they have a certain item in stock, and even purchase it right then and there. It's quick, it's convenient, and the Pretty Penny ladies really go over the top to make the shopping experience there amazing.
Price Range: $-$$ (Varies depending on brand and seller)
Location: App- available for both iOS and Google Play
What to Expect: Think of this- Instagram, but for shopping vintage. Depop is seriously one of my shopping hidden gems, and I'm always surprised that more people don't know about it. Basically, people upload photos of their items, and you can "like" or leave comments on them. When you're ready to purchase, you hit the little "buy" button and your payment is directed through PayPal. It's super easy, and a great place to not only find vintage, but also find older items. Been eyeing a Wildfox sweater from 2008? Yeah, chances are someone on there has is. What about a 1980's The Cure concert tee? That's there too. But while this platform is great for finding vintage threads, note that this isn't exclusively for vintage, and you can find a ton of newer items on there for a fraction of their retail price (for example, I bought this Madewell dress off of there for $18. Original retail price was $120).
3. The Beard and Lady
Price Range: $ ($7 - $120)
What to Expect: If vintage tee shirts are you thing (like me) then you'll love this Etsy shop. They have an amazing curation of vintage tee shirts - everything from Tupac tour tees to 1970's ringers. While I've never actually ordered from this shop, I have a feeling I'll have to soon. Not only is their assortment of tees to die for, but they have over 4,000 happy Etsy customers, which I think says something about the quality of their business. It's a mom-and-pop shop (literally, it's run by a husband and wife due) and who doesn't love supporting their online mom and pop?!
4. Etsy / eBay
Price Range: Varies Greatly
Location: online, etsy.com and eBay.com
What to Expect: Good ole' Etsy and eBay. Aka the first major hubs for vintage clothing. So many people (literally, thousands) jump on here to sell their old vintage clothes, whether they're 1920's dresses or 1990's band tees, literally everything is fair game on these sites. I like to say that if you absolutely cannot find it on one of these two sites, it probably doesn't exist. My only word of advice with these sites would be to stay cautious. There are a ton of fraud sellers on these sites, and not only that, but there are a lot of people that will try to scam you out of your money. Make sure to always ask the seller questions, make sure they're legit, and try to research the item you're interested in, if you can. Don't let these sellers swindle you out of your money. And also, don't be afraid to negotiate on prices, especially if you feel their price is unfair. Again, if you use your best caution and judgment when shopping on these sites, you can often find amazing deals.
Price Range: Varies
Location: Online, thredup.com
What to Expect: If you've heard of this site, chances are, you've seen it on sponsored posts and ads. Well, this is not sponsored, I just think this site is really cool. Basically, it's a lot like Depop - people post (err, send in) their used, high quality clothes, and ThredUp sells them for a fraction of the retail price. Again, I've never personally bought anything from here, but I've sold a few things to them, and it's been great! They have a lot of great new and vintage pieces for very affordable prices, and styles that cover a wide range of aesthetics. I don't have too much to say about them, because I feel like their process is pretty straight forward (works the same as traditional online shopping), but if you're looking for some inexpensive vintage and secondhand, this may be a great place to consider.
I hope this list helps you out next time you're looking for some good vintage finds! What's your favorite vintage piece you've bought? Let me know! I think mine would have to be an old Wildfox sweater I thrifted for $5. :)