On the hunt for retro or vintage items for your wardrobe? Let me make it easy for you, by showing you the best places to buy vintage clothing online.
With an increasing understanding of what’s wrong with fast fashion, it’s not surprising that many of us are turning to vintage clothing as a way to make our wardrobes more sustainable. However, shopping online for vintage clothing can be a tricky business. It can be tough finding exactly what you want. And then there is also the worry that there might be something wrong with an item. Or worse, that it has that dreaded vintage musk to it, and then you are stuck with it.
Thankfully there is a wide range of vintage shops online, that make vintage clothes shopping a breeze. From the stores that make it easy to find exactly what you are looking for at the click of a button. And from the stores that offer free postage, to free returns, to quality checked and freshly laundered items, this all means that you can shop sustainably in confidence.
The Best Places to Buy Vintage Clothes Online
Whatever the era – from 1950s rockabilly to 1970s disco and beyond – here are the best places to shop for vintage clothing online.
In order to help support the running costs of Moral Fibres, this post contains affiliate links, denoted by *. Moral Fibres may earn a small commission, at no extra cost to readers, on items that have been purchased through those links. This income helps keep this site running.
ASOS Vintage Clothing
ASOS itself is a fast-fashion nightmare. As many as 7,000 new items of clothing are added to the site each week, which is not sustainable at all. As such, it’s not normally somewhere I would recommend shopping for clothes. However, the site does have an off-shoot – ASOS Vintage – that remains a solid place to buy vintage clothing online.
I wouldn’t say ASOS is the single most ethical choice when it comes to vintage shopping. Even by shopping for vintage clothing here, you are supporting the growth and profitability of this fast-fashion retailer. However, in terms of accessibility and price, there’s no denying what ASOS brings to the table.
Give the reclaimed vintage section* a hard pass. In this section you’ll find “reclaimed vintage-inspired” and “reclaimed vintage revived” mixed together. The reclaimed vintage-inspired range is brand new clothing that is ‘inspired’ by vintage clothing. Meanwhile, the Reclaimed Vintage Revived range supposedly features “handpicked vintage gems from around the world”. I couldn’t find a single revived item of clothing in this section of over 1000 brand new synthetic (re: plastic) items. And I felt that lumping the two very different ranges together under the reclaimed vintage heading is a horrible attempt to confuse and greenwash customers.
Instead, head straight to the independent vintage boutiques* who sell through ASOS Marketplace. Here you’ll find over 400 online vintage boutiques, selling a variety of clothing for both men and women. Some of these include charities, such as Barnados*, Cancer Research*, and the British Red Cross*, who all have their own vintage boutiques on ASOS. All profits from these specific purchases go towards supporting the work of the charity in question.
Whilst you can’t filter by era, or fabric type, you can filter by the country the boutiques are located in. This means, for example, that you can request to only see clothing from vintage boutiques located in the UK. This is helpful in terms of avoiding import duties from shipping outside of the country you live in.
If it’s confusing shopping at online retailers that sell both vintage clothing and new clothing, then Beyond Retro* is a good port of call. Selling only vintage men’s and women’s clothing – from vintage sportswear, to vintage dresses and vintage jeans – every item is handpicked by the Beyond Retro team.
Product experts examine items for quality control, so you can be sure you won’t get any nasty surprises. If what you’ve bought doesn’t live up to your expectations, or doesn’t fit, then you can return your item free of charge within 14 days.
Many vintage clothes selections can run small. However, the good news is that Beyond Retro has a healthy men’s, women’s, and unisex plus size section.
Use the exclusive code MORALFIBRES at the checkout to receive 15% off your order at Beyond Retro.
Despite many newcomers to the online shopping scene, eBay* remains a solid place to shop for vintage clothing online. This is because eBay has a really strong set of filters, that you can use to really hone down what you are looking for.
You can use the filter to select the precise decade you are looking for – from the pre-1890s right through to the 1990s. You can select the colour of the item you have in mind. And you can select the look that you require – from androgynous to Art Deco, to Military/Landgirl, and everything in between. And eBay doesn’t stop there. You can select the occasion the item should be suitable for. You can even specify the country of manufacture. If shopping for vintage clothing online seems like finding a needle in a haystack to you, then try eBay! If you can’t find it there, then it probably doesn’t exist!
Etsy Vintage Clothing Online
Etsy* is an absolute goldmine for vintage clothing online. I’ve bought many a piece of clothing from Etsy over the years.
You can search for items based on style – from gothic through to Harajuku. You can search for items with a specific pattern – from stars and celestial to Fairisle. And you can even search for the occasion or celebration that you want the item of vintage clothing for. The only thing you can’t search for is by era or decade.
What I also love is that you can find vintage clothing that has been reworked or upcycled by clever craftspeople. This vintage sweater, pictured above, has been transformed by ReviveUS* into a cropped sweater, whilst maintaining the original ribbed hem. If you are looking for one-of-a-kind vintage with a modern twist, then Etsy is a great place to look.
If you are looking for vintage clothing with a charitable aspect, then you will be pleased to hear that Oxfam Online has a dedicated vintage clothing section*. Here you can filter their vast donated vintage clothing by size, by budget, by colour, or and by condition. The only thing I don’t like is that you can’t filter by era, decade, or style. These are variables that you might want to search when looking for specific vintage items.
Sign up for Oxfam Online’s newsletter, and receive 10% off your first order. Returns are free of charge, and there is a flat postage rate of £3.95 – no matter how many items you buy.
All profits go towards Oxfam’s work on the alleviation of global poverty.
Rokit* sells a huge selection of vintage clothing for men, women, and in unisex styles.
Here you can shop by size or shop by era, from the 1940s up to the 2000s (yup, this is now horrifyingly considered vintage!). You can even shop by specific brands if you have one in mind. For a clever touch, you can also shop by material. This is useful if you are vegan and trying to avoid animal products, or if you are trying to avoid synthetic fibres.
What’s more, in an effort to curb waste, Rokit’s in-house reworked sustainable fashion label Rokit Originals reworks undesirable or unsalable stock into new and exciting pieces. Here, bags are made from leather jackets, jumpsuits from jeans and dresses are created from scarves. They also use remnant, deadstock, and post-consumer textile waste in order to create contemporary limited edition lines.
Shop with confidence – Rokit quality checks each piece before placing it for sale. They will also launder items, where necessary, so you can avoid any unexpected odours!
Even the shipping is carefully considered. Your order will arrive in compostable packaging that is made from recycled and renewable sources.
Talking of shipping, UK customers enjoy free shipping. There’s also an easy returns process. And for an added bonus, sign up to Rokit’s mailing list and get £10 off your first order when you spend over £40.
Hopefully, with this guide, you can find the vintage item of your dreams! You can also check out my guide on the best places to buy secondhand clothes online, and the best places to sell clothes online for more preloved clothing inspiration.