If you’ve been following my blog for a while, then you’ll know I’m pretty obsessed with vintage clothes. It all started when my Nan handed me a patent leather Louis Feraud belt when I was 12, and I haven’t really looked back since. In fact, I would say a good 50% of my wardrobe is vintage, and it’s way better quality than anything I’ve picked up on the high street. This is why scrolling through eBay has become such a habit for me, because I can get a Hardy Aimes blazer cheaper than a tee at H&M.
I post everything I pick up on my Instagram and I get loads of questions from you guys about how I find the best pieces and what I search for. It’s actually way easier than you might think, but I’ve put a few of my go-to tips below that I think you’ll find really useful.
SELECT THE VINTAGE CLOTHES CATEGORY
This is the number one thing I would say to do, as the true vintage pieces tend to be listed here. It’s so simple, but once you’ve searched for your item, you need to make sure that you’re looking in the ‘Vintage Clothing & Accessories’ category. I would then narrow it down further by clicking ‘Women’s Vintage Clothing’, or whichever one is more applicable to your search. I know this is really simple, but sometimes eBay will default your search into the ‘Women’s Clothing’ category and you’ll miss out on all the vintage!
SEARCH FOR AN EXACT ITEM OR DECADE
There is so much on eBay that it’s really worth getting specific with your search, especially if you don’t have hours to scroll through items. For example, rather than looking for a vintage dress, try ‘1920s style dress’ or ‘flapper dress’ to narrow it down. You can also search by decade, like ‘1970s’ and then select the ‘Women’s Vintage Clothing’ category to find pieces from your favourite era.
SHOP BY SIZE
I love shopping for vintage blazers, but if they’re too big the shoulders can look a bit crazy, so I always include my size in the search. This helps to eliminate all the pieces that would be too big or small for me so that I’m only looking at garments that fit. That being said, I don’t mind them being slightly oversized, so I search ‘vintage blazer 8, 10, 12’ which brings up all the items in the sizes I’m looking for.
If you find something that’s one-of-a-kind, but not in your size, then it’s 100% worth investing in alterations. Some vintage pieces are so timeless, and going to a tailor is a great way to get them updated. It may be a little pricey, but if you’re going to wear it forever then it’s a good investment.
REMEMBER THE BRANDS YOU LOVE
I’ve made a list on my phone of all the vintage brands I love, especially the ones that I know are great quality, to help narrow down my search. Some of my faves are Escada, St. Michael and Louis Feraud, but there are some great brands that I forget about, so it’s always worth noting them down.
DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR MORE PICTURES
As a lot of the listings on eBay are by regular people and not shops. Some of the listings may not have the best pictures. I’ve asked loads of times for people to send me more, and 90% of the time they reply because they want to sell their item. Don’t be afraid to ask for close-ups or specific angles either, so that you know exactly what it looks like.
OR FOR MEASUREMENTS
One of the hardest things about shopping online in general is finding clothes that fit, but vintage clothes can be particularly tricky. There are quite a few listings with vague sizes too like ‘medium’ which doesn’t really mean anything, so I’d definitely ask the seller for measurements. This is especially good for high-waisted vintage jeans or skirts that you want to sit really tight around your waist.
SAVE YOUR SEARCHES AND FAVOURITE SELLERS
There’s this really great feature on eBay where you can save your favourite sellers and searches. This is so useful as all your categories and shipping preferences will be saved too. I use this a lot for my favourite brands, or if I’m looking for a specific thing, as I can just click on my favourite search and it’ll bring up all the new items. It also works for eBay sellers, so if you find a great vintage shop, you can save it to your profile too.
GET THE APP
This is dangerous but also amazing, and I’ve found some of my most-loved pieces on the train home from work. The eBay app is way easier than shopping on the desktop version, and it also means you can bid on items when you’re not at home. It’s also free, so there’s no excuses.
These are the basics, and as much as they’re really simple tips I hope they’ll help you guys to find some great vintage pieces. I love shopping on eBay and I also love that it’s totally sustainable, saving lots of clothes from landfill. Which makes me feel way better about spending too much money… whoops!
P.S. The dress I’m wearing in this post is vintage Mondi, and the belt is vintage Escada; both from eBay. My bag is vintage Dior, which was a hand-me-down from my Grandmother, but I’m sure you could find one on eBay too!