Discover the best options for vintage and secondhand clothing online and compare various platforms enabling resale from Grailed to eBay to StockX to Urban Outfitters.
The Rise of Online Vintage and Secondhand Clothing Resellers
Although it can be fun to hunt for vintage and pre-loved clothing in thrift stores, these days you don’t have to leave your home. Online vintage, secondhand and resale clothing is exploding.
The market for secondhand clothing was $36 billion in 2021 and is projected to double in five years to $77 billion in 2025. Pre-loved clothing sales are estimated to increase 11 times faster than the overall clothing market by 2025.
As a result of the increased consumer interest and focus on sustainability and circular fashion, investments are pouring into resale, vintage and pre-loved e-commerce ventures.
- Vestiaire Collective raised over $200 million in new finance in September 2021, just six months after it finalized a prior round, putting the valuation of the Paris-based startup at $1.7 billion.
- ThreadUP raised $168 million in an Initial Public Offering (IPO) in March 2021, backed by investors including Highland Capital Partners, Park West Ventures, Redpoint Ventures, Trinity Ventures and Upfront Ventures. Bloomberg estimated the value of ThreadUP at the time of the IPO at $1.27 billion.
- Trove, a circular shopping logistics company, has raised $45 million from a variety of partners including Hermès and sustainable venture investing firms DBL Partners and Prelude Ventures.
- Rebag raised a $33 million Series E round in the 4th quarter of 2021 to continue its pursuit of premium handbag resale.
- Vintage menswear platform Grailed raised $60 million in Series B funding in a round led by the GOAT Group in 2021. Investors also included Groupe Artémis, Gucci CEO Marco Bizzari, Thrive Capital and Index Ventures.
What is Secondhand Clothing?
Secondhand clothing, also known as resold or pre-loved apparel, refers to items which have been previously owned and worn by another. Secondhand clothing encompasses everything from a pair of previously-worn Allbirds Tree Runners from the 2020’s on eBay to vintage Burberry trench coat from the 1960’s.
What Is Vintage Clothing?
Clothing advertised as vintage generally represents clothing that is more than 20 years old and that is indicative of a period of time prior to the 21st Century. Vintage encompasses everything from Air Jordan sneakers made in the 1980’s to a dashing tweed suit or period necklaces from the 1940’s.
Technically, vintage clothing does not have to be secondhand, though most items sold on online platforms are preloved. If they’ve been well-maintained, they can make a unique and valuable addition to your wardrobe.
The best online vintage clothing stores will typically give you enough details about an item to help you determine when it was made and to demonstrate authenticity.
There aren’t any hard rules about how to wear vintage clothes. Typically, people combine vintage clothing with modern apparel. They aim for a vintage vibe rather than a realistic reproduction of how someone looked 50 years ago.
In the best online stores, the vintage items will often come from quality brands, many of them still successful today. You’ll have an easy time blending current styles with clothes that reflect the past.
The Best Online Vintage and Secondhand Clothing Stores
The vintage and secondhand clothing websites below are excellent options for buying and selling retro and pre-loved clothing and shoes online.
British online fast-fashion megastore Asos maintains a marketplace that serves as an outstanding platform for new and vintage clothing boutiques. Look to Asos Marketplace to discover new brands along with vintage clothing for men and women.
If you’re looking only for secondhand clothing, use the filter feature to check the “Vintage” box. I discovered everything from 1990s red lace-up leather ankle boots for women to a vintage Armani padded military jacket.
Fanny Moizant and Sophie Hersan launched the online secondhand clothing platform in 2009 in Paris under the name Vestiaire de Copines, which means “the friend’s wardrobe.”
Vestiaire Collective’s online shop carries an incredible assortment of pre-owned clothing for women, men and kids across a wide spectrum of affordable and luxury brands.
Vestiaire carries vintage from a slew of luxury brands including Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Bally, Bottega Veneta, Breitling, Brioni, Come Des Garcons, Dior, Etro, Fendi, IWC, Loro Piana, Louis Vuitton, Maison Martin Margiela, Thome Brown, Tod’s, Prada, Rolex, Yeezy, Yves Saint Laurent. You can also find more affordable labels including Adidas, All Saints, Levi’s, New Balance, Nike, Stussy, The Kooples, and Woolrich.
For women, try Vestiaire for Balenciaga leather handbags, Guccia flats, Louis Vuitton cross-border body bags, Balmain leather jackets, and Chanel suit jackets.
For men, look to Vestiaire Collective for Doir Homme and Versace suits, Burberry shirts, watches from Longines, Dr. Marten boots, Air Jordan trainers, and leather briefcases from the likes of Louis Vuitton.
Vestiaire Collective inspires serious loyalty: The “most prolific” Vestiaire Collective user purchased an eye-popping 3,579 items and also sold 594 pieces since the vintage online clothing platform launched.
Urban Renewal by Urban Outfitters
You may not know that Urban Outfitters has been curating a selection of vintage items for resale since the 1970s. (For a deep dive on UO, see Modern Fellows’ guide to Urban Outfitters and alternatives.)
Urban Outfitters has a team dedicated to discovering new-to-you secondhand items under their “Urban Renewal” initiative.
Try UO’s Urban Renewal for everything from a smocked mini dress or tropical pattern cropped shirt for women to vintage cutoff jean shorts, overdyed Guayabera shirts and Dickies workwear pants for men.
There’s a myth that Pierre Omidyar, the founder of eBay, wanted a way to sell off his wife’s large collection of Pez dispensers. In fact, the first sale, which took place in 1995, involved a broken printer. From these humble beginnings, eBay has reached legendary status as a worldwide online marketplace.
While eBay may be best known for used toys, dvds and even automobiles, for many people, it’s a go-to site for preloved or used clothing, including vintage apparel. You may find a vintage Ralph Lauren polo cardigan or a houndstooth suit from the ‘70s. The selection is vast, and you can refine your search with many criteria, including size and condition.
In fact, from 2017 to 2020, sales of pre-loved fashion on eBay increased 31%.
The one caution? It’s important to do your due-diligence to ensure you get a good sense of the condition and authenticity.
Etsy is most strongly associated with art, jewelry, and handmade home decor. But it also has a delightful assortment of vintage clothing for women and men. (In fact, one of Etsy’s current marketing strategies is to appeal more to men, including through vintage and secondhand menswear.)
Many of the vintage items are graphic t-shirts and sweatshirts with iconic logos, cartoons, and images from older movies or shows. But you may also come across vintage Sperry Topsider boat-deck shoes or a burgundy sharkskin suit from the ‘50s.
Iconic American brand Levi’s has developed Levi’s Secondhand, an excellent e-commerce site to purchase pre-loved and vintage Levi’s.
Founded in 2014 in New York by Charles Albert Gorra and Erwan Delacroix, Rebag is one of the top online stores for women’s bags, jewelry, watches, belts, gloves, scarves and more. (There is no men’s section unfortunately.)
Rebag has an excellent selection of bags, jewelry, accessories and more from luxury brands including Balenciaga, Bvigari, Cartier, Chanel, Christian Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, Hermes, Louis Vuitton, and Tiffany and Co.
While there are a number of vintage clothing stores that cater only to women, Grailed is one of the only marketplaces on this list that specializes exclusively in secondhand menswear.
Along with performing your own searches, you can browse through staff picks and curated collections. Some of these collections feature rare vintage items or preloved clothing from celebrities.
The company cracks down on inauthentic items and promotes clothes that are genuine, unique, and fashionable.
The large selection, including vintage items, is mostly made up of streetwear and business casual attire. You may come across classic jeans from Levi’s, vintage wool blazers from Burberry, or tailored trousers produced in the ’90s by Dolce & Gabbana.
Founded by entrepreneur and former Pets.com CEO Julie Wainwright in 2011, TheRealReal is a solid option for luxury resale and vintage for men, women kids, jewelry and home.
Notably, TheRealReal authenticates every item so you know you’re getting the real deal.
With Mercari, you download a free app and dive into a marketplace for virtually any item that can be sold from home, ranging from collectibles to clothing. It’s easy to get a sense of the condition of a vintage item, and you enjoy quite a mix. Maybe you’ll find a J. Crew sweater from the ‘90s or a leather bomber jacket from the ‘70s.
Several years ago, Mercari became the first Japanese tech startup to reach unicorn status, exceeding $1 billion in valuation prior to going public. The company emphasizes convenience and flexibility, providing multiple options for deliveries and allowing you to pay in installments.
Some items, including jewelry and shoes, can also be submitted to a third-party authentication process.
Poshmark aims for a fun, casual atmosphere, as if you’re raiding a friend’s closet for the most fashionable items. The platform has set itself apart from competitors by providing social networking features. You can follow your favorite sellers, like and comment on what they offer, and negotiate with them over prices.
Although Poshmark products range from electronics to pet supplies, the platform’s primary focus has always been clothing and accessories.
If you search specifically for vintage apparel, you’ll be able to find anything from graphic t-shirts to silk dressing gowns suitable for a leading man in an old Hollywood movie.
Poshmark grew rapidly during the pandemic. It doubled its community of users from 30 million in 2019 to 60 million in 2020 as shoppers bought more from home and turned to vintage and resale.
Any search for vintage sneakers must include Stockx. The company, which is worth billions, promises buyers pristine products and an authentication process with 99.5 percent accuracy. If you’re buying classic Air Jordans, for example, Stockx guarantees that they’re genuine and have never been worn.
Stockx has also become an excellent source of streetwear, such as vintage Burberry hoodies and t-shirts illustrated with iconic cartoons.
For accessories, the company offers watches from timeless brands, such as Rolex and Cartier; vintage Casio models are also part of their selection.
The Vintage Bar
Founded by entrepreneur Marie Louise, The Vintage Bar offers a platform to buy and sell secondhand clothing for women. Based in Copenhagen, offers a “well-considered” selection of brands including Ba&sh, Celine, Chloe, Christian Louboutin, Goyard, Heremes, Jacquemus, Jimmy Choo, Miu Miu and Stella McCartney.
In 2021, Etsy spent over $1 billion to buy Depop, an app that has created a thriving fashion marketplace for young people. Roughly 90 percent of Depop’s users are under the age of 26, and many of them are looking for vintage clothing online.
On Depop, which was launched in London, there are vintage items to suit a range of styles. If you look for vintage headwear, for example, you’ll find caps with old logos, leather Panama-style hats, and fedoras made of wool or straw. From Oscar de la Renta cardigans to Wrangler denim jackets, you’ll discover vintage items from renowned brands.
Founded by Lewis Hull, who also runs the fabulous London-based The Real McCoys, UK-based Marrket is a platform that is laser-focused on “quality pre-owned and deadstock menswear products from the world’s best brands.”
Look for items like an RRL denim trucker jacket, Sugarcane flannel work shirt and Clinch high-ankle boots.
There are a ton of interesting menswear brands here including Anderson and Sheppard, Alden, Barbour, Bennett Winch, Gitman Vintage, Engineered Garments, Drake’s, Snow Peak, Stone Island, Truss, Viberg and Universal Works.
ThreadUP is an online consignment store and a leading marketplace for vintage clothing for women and kids. (Sorry guys, there’s no men’s section.) Annoyingly, you have to create an account in order to even browse.
Axel Arigato Xchange
Luxury sneaker brand Axel Arigato, whose mission is to “create a brand that brings people together, through the power of positivity, community and memorable experiences,” launched an online secondhand sneaker platform Axel Arigato Xchange with Reflaunt to give new life to their kicks. Check out the platform to find secondhand Axel Arigato luxury sneakers for between $100-200.
Swedish pioneer of insanely-cheap fast fashion H&M launched an online secondhand clothing platform in 2021 called H&M Reware via its Canadian operations to allow shoppers to buy and sell vintage clothing for women and men and kids from any brand (not just theirs).
As you might expect from H&M, the selections on the site trend towards affordable labels like $20 secondhand yoga pants from lululemon.
H&M’s upscale cousin COS maintains a COS Resell online vintage store where you can buy and sell items from their label. Look for cotton men’s sweaters and women’s blouses for under $10.
Best Vintage-Inspired Clothing Stores
When shopping online for vintage clothes, you’ll also come across items that haven’t been produced decades ago. These “vintage-inspired” clothes are replicas of older styles reflective of a previous time period. They may be advertised as vintage, retro, or vintage-style apparel.
Searching for second-hand clothing can be affordable and good for the planet, but there are a number of excellent options out there that sell new vintage-inspired clothing:
- Unique Vintage is one of the first places you should look for vintage-inspired clothing. Founded by entrepreneur Katie Echeverry, the Burbank, California-based company creates vintage-inspired fashion “reimagined for a contemporary world.” It carries a treasure trove of vintage-inspired fashion for women including flapper, maxi, wrap, sweater, flare and pencil dresses as well as rompers, swimsuits and even wedding dresses. They also have a tight men’s vintage-inspired clothing collection.
- Boden – British fashion retailer Boden is one of my favorite destinations for men’s and women’s clothing. Much of their selection of colorful and often-patterned and whimsical blouses, shirts, pants, dresses, skirts, polos, button downs and more are absolutely vintage-inspired.
- Modcloth – Women’s fast-fashion brand Modcloth designs with vintage influences in mind. Look to Modcloth for a huge range of affordable vintage-inspired clothing for women including high-waisted bikinis, colorful flare, swing and A-line dresses, overalls and houndstooth tops and jackets.
- Urban Outfitters – In addition to their Urban Renewal vintage finds, Urban Outfitter’s new clothing from its house labels like UO often give off a vintage vibe.
What Are Your Favorite Online Vintage Clothing Stores?
Feel free to drop a comment recommending other online marketplaces with high-quality vintage clothes. You can also share your experiences with the ones listed here. Have you found any memorable items?
Photo credit: Featured photo copyright Anna Svetlova via Shutterstock.
About JakeJake is passionate about exploring entrepreneurs' global journeys. He founded Modern Fellows in 2012 to get to know the entrepreneurs behind the innovative brands helping men dress sharp in the digital age. Jake has written about entrepreneurship, international business and/or fashion for outlets including Business Week, Forbes, Inc., Details Style Syndicate and Primer Magazine, and has provided analysis on international business for BBC Radio, NBC News, CNN and Time Magazine.
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