Updating your wardrobe with some vintage wares? Here are the best places to get started on Instagram
September and the beginning of autumn is one of my favourite times of the year. The whole vibe signals change, to your routine, your outlook and, perhaps, your wardrobe. Updating your wardrobe every season is a fun activity, no doubt, but it can be incredibly wasteful too if you don't focus on where you're making the changes.
Heading straight to fast fashion sites and buying stacks of low-quality pieces that won't even last you to winter is irresponsible, both to your own wardrobe and to the planet. The ideal solution would be to shop your own wardrobe and avoid buying anything new altogether, but when you're a fashion lover, and may be genuinely in need of new threads, this isn't always realistic.
The next best option is to shop second-hand and vintage. If you've never dipped your toe into the world of pre-loved fashion before, September is the perfect time to start. The fantastic initiative of Secondhand September was kicked off by Oxfam last year to huge success, with the green logo seen on influencers' profiles all over Instagram. The idea is simple - instead of perusing the sale rails on the high street, make a beeline for the charity shops and vintage havens around your city and get creative. You can sign up to make the pledge official on Oxfam's website and start their 30 day challenge at any time.
Since we're all spending so much time on Instagram anyway, it's a great place to kick off your 30 days of second-hand. There are some fantastic sellers there, both based in Ireland and abroad, that sell gems of vintage pieces - you can bag a bargain that no one else will be able to emulate.
The Pansy Garden
Best for: Those prairie/ Laura Ashley vibe-dresses that are so popular right now
If you absolutely love the likes of The Vampire's Wife or Batsheva, you need to invest in some vintage prairie dresses. There are so many new labels around now emulating what you can find from vintage stores, and The Pansy Garden's selection taps into that in a big way. If you want to be part of the #pansygirls tribe, turn on post notifications and wait for the next drop - be quick, they don't tend to hang around for long.
Preloved by Shay and Jo
Best for: Quirky and colourful knits, sportswear and dresses
I always love to seek out new local storefronts on Instagram, and this one by Dublin-native Katrina Carroll is one of my favourites. You may already know Carroll from her interiors and fashion accounts on Instagram, detailing her love of upcycling (and her hilarious Instastories), and she's recently begun selling vintage wares online too. There are some fab pieces in here, and it's worth following just for Carroll's brilliant commentary.
Best for: 70s boho and flowy dresses
I've been a big fan of Sarah Waiste's vintage wares for ages now, both on her personal page and on her vintage storefront. Waiste Vintage is full of 70s boho realness, from suede Penny Lane jackets to flowy maxi dresses. Her selection is literally my dream wardrobe, and I'm surprised I haven't bankrupted myself from it yet.
Best for: Mom jeans in every colour and great outerwear
Based in Bray, Finders Keepers is a treasure trove of fantastic vintage, and the pieces here hold up all year round. Stock is dropped online weekly on Fridays, and you can also drop into their store in Bray, but it's by appointment only. I fell in love with Finders Keepers not only for their great selection, but for their great Instastories on the best tips to find vintage that suits you.
Best for: Minimalism
If streamlined tailoring in all the muted colours of the basics palette appeals to you, then you need to follow Retold. I've lost count of the number of their posts I've saved for styling inspiration - they truly source the most fantastic pieces, from suits to trenches to the best blazers in the biz. Like any great Instagram storefront, they do sell out quite quickly, so you have to be on the ball, but it's well worth it.
Alf and Roe Vintage
Best for: Prints, prints and more prints
Based in Co. Tyrone, Alf and Roe have recently upped their Instastory game in showing off their wares, and it's had me drooling over some pieces on more than one occasion. If 80's Dynasty vibes or beautiful 90's grunge is your thing, look no further.
Best for: 60s and 70s flower power
Peony Vintage is a shop with a fantastic selection and an even better ethos. Their whole message is around vintage fashion for everyone, whether you're a different size from the norm, different style or different price range. 60's and 70's dresses and skirts paired with patterned dagger collars and chic leather jackets will elevate your AW20 wardrobe to a 10.