Many of us love the idea of shopping vintage but don’t quite know where to start. If that sounds like you, don’t worry, there are plenty of options out there
Do you want to be more sustainable but assume that all vintage clothing is a bit….grotty? Or perhaps you’ve tried a few shops but became exhausted or disheartened when you couldn’t find anything in your size or the style you were looking for?
We get it. Shopping pre-loved clothing takes extra dedication but the good news is that when your hard work pays off, the rewards – both sartorial and financial – are immense.
In our May/June edition of Irish Country Magazine, stylist Anne O’Shea dives deep into the world of Irish vintage shopping, dispelling myths and setting record straight on why we should all shop vintage.
She also explains the important difference between ‘vintage’ and ‘thrift’ clothing, saying: “The word ‘thrift’ itself means at a lower price. But just because an item is old does not necessarily mean it is vintage or should be sold at higher price points. There tends to be a story attached to vintage pieces or a celebrity/designer association.”
Here are a few tips and store recommendations to get you started on your pre-loved clothing journey:
Local charity shops
Do not underestimate your local charity store. Whether it’s NCBI, St Vincent de Paul, Enable Ireland or Oxfam, pop in regularly to see what they have on offer. You never know the day when a social media influencer or local celebrity might drop off a haul worth a small fortune that’s exactly what you’re looking for.
This pre-loved designer exchange store in the heart of Galway city is a brilliant place to start your vintage journey. Featuring new and second-hand clothing, the shop also hosts regular evening events for shoppers to browse the rails and enjoy a discount for their efforts. And if you’re looking to free up some space in your closet, you can earn cash or store credit by giving them your quality clothes, bags and accessories to sell in store so you don’t have to! Win-win.
When you walk into Siopaella in Dublin’s Wicklow St, you would be forgiven for thinking that you’d entered a Brown Thomas pop-up shop. There is some seriously high-end brands on offer – and even though the products are still far less expensive than what you’d pay for them new, some of them might still make your eyes water!
But if luxury brands are your bag (no pun intended) you’ll realise that you’re getting a fantastic deal and it will become your go-to store for all future shopping indulgences.
Did you ever think you’d see the day when you would find vintage clothing in Penneys? Well, here we are and it’s wonderful. Following on from the success of previous concessions in the UK, Primark opened its first one in Ireland at the end of April in Mary Street, Dublin, under the brand WornWell by the Vintage Wholesale Company.
This means that Penneys customers can shop vintage and one-off items of clothing at affordable prices as well as the usual favourites, all under the one roof. The vintage collection will stock 70s, 80s and 90s trends including denim jumpsuits and shirts, spaghetti tops, printed sweaters, puffa jackets and printed pattern shirts. Expect to see brands such as Tommy Hilfiger, Nike, Converse, and Levi, and to have a whole new Penneys shopping experience!
Vintage markets and warehouse sales
Second-hand clothing markets and stalls are amazing places to find unique and often, high-end, pieces at bargain basement prices. Of course, the snag is, you have to be there early and you have the patience to paw methodically through the rails to find the diamonds in the rough.
Keep an eye out on social media for markets in your area or if you find out about a clearance sale in a vintage shop, for example, Miss Daisy Blue in Cork, hit the road early with your friends and make a day of it!
There is no shortage of ways to get second-hand clothing online with Depop, Ebay Ireland and Facebook Marketplace being some of the most popular places to buy pre-loved clothing, shoes, bags and other accessories.
However, if you’re looking for something a bit more upmarket, check out Luxury Exchange. Run by Caitriona McGettigan, it offers shoppers the chance to create their dream wardrobe with unique pieces for a fraction of the original price and has already garnered quite a following on social media. She does regular try-ons and Instagram lives but if you want something, you have to be quick off the mark! Those gems fly.
Despite changing opinion about re-wearing beloved dresses and suits, it’s natural to want to wear something different or glamorous to an event where you know that most people will have seen your usual outfits. This is where rental options are a life-saver. For a flat fee, you can have a designer dress for a day, three days, a week – depending on the occasion or rules of the company – and when you’re finished, you simply hand it back and they will dry clean it for the next customer. No muss, no fuss, no major cost to the earth.
Happy Days is a Dublin-based fashion rental service that allows you to rent directly from the store or avail of its courier service which delivers around the country. If it’s good enough for Amy Huberman, it’s good enough for us.
Read more about the joy of vintage shopping in the latest edition of Irish Country Magazine, in shops now.