Today’s post is going to be a little bit different. We’re going to talk about shopping secondhand and vintage, specially on eBay. I could spend an embarrassing amount of time pursuing eBay and Etsy for vintage. It’s thrilling for me and since I can’t add much more to my own closet I end up sending links to people I know telling them to buy this sweater/coat/boots, etc. Part of me is hesitant to give away my shopping secrets but the truer, purer part of me loves knowing someone found something great that they love and will wear, at a fraction of a new retail price. Shopping secondhand is good for the earth, your wallet, and once you get into it, you get a real high from it! Or at least I do. 🙂
I’m going to narrow today’s conversation to sweaters because they are one of my favorite things to buy secondhand. The sizing and fit is flexible which makes it a great starting point to buying vintage–there is not a lot of loss or risk involved. Referring to our sizing conversation from post #1: Don’t be afraid to buy two or three sizes up from your normal size! Knitwear is great oversized.
Some items might have small imperfections, I say: embrace them. I’m not looking for 100% perfect condition when I’m shopping secondhand, it has a history!
Everything we’ve linked is one of a kind, they are currently all available when this post went live but things move quickly!
A few things about eBay: Many items will have a “make an offer” button. Don’t be shy to try it, make a respectful offer, generally within 25% of the original price and 95% of the time it gets accepted. Watch out for really high shipping costs. Sometimes things will be marked under $20 but the shipping will be + $20 for a single item. Sweaters/knits will have a steeper ship price because of their weight but just watch for the shipping costs so there aren’t any surprises.
Keywords: I like to shop by keywords. A great place to start is by thinking of something you love. Like, “I saw a girl wearing a red turtleneck and I loved the look of it”, so start there. Or “my Mom used to have an LL Bean sweater that was chic”, so use that as your keyword.
Brands: Many brands that we are acquainted with today used to be much higher quality in years passed. A sweater from the Gap from the 80’s or 90’s is going to feel very different from something you might pick up at a store today. The same goes for Banana Republic, Abercrombie and many others. Some of my favorite sweaters that I’ll link below are Gap. Nowadays, brands have been forced to make more styles, faster and cheaper. They have a sale every other day and they’re competing with each other to keep the price point low so the quality suffers. If you don’t like what the Gap is today, don’t discount its passed products.
One final note. Don’t judge an item by it’s picture quality. eBay photos tend to be low quality!
a. Yes to this classic patterned vintage Gap sweater! Feels like something a high school boy in the ’90s wore and I like it.
b. And here is a perfect example of a great vintage Gap sweater! This is a great summer sweater, it’s not a heavy knit. If you’re a size small, wear it with the sleeves cuffed fo a relaxed vibe.
c. This is a great sweater coat. The detailing at the sleeve and the horizontal ribs. If I didn’t have a cream sweater exactly like this I’d buy it. Make a $40 off and see what happens!
d. I love a pull over and this cranberry and navy print feels classic and fun. Would be cute with a light pair of jeans. And the leather wrapped buttons are a nice touch that shows quality. Pendleton generally makes things that hold up well as they age.
e.I like how playful this vintage alpaca sweater is, and that it’s pattered on the front and back. It’s not always about solids!
f. The prettiest shade of blue/purple. I told Rachael to buy this ASAP.
g.I’ve mentioned my love for Babaà sweaters and this turtleneck sweater from the Gap feels very similar to their turtleneck sweater except that this Gap one is shorter in the body.
h.This one is a gem. Made in Peru and 100% alpaca. I can tell by the photo it has a great slouchy oversized fit. I have a cream Ulla Johnson alpaca sweater that is my favorite, so soft and pairs well with many things so I’m bias when it comes to saying this would be a great piece for your closet.
i. I love these vintage LL Bean henley sweaters. They come in all sorts of colors. They are ribbed with a half collar and great buttons. And 100% cotton which makes it a washing dream! I also like them in wool as well, like this one.
I could go on and on but I’ll wrap it up now! Let me know if you snag one for yourself! XX Joanie