Where I Shop for Secondhand Clothing and Accessories
Hey friends! I’ve already shared that I’ve challenged myself to buy no new clothes for one entire year. But what I haven’t shared yet is all the various places where I hunt for my vintage, secondhand, and thrift store finds. Today I’m spilling my go-to shops from budget-buys to luxury designer consignment.
And if you have any secondhand destinations (either online or brick and mortar) that you swear by, please drop them in the comments section below so that I can check them out!
Blending luxury pieces with thrift finds creates a unique look that you won’t see anywhere else.
You can find European or American-made clothing in thrift shops. These items are made to last!
So there’s been a lot of marketing buzz around ThredUp for a few years now. However, I haven’t given the secondhand online retailer a try until recently. I found soooo many great deals! I already knew that ThredUp was a convenient place to find preloved fast fashion and well known mall brands (ZARA, J Crew, H&M, Free People, Kate Spade, etc.) But (!) you can also find a growing selection of ethically-made brands like Reformation and Eileen Fisher! And they also partner with brands like Madewell to easily add clothing back into the shopping cycle. (Check out the Madwell Forever website to see what I mean.) Naturally, I took a beeline for ThredUp’s Reformation section and found TWO stellar pieces for my buy-nothing-new challenge. (I’ll be sharing those items soon.)
ThredUp has a vast selection of categories and, dare I say, departments to shop by. This is actually pretty innovative in my eyes. Most vintage or thrift shops will usually have a men’s and women’s section. But to have dedicated sections for kids, maternity, plus size, and more?! While I was pregnant, I tried to find local secondhand shops that catered to babies and kids. There was a limited selection and only the high end resale boutiques had online shopping options. I was a little disappointed at first and considered giving up on shopping secondhand for my daughter. However, ThredUp renewed my hope!
My one complaint/request: ThredUp please expand your Clean Up Kit program beyond the US!
I also have a $10 off coupon for ThredUp that you can apply by clicking here.
There isn’t a bigger or better luxury consignment online retailer than Vestiaire Collective. I’ve mentioned a few times already that I’ve been using them for years and have found some of my favourite designer items here. Vestiaire Collective also third-party authenticates everything that sells, so you can rest assured that you’re getting the real deal.
Tip: to skip import fees and duties, try changing the Location filter to your country to see what luxury items are available near you.
Vestiaire Collective Coupon
I’m stoked to be an official Vestiaire Collective partner and offer an exclusive $50 off coupon code on your first purchase. Just use ’USX53P’ at checkout.
The Two-Thirds Rule
Create visual length using the Two Thirds Dressing Rule. Here’s an unexpected example using lemon yellow and rose gold to elongate bare legs.
Buy for Your Body
If you struggle to find off-the-rack clothes that fit, especially if you are petite or curvy, take a dive into vintage for clothes that flatter an hourglass figure.
Birds of North America’s ReNesting Program
I a huge fan of Birds of North America. Simply referred to as ”Birds” by those who love the label, she makes her garments ethically in Toronto. Shop Birds’ preloved section, AKA: the ReNesting program, to score her designs at a reduced rate while also reducing clothing waste AND funding a wildlife rescue.
I’ve already shared my praise for Birds of North America on Instagram quite a few times. But haven’t done a dedicated article yet here on The Purist Life yet… so you are excused if you haven’t heard of this much-loved brand before. Basically Birds of North America makes some of the most high quality tailored dresses that you will ever find. Hands down. I also love the brand’s tops and I you’ll find me wearing the wraparound Crescentchest style frequently. If you are a Kibbe Classic Body ID, or a soft hourglass, you need Birds in your life. Her designs are perfectly fitted for those with the hourglass shape.
The concept of brands re-homing their own label’s clothing is really smart. I’d love to see more companies offering this type of circular fashion shopping option!
This Toronto brick-and-mortor shop is my favourite for both edgy designer finds (think Gucci, Mui Mui, and Off White) and office appropriate staples (Burberry, Armani, and Givenchy). They also have an ever-refreshing treasure trove of nearly brand new designer handbags. (Sometimes with the tags still attached.) And they have lots of fine jewelry from brands like Tiffany’s and Hermes. If you live in TO, you’ll find their shop on Queen Street West. Not in Toronto? No problem! Find everything from Fashionably Yours online.
I Miss You Vintage
Those who live in Toronto have probably heard of, or at least walked, by I Miss You Vintage. The pale pink storefront on Ossignton Ave. just north of Queen Street is hard to miss! They also have an online shop. Though I do recommend following them on Instagram too so that you can easily follow along when new items become available. I Miss You is my favourite consignment shop for designer sunglasses and vintage jewelry. Oh, and if you love Chanel they have a good collection of that too.
Sorry everyone, this is a Toronto only exclusive! Kensington Market has been a long cherished vintage and secondhand clothing destination for at least a few decades. This colourful area is tucked within Chinatown, just north of Queen and Spadina. There are quite a few vintage clothing and home decor shops here. Plus dive bars, bakeries and coffee shops, grab-and-go restaurants, cannabis shops, fruit markets, and all sorts of colourful characters.
Courage My Love and Exile are long standing staples of the vintage scene here. Both shops carry a little bit of everything. Courage My Love stocks loads of chunky silver jewelry, cowboy boots, outerwear, and prairie-style dresses. Exile boasts an impressive collection of stellar old band t-shirts, denim, and a sampling of vintage high-rise trousers. (Side note: In the fall, Exile transforms into a Halloween destination. There’s less vintage available during that time in favour of costume appropriate pieces and a ton of crazy wigs.) Beyond Courage and Exile, there are other shops that cater to various demographics: corsets and sexy vintage lingerie at Space Vintage, 1960s and 70s retro at Bungalow, plus quite a few others worth exploring if you enjoy the thrill of the hunt.
Personally I will always love making a trip out to Kensington for some vintage shopping and lounging on a patio. Expect the market to be bustling on weekends with live music on the streets and plenty of people just hanging out. Do not try to drive through the market, especially on a weekend! It’s an unwritten rule that this area cators to foot traffic, even on the roads, and pedestrians have the right of way.
I lovingly call this purse my dinosaur egg. It’s vintage and truly one of a kind! The Louis Vuitton cube bracelet is also a vintage find from the 00s! I snapped it up on Vestiaire Collective years ago. The skirt is from a fair trade clothing shop and is handmade from upcycled material. So is the brass choker. You won’t be able to find any of these exact pieces online, but you can shop similar items from my look here: