“This is an original 1970s East West calfskin motorcycle jacket in perfect condition,” said Britt Robertson in an arrogant tone. “Know what your s***’s worth, ’cause you just got played. Bam, son!” A light bulb moment in one of the scenes from Netflix’s Girlboss pilot episode, Robertson — playing a 23-year-old Sophia Amoruso — found her life’s true calling in a dingy vintage shop somewhere in LA. Later on, she started her eBay shop “flipping” unwanted pre-loved clothes into covetable vintage pieces that soon grew into the mega-sized label Nasty Gal.
Although real-life Nasty Gal has filed for bankruptcy, it’s less of Amoruso’s haughty disdain and more of the decreasing focus on quality vintage stock that caused the business to fizzle out. Sourcing vintage goods can be quite tricky when done in a large scale, which explains the saturation of made-in-China garments in place of actual unique pieces the brand was originally known for.
Granted, the definition of vintage has changed throughout the years. In fashion’s lightyears, offerings from two seasons past may as well be called “vintage” now. And the organic process of rifling through rails of secondhand chintzy tea dresses for worthy finds of rare Yves Saint Laurents or ’70s Guccis is too arduous for the breakneck speed we have grown accustomed to in this digital era.
Which is why heading to Instagram — a.k.a. the new eBay — for a curated treasure trove of vintage pieces has become the ultimate alternative for cutting out the lingering scent of mothballs from your retail experience. You also get to skip the legwork of sieving out the obvious rejects and have the luxury of purchasing with an easy tap of a finger. Plus, by buying secondhand, you’ll actually be doing your part of going greener while amping up your wardrobe selections. Win-win.
What Nasty Gal failed to proffer, these lesser-known gems deliver. Scroll down for the best vintage stores to check out on Instagram, where you can get both old-school garbs and visual eye candies in one fell swoop.