Do Your Vintage Shopping on Instagram

While lying in our respective beds across the room, my roommate would occasionally call out something like, “Oh my god, this dress on Instagram is great, should I buy it?” I’d usually reply with some variation of, “I dunno, how much is it?” - thinking that she’d seen an ad from some clothing brand on her feed. 

It recently came to my attention, when she showed me the dress she got tailored, she had not been buying from a chain. After imagining it to be from some well-known clothing chain, she informed me that, no, it was from the vintage-clothing Instagram that she had been telling me about. 

Am I really late to this trend? I had no idea there were entire Instagram accounts dedicated to the trade of selling vintage clothes. Yet there my roommate was, with a dress that I thought I could easily procure online, but which turned out to be a unique find. 

I immediately asked for the name of the account where she had found the dress. It’s called noihsaf.vintage. After stalking a few of the posts, I got a general idea of how the whole thing worked out. Accounts who, often, did not have a particularly large following could advertise their wares on this Instagram account, providing a detailed description of size, material, condition, price, etc. The larger account verifies these items and takes a small cut of the profit in exchange for its larger advertisement. You simply have to tag the seller’s username with your zip code. Assuming you are the first to do so, the seller will reach out over direct message for your email and then send you a link to a Paypal transaction. 

Similarly to vintage shopping in stores, it can produce an “I’ve got to buy this quickly before someone else does” mentality. In real life, however, two people cannot be holding up the same shirt, trying to consider whether or not to buy it. On Instagram, hundreds of people could be staring at the same picture, and it suddenly feels as though you have to make the decision even more quickly than if you were there in person. 

It is a drawback that you cannot try the item on, though presumably, you could try to sell it again if it doesn't fit. What makes these accounts alluring, in my opinion, is that you are presented with items that have already been deemed to be in good enough shape and which (often) are somewhat trendy. If you’re looking to find good vintage items quickly and without much hassle, vintage accounts are great. 

Perhaps this trend is not as rewarding as finding the perfect shirt after searching rack upon rack in a thrift shop, but I’ve since ordered an amazing blue coat from my bed, and - to be honest - that feels pretty satisfying too.