Vintage shopping is an extreme sport. Only the strong survive rack upon rack of thrift-store offal to find the diamond in the musty rough, and to the victor go the spoils.
Then the internet came along, and now even the unathletic among us can get in on the vintage game. We've rounded up 38 sites with excellent authentic finds you can score from the safety of your couch. From past-era couture to fun kitsch (authentic Hawaiian shirts, anyone?), these sites will fulfill all your apparel, shoe, bag, and accessory needs. We know you've got thoughts, too—let us know about any gems we missed in the comments.
Vagabond: There is a distinctly contemporary vibe to this e-shop, and the moral here seems to be that past-era clothing can fit seamlessly into a modern wardrobe. There are a few in-your-dreams pieces, but most items are priced under $500, with plenty in the $150 range.
Re-mix: So. Many. Shoes. Old Hollywood is the theme for this shop, which specializes in dead-stock footwear. And because they carry full orders of vintage shoes instead of one-offs, many of the options come in a full range of styles and multiple colors. Re-mix also produces replicas of the most popular styles, like the T-strap Balboa pump.
Archive Vintage: Online shopping for vintage can start to feel a little clunky compared to the super-slick websites we're used, but Archive, bless them, has put as much thought and effort into their site as any contemporary brand. It's beautiful and easy to use, and beyond that, the store has a great selection of 1960s to 1990s vintage. Nearly everything in the sale section is under $100 and (woot!) there is free shipping in the US.
Spanish Moss: Bell-bottoms, ponchos, folk vests... Stevie Nicks would go crazy on this. It's consistently counted among the best vintage sites around, with carefully selected pieces from the '60s and '70s priced between $200 and $300.
American Apparel: Not the first place you'd think to look, but AA's online outpost stocks a selection of totally affordable vintage scores that claim to be hand-picked by staffers all over the world. Examples of note: this Adrienne Vittadini silk scarf for $34, and this Pierre Cardin little black wrap-dress for $70.
Rusty Zipper: Volume is the name of the game at this online vintage emporium. The grandfather of vintage e-commerce, the site has been around since 1995 and stocks gear hailing from the '40s on up. Pristinely curated it is not—there are more than 3000 search results for dresses—but the site does a good job of helping you search by era and style. Nearly everything is under $100.
RL Vintage: Purveyor of all things Americana, Ralph Lauren has just launched a vintage site dedicated to his own collections of yesteryear. It's not going to be your go-to site for cheap scores, but features giant editorial images and sure is gorgeous. Kicking off with western wear, the site will be updated seasonally with new items and themes.
Chelsea Girl: In addition to cool '80s-era Norma Kamali and Donna Karan, there is an entire section dedicated to floral grunge dresses. For those you'll pay $60 to $90. For the handbags, designer finds, and funky furs, you're in the several-hundred-dollar range.
Byronesque: This new site partners with reputable vintage shops around the world in lieu of stocking its own inventory, upping the ante on internet vintage in one fell swoop. So far, international vintage Meccas like London's One of a Kind, Paris' Quidam de Revel, and New York's The New World Order are on board, the latter even shuttering to sell exclusively through Byronesque.
Modcloth: Though this e-tailer has expanded into the contemporary market, the site was born out of Founder Susan Koger's success selling her favorite vintage finds from her dorm room. The vibe here is fun, affordable, and occasionally kitschy, with a lean towards all things '50s.
Doyle & Doyle: If Old World charm is what you're after, here's the place to head. At the online branch of this New York jewelry boutique, antique lockets, Downton Abbey drop earrings, Art Deco engagement rings, and ornate brooches are on offer. It's not for bargain hunters, however. You'll find very little going for under $500.
Posh Vintage: There's a lot happening here, and the store's perspective is a little hard to understand, but here's something that is clear as a whistle: Under $55 dresses. There's a whole section of them, and right now they're all an extra 20% off in the sitewide sale.
Thriftwares: This eBay gem does a brisk business in coats, including fur, and party dresses. Prices are across the map, but some items are still in the $10 to $15-bid range.
Goodwill: Many people are not aware that Goodwill has an active website, but e-commerce is indeed alive and well here. Like the real-life version, it's a bit of a shitshow. But those who persevere will be rewarded: There are literally hundreds of items for under $5. Unlike the real-life version, however, you'll do your shopping auction-style here, so prepare to battle for those deals.
Decades: LA's super-famous resale boutique has a great website with a dedicated vintage section. Though there's very little available for under $300, couture hounds take note: stock runs especially deep in YSL. You may also want to mark your calendars for their massive yearly Chanel sale, which is coming up on December 8.
Decades Vintage: Not to be confused with the aforementioned LA shop with the same name, this Portland boutique offers up ladylike day dresses and other treasures from the '30s to '70s. Bonus points for conveniently displaying every garment's size on the browsing page, so you never have to click through, only to be disappointed.
Mama Stone Vintage: One of many excellent vintage sources on eBay, Mama Stone has a distinct '70s California vibe. You'll find bright colors, retro prints, and more crochet than you can shake a credit card at. Bonus: the newsletter offers previews of items that are coming soon.
What Goes Around Comes Around: Originally a vintage gem in SoHo, WCACG's online arm prides itself on its Chanel collection. The bulk of its jewelry is from the '80s, making this the first place you'll want to come for your Dallas theme party.
Mill Crest Vintage: The curated apparel is nice, but this is really a jackpot for bridal finds. The wedding gown options are impressive: Pages of dresses organized by era and material are on offer, and bridesmaids and mothers of the bride get their own sections, too.
Figure 8 Studio: There's a lot on offer here in the reasonably accessible price range of $50 to $500, but this site gets our vote for its Hawaiian collection. A whole cache of dresses plus a handful of the original short-sleeved Hawaiian shirts are enough to make us smile.
Resurrection Vintage: This site makes you create a login before they will let you see prices, and there's a reason for that: Shopping here is not for the faint of credit card. But the pieces, all reworked high-end designer-wear, are elegant and gorgeous. Swing by if you get invited to the next Met Ball.
Nasty Gal: Nasty Gal's sexy urban steez is everywhere these days, including on the original Racked 38 and the indie Racked 38. Now for the trifecta. The vintage selection here is original and cool: neoprene backpacks, rhinestone belts, snake-print minis, and at least one Def Leopard tee-shirt set the tone. Prices are more expensive than the site's contemporary finds, but most pieces clock in at under $200.
Dorothea's Closet: The hats at this shop are everything your vintage dreams are made of. They range from wearable to costumey and are worth a browse, even if you would never actually finish off your look with a spray of ostrich plumes cloche.
Viva Vintage: This beloved Chicago boutique shut its doors back in 2007 to take the online-only plunge, so you can now get in on the goods anywhere. Hats, bags, shoes, lingerie, apparel, coats and jackets... they're well-covered in all categories and eras.
Pink Girl: It's all lingerie all the time at Pink Girl. The site houses a giant collection of gorgeous, one-of-a-kind slips, robes, dressing gowns, and other underthings. Prices are in the special-occasion-but-still-realistic range.
Couture Allure: Based outside of Boston, the mother-daughter team behind this sites combs the attics and estate sales of New England homes to find ladylike cocktail dresses Betty Draper would love. Most of them fall in the $150 to $300 range.
Denise Brain: This site offers a very pleasant, very pink browsing experience. The design is pretty, the site is easy to navigate, and the photos—which include multiple views and detail shots for each garment—are some of the best we've seen in the vintage realm. The stock skews heavily '50s, with most items going for between $50 and $150.
Raleigh Vintage:Another Etsy favorite, this shop stocks pretty, feminine finds, mostly from the '40s to '60s. We're loving this plaid A-line skirt for $38, and a Mad Men style men's cardigan for $34 to go with.
Luxury Garage Sale: The beauty of this Chicago-based boutique is that there's room for price negotiation on their website. They roll deep in vintage Chanel and Hermes, which doesn't come cheap, but their online arm sells through eBay, and all items are listed with an "or best offer" condition.
Scout: This LA boutique has a small but killer selection of contemporary vintage from the '80s, '90s, and '00s. Things we want: a '90s-era Hussein Chalayan print dress for $228; a Madonna-style Gaultier blazer dress for $298, and a sweet Sonia Rykiel sweater with bows and pom-poms for $128.
Murdups: This Etsy shop has one the best selection of vintage scarves we found. The selection is whimsical and unique, with designer labels playing second fiddle to original finds. There are a dozens of options to browse, and most of them are under $25.
Wasteland: The term 'vintage' is interpreted loosely at this LA shop, where past-season pieces from contemporary labels like 3.1 Philip Lim, Alice + Olivia, and Opening Ceremony mix and mingle with a '90s-era satin varsity jacket and a leopard print swing coat from the '60s. The effect is undeniably cool, however.
Vintage Textile: The site design is a little lo-fi, but the Edwardian section of this e-shop is pure vintage lace porn. If you have never envisioned yourself in, say, an an Irish crochet lace wedding gown c. 1910, you will now.
Shrimpton Couture: Archival photos and video clips give insight into the designers featured here, most of which are couture heros with the price tags to match. There's lots to browse, however, even if buying isn't an option for you, including respected retired labels you may not have heard of in addition to the superstar houses you surely know.
Adored Vintage: Great photography and a dreamy lookbook make this a place to get inspired, as well as to shop. The merchandise here spans all eras, from antique right up to the '80s, and the majority is priced at under $100. Bonus: a holiday sale right now has many items marked an extra 30% off.
Neon Threads Design: The name says it all: bright colors and prints are the specialty at this Etsy shop. Radioactive prints from the '60s, hammer pants from the '80s, and scores from the neon '90s abound.
Screaming Mimis: This New York staple is stuffed with tons of vintage clothing, costumes, and collector's pieces, the best of which had made its way onto the store's eBay site. The advantage of shopping this way is you get the gems without the clutter. The disadvantage is that you miss out on the wacky window displays.
Edith Machinist: The online outpost of this New York store is limited to shoes and accessories, and its as beautiful and easy to shop as its brick-and-mortar sister. This is a store that's about quality over quantity. The carefully selected pieces have a clear point of view, and feel contemporary, rather than retro.