The term ‘second-hand’ conjures up images of fusty old charity shops, or worse, threads fresh from the backs of the newly deceased. That thought aside, pre-owned needn’t mean post-shelf life, nor does it mean second-rate.
Despite there being plenty of pre-loved rails crammed tight with tat, if you can find them, there are several specific pieces are in fact better when bought vintage – not only do you get better bang for your buck, but someone else has already done the hard work of breaking it in for you.
Of course, that rule doesn’t apply to everything – we don’t recommend you opt for pre-loved underwear, for example, but we do approve of the below. We’d still recommend a quick sniff test, though, just in case.
Trucker jackets are the epitome of stateside style: Route 66, Hooters and dustbowl blue-collar workers. A brand new scuff-free piece, therefore, tends to shatter the illusion.
Vintage, sherpa-lined options can be found a fraction of the usual price, and better yet, a lived-in piece can add an edge to your overall look. That doesn’t give licence to an old trucker jacket you find in a roadside diner toilet. Opt for rough-around-the-edges as opposed to ready-for-the-bin.
It’s well known that leather jackets get increasingly supple over time. However, what that does mean is that until this has been done, you can look a bit like the Tin Man each time you go to shake someone’s hand.
Outsource the awkward stage and buy vintage to save the hassle of the breaking-in period. Though most older options tend to come in wider, boxy-cut shapes, you can still track down neat-fitting bombers and bikers that have a contemporary feel.
Vintage watches are expensive, both to buy and to maintain. That said, there’s a big difference between vintage and pre-owned.
Sites like Watchfinder and The Watch Gallery offer second-hand pieces that are still available in a brand’s mainline; they’ve just graced another wrist. As a result, they are usually heavily discounted, which means you can get a better watch than your budget would allow when buying new.
For those not in the business, it can be hard to imagine the life of a tradesman being anything but three-hour lunch breaks and bored housewives needing their ‘pipes checking’. In reality, life on the tools is not so easy, especially when you consider the curse of new boot blisters.
Although one man’s toolkit has become another man’s trend piece, the problem of blisters persists for non-tradesfolk. Investing in a pair of pre-owned options (that aren’t caked in plaster or brick dust) helps nix any new shoe woes, while scuffs and marks on the uppers tell a story (albeit not yours) and bring a sense authenticity to your Red Wings and jeans combo.
You only need to look as far as the wider cuts for 2017 to see that old-school denim is big news at the moment. On top of that, brands and retailers like Gap are re-releasing classic shapes for today’s dresser.
To avoid paying new prices for pre-worn, go original. Vintage jeans boast all the shapes from back in the day, but with added authenticity, and fabrics are often much softer than rigid box-fresh denim.
The allure of a vintage sports bag is enough to disperse the queues at a Supreme pre-launch. Not only do the likes of Umbro and Ellesse hark back to the golden age of sportswear, but faded colours and discontinued lines make for a look that’s less try-hard.
Better yet, pre-owned leather and designer pieces are cheaper than contemporary re-issues. Just ensure there’s no whiff of a decade-old gym kit, or worse, broken zips, as these are notoriously hard to replace on vintage options.
High-end macs are all well and good if you’ve got a couple of grand to spare, less so if you’re wallowing in an overdraft.
Surprisingly, designer trenches aren’t a rarity in the vintage market. Shapes are often wider, playing into the more relaxed way of dressing for this season, and much cheaper. Beware of brands you’ve never heard of; non-brand often equals to non-starter in the style stakes, especially if the fabrics weren’t premium to start with.