my definitive guide to online shopping.

so, i love to shop. quelle surprise. i love the hunt. i love following the rabbit hole and i even love the browse. but i understand that shopping, for many, can be exhausting. particularly online because these days the interwebs are vast and outfits are now “curated” by well “curated” online shops, all competing with one another for coolest instagram gallery. gone are the days when we could rely on our local thrift store or corner vintage shop to supply us with the cute shit. vintage shops have seemingly disappeared and been replaced by boutiques with “curated” (am i using that word too much? yeah, so is everybody!) “pre-loved” designer clothing mixed in with the new. thrift stores are now completely picked over before any vintage even hits the floor and instead are overflowing with discarded fast fashion. so where, where does a girl go to find the hotness? here are the places that i frequent.

  1. instagram. ugh, i know. welcome to the modern world. a thumbnail photo, leave your email address, paypal the money and pray that you actually like what you get. my best advice is to know your measurements. if you see something that you like, for example a pair of pants, measure a pair of your own that fit you well and compare. measure,measure, measure. here is a breakdown of my favorite insta-shops:
    1. painted bird (@shoppaintedbird). this also happens to be my favorite brick & mortar vintage shop in san francisco. i was there the day that they opened, and they continue to have a rad selection of vintage at actually reasonable prices. you have to call them to buy, but once you’re on file you can comment “ring me” to purchase and they will call you and ship to you.
    2. worship vintage (@shopworship & @shopworshipla). these brooklyn & la vintage shops are similar to painted bird: a lot of 80’s/90’s items with occasional designer pieces at great prices. they also sell by phone.
    3. the corner store (@the_corner_store). stacey nishimoto is a genius and a goddess. the original stylist for nasty gal when nasty gal sold vintage, her collection is ultra feminine and her styling is so out of this world brilliant that it’s unbelievable to watch. email her to buy.
    4. na nin vintage (@naninvintage). minimalist centric vintage pieces wonderfully styled and shot at cool angles, this shop is sort of like the vintage version of lisa says gah. they invoice via paypal, and the pieces go quick.
    5. noihsaf bazaar & noihsaf vintage (@noihsaf.bazaar & @noihsaf.vintage). sort of a trading post, sellers email submissions and they get posted on instagram for 2800 followers to see. typically the 1st person to comment with paypal email address gets the item and it’s shipped directly from the seller. the main account focuses on higher end stuff (at times it can feel like an ace & jig swapshop) and the sheer volume of stuff can be overwhelming, but you can also find pieces by many of the hot indie designers like ilana kohn and no 6. second hand. the vintage account has a wide array of stuff, with no real theme to the pieces but you will find lots of vintage levis at reasonable prices.
  2. indie boutiques.
    1. kitkitdizzi is totally my favorite store in the world. this nevada city, california shop is sort of a mercantile for mystics. the focus is on craftsmanship, artisan and locally made pottery, home goods, apothecary, other worldly jewelry and leather goods along with a selection of clothing from ace & jig, tysa, gravel and gold and more. their online shop is full of one of kind treasures. a truly original, lovely and eclectic mix from two gorgeous ladies.
    2. mille is a shop out of minneapolis that carries mostly indie designers like maryam nassir zadeh, a detacher and rachel comey. their sales are amazing and frequent, it’s my go to spot for scoring beautiful things on the cheap-er.
    3. the dreslyn is an l.a. shop that carries emerging designers like jesse kamm and creatures of comfort along with comme des garcons and helmut lang. they also have awesome sales, and they offer monthly horoscopes as well.
    4. need supply has a mix of high and lower end minimalist-ish stuff. they have womens, mens and home goods, and they feature a lot of up and coming designers like black crane & caron callahan. they have good sales, and also have free returns (within 7 days) which is pretty much unheard of these days.
    5. garmentory is a new favorite. sort of a trading post of indie boutiques and designers, you buy through the site and the item ships from the seller directly. they also have a “make an offer” feature on a lot of items where you can negotiate price, and they do offer returns on regular priced items.
    6. bona drag is really a fave, because the aesthetic speaks to my soul. they carry high end indie designers with spirit like samantha pleet and incredible jewelry by pamela love and quarry. they also send you a mix cd with each purchase.
    7. frances may is a portland shop that carries all of my favorites from ulla johnson to lauren manoogian to mm6 & acne studios. i love their photos & i’m always inspired when i look through.
    8. maryam nassir zadeh. i feel like maryam nassir zadeh completely changed the game, as far as how shops show their clothing (shot on “non-models”, on the street) and of course as far as her aesthetic is concerned. there’s really no one more inspiring to me these days, and although most of the items on her site are unattainable to me, i’m always happy to look.
    9. bon boutique. so much beauty in this mother/daughter tucson, arizona shop. simple, well made pieces from various makers with a hint of the southwest in everything. their photos are perfection.
  3. vintage shops. sigh. when it comes to designer vintage, as far as price goes, ebay will probably always be the best bet for finding things on the cheap, but if you don’t know exactly what you want, it can be really tough to navigate. sites like therealreal and vestaire collective can have great stuff, but prices can be steep, and a word to the wise that vestaire collective takes literally FOREVER to ship their items. true vintage shops are a dying breed, but there are a few remaining that i feel are really legit.
    1. mercy vintage. apart from their oakland brick & mortar and instagram (@mercyvintage where some items are sold without hitting their website), mercy vintage sells a small collection of vintage/designer pieces on their website that is pretty great. comme des garcons and dries van noten pieces are frequent, and the prices are pretty darn reasonable.
    2. spanish moss. spanish moss always has an amazing collection of 70’s denim, rock t-shirts and an array of folk/gypsy dresses and skirts that are all pristine and beautifully detailed. the prices are a little steep, but their pieces are so unique and their site is so well styled (often by the amazing stacey nishimoto).
    3. desert vintage. this tucson shop always has an astonishing collection of pieces, focusing mainly on the 1920’s-40’s. i don’t think that anyone has the kind of clothes that desert vintage sells, i always marvel at how they do it.
    4. thriftwares. this brooklyn shop has a great selection of vintage and vintage designer pieces mostly from the 70’s-90’s. it is all styled with hot modern gucci accessories that make their shop feel like it might secretly be alessandro michele’s side gig.
    5. etsy. the crazy over-saturated etsy market seems to be drying out, thanks to the instagram phenom. there are still a few great sellers on etsy. a few of my favorites are american archive for beautiful mexican dresses (& much more), mother’s daughter shop for cool & affordable minimalist basics, books & clothes for strange & cool vintage designer pieces, fair season for amazing denim and noirohiovintage for a mix of rad shit.

the end.

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