I'm a Vintage Fanatic, and This Is the Online Store I Always Want to Buy From

Joy Montgomery
·7-min read

The Secondhand Shopper is a new franchise that sees Who What Wear's Shopping Editor, Joy Montgomery, join forces with some of the industry's coolest vintage brands to show you that secondhand does not have to mean second best. This series will give you exclusive access to sellout secondhand drops, which will be hand-selected by our editor and styled to show how you can wear it for the season ahead. Prepare to get clicking, because these pieces won't stick around for long.

My vintage shopping franchise is back for another year and with a brand new look. Introducing *drum roll* The Secondhand Shopper. Last year saw the series kick off with pre-loved platforms Retold Vintage and One Scoop Store, each one offering its own unique take on the ever-expanding secondhand market. For 2021, I'm starting on a high with another online vintage seller whose '70s-centric edits never fail to tug at my heart (and purse) strings. Selena's Shop, you're up.

It's fair to say that scrolling through Selena Williams's vintage stock is like diving headfirst into the archival wardrobe of a supremely glamorous '70s film star. So naturally, I was instantly besotted. In amongst Instagram's conveyor belt of beige-toned trends, this Sheffield-based seller brings a riot of colour, texture and print. From '70s befrilled midi dresses and shoulder-padded blazers to playful accessories and psychedelic-print trousers, her edits roam the decades, but it is the 1970s where her vibrant aesthetic really comes to life. Selena's passion for pre-loved fashion is a testament to the escapism and joy that clothing can bring us, and boy do we all need some of that right now.

"My love of vintage comes from my grandparents: My grandad was an antiques dealer and a huge hoarder of old things and my grandma was really into fashion when she was younger and had the most incredible wardrobe," Selena explains. "Whenever I spent time at theirs as a kid I would either be playing with my granddad's antiques and collectables or playing dress up in my grandma's wardrobe."

"I started my business around 2 years ago purely as a hobby and a way to gain a little income on the side whilst I worked part-time. I became fully engulfed in the whole process and realised that not only did I love the sourcing side, but I really enjoyed the photography and styling. It wasn't long before I quit my part-time job and went at it full time."

Like many other vintage sellers, the pandemic has been a double-edged sword for Selena and her vintage business. While online platforms such as Etsy, Depop and Instagram offer relative freedom to its sellers, compared to the physical restrictions of bricks and mortar stores, it's a market that comes with its own difficulties.

"The pandemic has been such a rollercoaster," she explains. "The first lockdown was really good sales-wise, as I think people were optimistic that it wouldn't last very long. But as we progressed through the year, sales started to slow down and some weeks I was barely making any sales. Also, lockdown meant that sourcing new stock became super tricky, and two of my main suppliers had to close, and obviously, I wasn't able to go to any flea markets or car boot sales. Some weeks I just had to admit defeat and others I had to get super creative and restyle items already in the shop and concentrate on creating content to keep customers engaged. It's been a hard year but I'm feeling really optimistic to see what this year brings."

With new secondhand sellers cropping up every day and, only this week, global fashion giant Kering acquiring a 5% stake in Vestiaire Collective, it's clear that the vintage market is on the rise, and in many ways, it's small businesses leading the charge. Witnessing the support and passion of the online vintage community, of which Selena is a part, and their shared mission to change the shape of the industry has, on a personal level, been so inspiring.

"My favourite online stores would have to include The Pansy Garden: Beth who runs the shop on her own curates the most beautiful vintage '70s prairie dress drops. One of my favourite pieces in my wardrobe came from her, but you've got to be quick as most of her drops sell out instantly," says Selena. "I also love 5th Season Vintage who sells on Depop. Her style is very similar to mine, she has a great eye for fun '70s vintage. Looking through her feed always makes me feel happy."

I was lucky enough to have a rummage through Selena's latest stock (the phrase "kid in a candy store" comes to mind), and style up my favourite pieces for Who What Wear. My edit is available to shop today on Selena's site, but each piece is one-of-a-kind, so once it's gone, it's really gone. Scroll down to see and shop my edit.

Shop My Selena Shop Vintage Edit

Style Notes: The vintage market can sometimes be overrun with floral dresses (not really my thing), but this cute sailor-inspired midi is the perfect example of a simple yet unique piece you really won't find on the high street. The OTT shoulder pads feel very Princess Di circa 1985.


Vintage 1980s Navy Blue Sailor Dress (£45)

Style Notes: Featuring a delicate floral pattern and laced collar and sleeves, this ethereal blouse is one of the most beautiful vintage tops I've seen in a while. The organza fabric softens the Victoriana details, and I can imagine wearing this with jeans and heeled boots for Friday night cocktails (when we're finally allowed out).


Vintage Beautiful 1970s Sheer Edwardian Style Blouse (£32)

Style Notes: Last year I bought a vintage embroidered peasant blouse from Etsy and I've received so many compliments about it. This smocked iteration is another great interpretation of the iconic style and will look just as good over a bikini on a beach as it will with denim cutoffs in a London park.


Vintage 1970s Embroidered Hippy Blouse (£34)

Style Notes: I honestly had to exercise so my self-control not to buy this, but it really is the perfect exaggerated collar '70s jacket. It was a tiny bit on the big side for me, but it would look amazing on a size 10 with its closely tailored, nipped-in waist and longline fit.


Vintage 1970s Chocolate Brown Suede Jacket (£85)

Style Notes: I have a bit of an obsession with checkerboard right now, so this shirt is really speaking my language. Perfect for a UK size 6 or small size 8, it's simply begging to be tucked into high-waisted flared and styled with oversized '70s sunnies this spring.


Vintage 1970s Orange and Red Checked Shirt (£32)

Style Notes: I can't resist a good jumpsuit, but they can be hard to find secondhand. This grass green number feels like it could've stepped off a S/S 21 runway, with its cinched waist, zip-up fastening and wide-leg fit. A colour-pop piece that is sure to add personality to your new-season wardrobe.


Vintage 1970s Electric Green Jumpsuit (£130)

Style Notes: This is another item that I came very close to accidentally-on-purpose putting in my wardrobe. I never would've guessed it from the hanger, but it offers such a flattering fitted-silhouette, which still accommodates layered tops. I also can't get enough of the graphic print on the trouser leg. Swoon.


Vintage 1970s Navy Blue Psychedelic Print Jumpsuit (£95)

Style Notes: If you loved this season's rust orange trend, then you need to see this midi dress. Ideal for the not-hot-not-cold spring weather, this striped number comes with puffed sleeves and a distinctive bodice design. I would wear this with Birkenstocks and a straw tote bag on balmy March weekends.


Vintage 1970s Brown and Orange Striped Maxi Dress by Fiona (£95)

Style Notes: Okay, I lied—these are my favourite piece of the whole collection. Flared, psychedelic-printed and just packed full of personality, these trousers really have it all. Keep the rest of your look pared-back (think a white shirt and beige blazer) and let the trousers do the talking.


Vintage 1970s Blue and Green Psychedelic Print Trousers (£50)

Up Next: This Vintage Collection Always Sell Out Instantly—and I Got a First Look

This article originally appeared on Who What Wear

Read More from Who What Wear