Sustainability is trending. We all try to be more sparing in consumption, use fewer resources, and produce less waste. In terms of fashion, it means the refusal of mass-market products and choosing more ecological apparel, locally made or vintage. While new eco-friendly clothes can be costly (they are still worth the money), vintage pieces are usually cheaper, while still stylish and hip. If you know where to shop, you can become a fashion icon in a vintage hoodie.
What Is Vintage?
Not any old clothing can be called vintage. The term itself usually describes something between twenty and a hundred years old (older is antique). But besides the age, a piece should represent the era in which it was made. For example, a flapper dress in 1920s vintage, the 50s had twin sweater sets, the 80s are famous for shoulder pads, and in the 90s and 00s, we had iconic rap hoodies. These are all recognizable styles. It does not matter if an item is made by a famous designer or a casual label. It can also be used, new from a deadstock, or handmade.
Besides being old, a vintage piece must be of perfect quality to stand the test of time. It means good fabric as well as sturdy stitching, without stains or tears. That is another reason to go for it. You seldom find such a top-notch item in one of the fast fashion brands' clothing line.
And last but not least, vintage is desirable. Nobody wants someone else’s old sweater, yet a vintage sweatshirt is worth hunting for.
Why You Should Buy a Vintage Sweatshirt
It is a well-known fact that the fast fashion industry causes a lot of pollution. Show that you do not support it by buying a vintage piece. If being eco-friendly is not a good enough reason, we have a few more.
∙ Vintage clothes are unique.You are not likely to run into another person wearing the exact same hoodie on the street. This is all a stylish person can dream about.
∙ Quality.If a piece survived 20 years, it can survive 20 more. Back then clothes were made more durably. Moreover, sometimes vintage stores sell items that were never worn.
∙ The second life of clothes.In a vintage store, you can find some real gems that will last you for years, while the owners threw them away just because they got bored.
∙ Price.No need to break the bank to buy a good vintage piece. Unless it is a Dior dress from the 50s, it will probably cost less than a new item of the same quality. In general, you can save up to 90% of the original price.
∙ Still in trend.A lot of new fashion whims are just comebacks of old ones. You can definitely find something hot in season in a vintage shop.
∙ Treasure hunt.Vintage shopping can become a new hobby. Searching for diamonds is fun; it brings you the joy of discovery.
Where to Buy a Vintage Hoodie
There are a lot of options. If you want to be eco-friendly and stylish at the same time, vintage shopping may be an answer. The easiest way to start is to search through specialized vintage boutiques. They have curated collections with items already handpicked for you. The owner can even tell you their story, where they originated from and how did they end up in their hands. However, these shops are generally more pricey.
There are also thrift stores and charity shops that typically sell used (we call them pre-loved) clothes. To find a really good piece you might need to do some digging. The same is true about flea markets and local sales. One needs to be lucky to find a good vintage piece. But this process can be a part of the fun.
Another type is a consignment store where people can resell items. Usually, they accept only good quality or designer pieces that can be sold with a margin. The store then takes a cut. Keep in mind that they also take contemporary clothing probably inspired by retro pieces.
Online is probably the most commonplace to shop today. There are tons of web stores that made vintage their specialty. There are also a lot of not specialized auctions like eBay, Etsy, Depop, etc, where people can sell vintage pieces. The biggest advantage of these shops is that they are way easier to browse. Especially if you know what you are looking for. The downside is that you can’t try a piece immediately. Therefore, the success rate of this type of shopping may be lower and you can end up getting not what you’d hoped.
We’ve put together a small list of vintage hoodies you can buy online along with some trusted vintage stores. Let’s check them out.
10 Cool Vintage Hoodies and Sweatshirt
1. Vintage Champion Hoodie
We’d say, this is the most classic of it all. Champion has been around since the 20s, and they are known for high-quality fabric and stitching. So if you spot a Champion hoodie during a stroll in a flea market or browsing the internet, don’t hesitate, just check the size. This one was sold on Depop for $50. Yet you can subscribe to the seller’s profile. It has a lot of golden vintage pieces like an embroidered Versace sweatshirt or a Burberry crew neck.
2. 90s Adidas Vintage Sweatshirt
A rare find of true 90s vintage, an original purple Adidas sweatshirt is for sale on Asos Marketplace (another good place to shop for independent brands or vintage pieces from around the world). The price is high, almost $110 USD, yet this piece of history is worth it. It is bright and features a trefoil logo and trendy color blocks. Keep in mind that vintage clothes are unique and therefore available in one size. This one is small.
3. Vintage NBA Hoodie
Vintage shops are a great place to find a hoodie of your favourite sports team or college, especially if you feel nostalgic. This red hoodie is from the 90s, from the brand Jordache. It was popular in the late 70s and early 80s (yet still in action) and specialized on designer jeans and outerwear. This hoodie is in XL and costs $42.
The shop itself also deserves our attention. Beyond Retro is owned by vintage experts with a sustainable vision. The pieces are moderately priced, and the selection is enormous. The shop also uses eco-friendly packaging and has its own upcycling brand and collection.
An awesome vintage piece for Nascar racing fans. It is available in XL size and costs $100 USD even though it has a minor flaw (the general condition is very good). We recommend you check the True Vintage platform. It is a London-based shop that specialises in sustainable clothing and also handpicks pieces from new and upcoming eco-conscious designers.
This piece is gold for baseball fans and retro fashionistas. A crew neck sweatshirt of Brooklyn Dodgers Alumni Club has a fun graphic and bright banding on the sleeves and bottom. The man flying on the baseball bat has a note in his back pocket that says, “Bums move to Los Angeles.” It has some hardly noticeable flaws from washing, yet the condition is fairly well and clean. Available in XXL for $68 dollars.
What’s good in consignment stores is that you can find great items from the past collections there, which are already sold out across the world. And they are cheaper here than on the racks! The Real Real is one of such stores, with a specialisation in luxury brands. It carries vintage as well as slightly used items younger than 20 years old. All the pieces are authenticated. Moreover, you can buy clothes from a celebrity's closet here.
This Versace hoodie in XL costs almost $600 bucks. It is in pristine condition, is made with pure cotton and has an inconspicuous front kangaroo pocket. Purchase it to extend the item’s lifespan and contribute to sustainable fashion.
7. Vintage Zip Up Hoodie
Tradesy is another consignment store. It is an online platform where one can sell designer and vintage items. The shop guarantees authenticity or money back. Moreover, it offers money back if the item fits you badly.
This hooded jacket is in perfect condition and has no signs of wear. Made of cotton/polyester blend in size L, this piece by Sean John will cost you almost $100. Perfect for those who love 90s music.
This sweatshirt will remind you of childhood. A deep blue vintage top from 90s with Bugs Bunny cartoon is on sale on Grailed marketplace for $240. The condition is gently used. It is in size XL, but you can look for a similar piece from other sellers. Grailed has an accent on things you can’t find anywhere else, like limited streetwear collections or exclusive vintage. The community will help you to ensure authenticity.
Warner Brothers company has been known for almost a century for their television shows and movies and most of all, for Looney Tunes cartoons. If you laughed out loud with them in your child years, don’t leave this sweatshirt unchecked.
9. Vintage Moschino Hoodie
Moschino is one of the funniest and coolest brands out there. It was not afraid of bold experiments long before Off-White and Supreme. This vintage patterned hoodie from the 90s will make you stand out in a great way. The size is small and the price - $80.
Thrifted is London-based vintage boutique that prises circular fashion above fast. They select quality and stylish clothes that deserve having the second and even third lives and therefore owners. They have only authenticated vintage and brands, no fakes.
10. Vintage Walt Disney Sweatshirt
A piece like this you can only find on eBay. And the price for the rarity is pretty high — almost a thousand dollars. This is a Walt Disney World Four Parks embroidered sweatshirt in size XL. Even though it has some minor stains, there are a lot of fans to whom this piece is priceless.
EBay is a great place to search for the rarest items. You can find pretty everything here and on a different price tag. Vintage hoodies are no exception.
How to Buy Vintage Like a Pro
Whether you are on a hunt browsing Etsy or going to a flea market, these tips will come in handy. They will help you to find great vintage pieces without spending too much time or money.
Keep an open mind.
You might know exactly what you want, but it might look very different on the rack or picture. Unlike regular stores, which have each piece in every size and color, a thrift store is stocked with only one of a kind. So whatever you are looking for, be ready not to find it and fall in love with something completely different. If you want to become a vintage connoisseur, we suggest you browse through favorite websites and shops at least once or twice a month. Also, you might need a trusted tailor.
Evaluate the condition
You need to look for quality. Even if an item was used it shouldn’t have any signs of wear or obvious flaws. Check the stitches, buttons, and fabric. Of course, you can fix a missing button if the piece is worth it, while an odd smell is a certain pass.
∙ Read the labels
They can tell a lot. For example, if you do not recognize a logo and a brand, the item is likely to be vintage. The nicest thing though is to find a vintage piece from a brand that still exists, with an outdated logo on the tag. The country of origin also can help you to identify vintage. Up until the 80s, most clothes were homemade (or Mexico, if you are in the US). As for the fabric, vintage items tend to have 100% composition.
∙ Pay attention to the size
Sizes have been changing over time and sometimes the difference is significant. Women’s dress marked as size 12 in the 1960s would be a size 6 or 8 today. So do not panic if you find out a much bigger size fits you perfectly. However, for the newer vintage, starting from the 80s, sizes are more or less in line with what we wear now. It’s generally better to know your measurements rather than size.
∙ Try before you buy
This is the general rule for mindful shopping but is it especially true for vintage clothes. Many of them were made with different patterns than are common today. If you are buying online, make sure you can return the item if it doesn’t fit.
Try anything that speaks to you. Even if you are not sure you like it. It is common in vintage shopping that a piece starts to shine only on a person.
∙ Start slow
We suggest you start with accessories or pieces that can be easily put into an ensemble with contemporary clothes. For example, bomber jackets, hoodies, and sweatshirts. The item should be functional so that you can wear it instead of just putting it into the closet and forget about it.
The feeling of owning something unique, a piece with a history and an ultimate swag is indescribable. It is definitely worth the digging you’ll have to do to find a vintage hoodie. Moreover, buying a pre-owned piece can be your impact on solving ecological problems and producing less waste. So let’s be stylish and eco-friendly.