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4 Clothing Items You Should Really Buy Used

Some clothes get better with age. So why not let someone else break them in for you?

While other people pay full price for new stuff that looks vintage, you’ll score massive discounts on the real thing, says Manhattan fashion stylist Seth Howard.

Denim Jacket

A light to medium wash will scuff and fade as it’s worn, giving the jacket a personality all its own. Small tears and holes add to the coolness factor; armpit stains don’t.

When you try it on, the jacket should land no more than 2 inches below your waist, says Howard. A good find at a vintage store should run you just $50—and way less if you hit Goodwill.

Just make sure you can fasten every button, and keep an eye out for any loose hardware that might need repairs. For a true treasure, seek out a vintage Levi’s trucker jacket. (It’ll have that signature red tab on the left chest pocket.)


If they were made 30 years ago, they were meant to last longer than most boots sold today, Howard says. Look for leather pairs from L.L. Bean, Timberland, and Allen Edmonds without broken stitching.

Remember, quality uppers are more important than soles; resoling is surprisingly affordable. Expect to pay under $150 for a quality pair in a vintage store. Military surplus stores and yard sales can yield gems, too.

Beware of footwear made before World War II. It might look cool, but can be fragile due to age and less-sturdy manufacturing.

Leather Jacket

First and foremost, look for proper fit. Then check the jacket’s condition: Creases and fading can lend a casual cachet, but steer clear of peeling leather, stalled zippers, or big rips.

Having those fixed could cost more than the jacket itself.

Vintage Watch

The value of an older watch can endure or even increase over time, says Hamilton Powell, CEO of Crown & Caliber, an online marketplace for certified preowned watches.

Look for a classic dial with no discoloration and a case that’s free of scratches. You can always swap out a busted strap or links.

Some of the best deals on Powell’s site are vintage Omega and Tag Heuer pieces that clock in under $2,500. He not only accepts returns but also provides a certificate of authenticity for every watch sold.


About Eugene Agyei Brown

Passionate writer. Unrepentant Critic. I want to write to impact the world. Forgive me if I become too Get in touch with me on facebook and lets have a chat.

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