Our love affair with denim will probably never end, and lately, I’ve become a little obsessed with vintage denim again. While there are some intriguing eco-friendly denim companies that have come online recently (which hope to write about soon), from an environmental perspective, wearing vintage clothing instead of buying new stuff is always a great way to go. Plus, you can find some really special pieces that you’ll never find on the new clothing rack.
I’ve organized this post by clothing item type. And throughout, I try to highlight some great vintage shops on Etsy. But if you’re partial to styles from a specific era, one of the coolest things I’ve discovered about shopping for vintage denim on eBay and Etsy is that both sites make it easy to search by decade. Below are some links for your convenience.
In this post:
Vintage Denim Jeans
1. Vintage Levi’s Jeans
When I’ve sold things on eBay, what struck me is that brands really sell. People love vintage clothes with a strong brand attached. Sometimes you can find some awesome vintage pieces from an unknown brand, but I know a lot of you are partial to certain brands. So, I thought I’d kick off this post with the most iconic denim brand of all time: Levi’s.
Levi Strauss & Co. was founded in 1853, and they’ve been producing their signature denim jeans since the 1890s. Aside from some used clothing stores near home, my top places to search for vintage Levi’s are eBay and Etsy. But if you want to shop local, check out Yelp to find thrift stores and flea markets in your neck of the woods.
2. Levi’s Dark Wash
If you love the look of dark denim, check out the dark wash selection on eBay.
3. Black Levi’s Jeans
And for those of you who believe black will always be the new black, you need to own at least one pair of black Levi’s jeans. (I’m one of you. :o)
4. Levi’s Bell Bottoms
It wasn’t until writing this post that I had the powerful urge to wear some bell bottom jeans again. Suddenly, I feel like my wardrobe is incomplete. And vintage Levi’s bell bottoms are in the upper echelons of hip.
5. More Cool Denim Bell Bottoms
But there are other cool denim bell bottoms! This pair is so badass, I envy the person who makes them her own.
6. Vintage Wrangler Jeans
Wrangler jeans fit slim on the hips, and with their notable “W” embroidered on the pockets, Wranglers are definitely western wear denim. I always liked Wrangler because when I’d drive through Wyoming and Utah while traveling back and forth from California to visit my family in Colorado, it always seemed like the real cowboys wore Wranglers. While they’re not as easy to find as vintage Levi’s, you can definitely find some great used Wrangler jeans on eBay or Etsy.
7. Tall Cuff, High Waisted Jeans
This looks is super cute, and the subtle crease in these jeans makes them even cooler.
8. Vintage Lee Jeans
Like Levi’s, I salute Lee for creating different cuts of jeans to fit a variety of body types. If you like a higher waist, and the mom jeans look, you’ll be able to find it in vintage Lees.
9. Calvin Klein Vintage Jeans
I sold some stuff for my mom on eBay when she was downsizing and it was her vintage Calvin Klein that got snatched up in no time. A Rocky Mountain Girl at heart, my mom had a ton of really cool western wear, including a sweet Calvin Klein denim jacket and jeans. If you like the sexy, slightly high-waisted look, you can find it in a pair of Calvins.
10. Baggy Jeans
Baggy jeans dominated the 80s, and they’ve never gone out of style. This pair is by Calvin Klein.
11. Bedazzled Jeans
These remind me of childhood. They put joy into my heart.
12. Gloria Vanderbilt Jeans
Another iconic brand from the era of disco and designer jeans, Gloria Vanderbilt jeans are a little harder to come by, but with a bit of searching, you’ll find the perfect pair. Gloria always focused on creating styles to fit different body shapes, and this is one of the reasons women loved her jeans. Etsy is one of the best sources I found for vintage Glorias, but you can also find some on eBay.
13. Vintage Jordache Jeans
Started in 1969, Jordache is another brand that dominated the disco era with its sexy designer jeans. My friends and I would wear our Jordaches so tight that we had to lay down on the bed to zip them up. This was the time before designers started to mercifully add a little spandex to the denim. Both eBay and Etsy have a great selection of vintage Jordache, and if you like a higher waist, this brand will fit the bill.
14. Denim Knickers and Capris
I really like this look! Whether you find some vintage denim knickers or capris, or you make your own, this is a great denim look for spring and summer.
15. High Waisted Jeans
Surf and the City is one of the best shops I found on Etsy for great vintage denim. You’ll find a lot of cute high-waisted style, cutoffs, and more.
Vintage Denim Shorts
16. Denim Shorts
Whether you like to wear ‘em Daisy Duke’s-style short and split up the sides or knee-length like a hillbilly, everyone should own at least one pair of denim shorts.