One of the easiest (and most enjoyable) ways to shop sustainably for the holidays is to filter your search to items that already exist (read: secondhand or vintage gifts). Therefore, there’s no new production taking place. Not to mention, your gift will be entirely unique. 

If you’re not sold on the idea, thinking that your fashion gifts will look outdated, remember how cyclical trends are. Fashion from the ‘80s and ‘90s are just as popular now as they were 40 years ago. Think tiny shoulder bags, leather blazers, high-waisted jeans, and square-toe boots. Rather than buying remakes of these retro items, with vintage, you can buy the real thing — probably for a quarter of the price — and keep your contribution to climate change to a minimum this holiday season. 

Ahead, shop through our guide to vintage and secondhand gifts, all of which will have your loved ones on high during the holidays.

At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.

Celine Head Scarf

This retro Celine scarf can be worn as a head scarf, a neck scarf, or a hair tie. It’s basically a 3-in-1 gift.

Céline Handkerchief Bandana, $, available at Heroine

Vintage Rain Boots

Trend forecasts put Wellies at the top of everyone’s holiday wishlist this year. But since the rainy day footwear’s been around for decades, why not check them off your loved one’s list with a pair from yesteryear?

Chicopee ’60s Deadstock Black Vinyl Rain Boots, $, available at Thrilling

Gucci Sunglasses

Under-$40 Gucci shades will be a hit no matter who the receiver is.

Gucci Brown Plastic Sunglasses, $, available at Vestiaire Collective

Colorful Tank Top

To spice up their lockdown wardrobe, because wearing black all day every day just isn’t good for their spirits.

Berriez Multicolor Plisse Tank, $, available at Berriez

Vintage 501 Levi’s Jeans

Hint: according to the seller, these work best for a size 29.

Levi’s Vintage Levi’s 501 31×30, $, available at Depop

Glass Bead Necklace

This glass bead necklace is on both your BFF’s and Harry Styles’ wishlist.

Pony Express Jewelry Vintage Millefiori Glass Beaded Necklace, $, available at Etsy

Helmut Lang Button-Down

I’m tempted to buy this bad boy for myself.

Helmut Lang Vintage Light Green Helmut Lang Shirt, $, available at Etsy

Quilted Jacket

Just because quilted jackets are experiencing a spike in popularity in 2020, that doesn’t mean they’re new. The retro coat liner has been around for years, meaning that the vintage alternatives are aplenty.

Rawson Studio Vintage Black Liner Jacket, $, available at Etsy

Ruby & Diamond Ring

For the special someone in your life, perhaps?

Vintage 14K Gold W/ Ruby and Diamond Ring, $, available at Front General Store

Silver Money Clip

Before there were wallet-sized photos, all images were cropped to fit right inside your money-clip locket. (Ok, that’s not entirely true, but it’s a cute thought.)

Collectors Utopia Vintage Silver Plated Brass Locket Money Clip, $, available at Etsy

Red Leather Trench Coat

For everyone who’s trying to avoid buying leather new, the vintage scene is full of items like this stunning red leather trench coat.

Monse4507 Vintage Red Leather Trench Coat 2X, $, available at Depop

Cowboy Boots

They just don’t make cowboy boots quite like they used to. Am I right?

Boulet ’70s/’80s Blue and Yellow Leather Cowboy Boots, $, available at Thrilling

Plaid Wool Coat

It’s a bit of a splurge, I know, but c’mon — this plaid, fringed coat is so much better than any new coat you’ve seen thus far this season.

Persephone Vintage Wool Black White Plaid Fringe Hooded Blanket Coat M/L, $, available at Etsy

Gold Locket Pin


Brocante Market ’50s Sweetheart Military Locket Brooch, $, available at Thrilling

Vintage P.E. T-Shirt

For your BFF, who’s been by your side since middle school gym class.

Vintage ’60s Phys Ed T-Shirt, $, available at Moth Food Shop

Prada Nylon Handbag

It’s impossible for anyone to be disappointed by your gift when it’s stamped with a Prada logo.

Prada Prada Tessuto Nylon Pouch Bag, $, available at Heroine

Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?

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