The Beginner's Guide To Shopping On Instagram

Update: This post was originally published in November 2016.

These days, Instagram is everything. It's a place to post photos of your dog, brunch, and envy-inducing vacation — but it's also a place for storytelling, activism, self-expression, and, of course, our favorite pastime: shopping.

Thanks to the social media platform, our ability to score the clothing and accessories of our dreams is infinite — and that's because tons of indie shops, makers, and designers have tapped the community as a place to flourish, sell their goods, and emphasize their missions. Here, nothing is off-limits; from rare vintage finds to international luxury labels and handmade pieces, Instagram has become the place to discover new brands and get your hands on the items no one else will have.

Shopping on Instagram also has a charming community feel — the sellers correspond with customers in the comment sections, making the online experience feel more personal. Some allow you to purchase items by simply leaving a comment, while others provide their phone numbers or e-mail addresses to buy. Plus, the stores that are doing it right also post some inspirational and aspirational imagery alongside their products, so you never feel like you're being sold to 24/7.

Okay, can you tell we're kind of calling Instagram the new e-commerce? With that in mind, we've rounded up 16 brands and shops around the nation, the world, and the internet that you should follow ASAP. With these stores, the best stuff doesn't last long; click on to broaden your followings beyond your high school besties to a world of rad labels and secret style treasures.
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Photo via @goodvintagenyc.
@goodvintagenyc
This Insta-shop knows a good vintage shoe (or jacket, or dress, or top) when it sees one — meaning the selection is out of this world. What we love most, though, is the pieces are shown on-body, so we can see how they actually fit. And, its offering is just as good as its name promises.
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@shopmoonlightmile
What we love about this shop is that it's curated and selective. Instead of throwing a million items in your face per day, it takes things a bit slower, making the pieces feel more special. Though it sells all types of things, it's particularly strong for tops, earrings, and unique accessories.
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Photo via @peopleof2morrow.
@peopleof2morrow
A favorite to shop both on Instagram and IRL, People of 2morrow is a gold mine for vintage and name-brand goodies alike, and the prices can't be beat. Just comment "It's a wrap!" along with your last name to purchase straight from the feed. Come on, Rachel Comey shoes for under $100? Sign us up.
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Photo via @lisasaysgah.
@lisasaysgah
Aside from selling some of our favorite indie and contemporary brands, S.F.-based Lisa Says Gah also boasts a pretty sick vintage section — and updates its Instagram following with the best sunglasses, basket bags, and more on the regular, with links to shop in the bio.
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Photo via @ltrainvintage.
@ltrainvintage
Tap into one of New York City's coolest vintage stores from wherever in the world you are by following its constantly-updated feed. It sells select items on its website, and is pretty good about posting on Instagram every time something hits the store (but, you've got to move quick, because the best pieces never last long).
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Photo via @thedrivenewyork.
@thedrivenewyork
For equal parts inspiration and shopping, follow The Drive New York, which is consistently stocked with an array of aesthetically pleasing clothing and objects, with complimentary imagery to match.
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Photo via @thefrankieshop.
@thefrankieshop
This is one of the best-kept shopping secrets in New York City for fashion girls, and we're practically counting down the days until Frankie gets its goodies online. In the meantime, we're following its feed for perfectly minimal pictures and updates on new arrivals, sales, and more. Plus, you can call and order anything you see on Insta if you're not based in the area.
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@theacademynewyork
Embroidered T-shirts, dad hats — what more could you want? Stay up-to-date on this brand's latest drops and get all the grungy photos you need along the way.
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Photo via @twoson.co.
@twoson.co
A store founded by the coolest Insta-famous mom, ever? Talk about a must-follow. It's got an amazing selection of minimalist dresses, tops, shoes, and more, and an online shop and a phone number for easy purchasing.
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Photo via @shareendotcom.
@shareendotcom
If you're in the market for an amazing vintage dress for a party or event, look no further than Shareen. There's something here for everyone.
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Photo via @procell.
@procell
For a super-curated collection of vintage pieces you won't find anywhere else, you'll want to keep tabs on Procell, a tiny Lower East Side vintage shop with treasures for days. Keep an eye on Insta for some serious gems.
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Photo via @moreislove.
@moreislove
Remember when we told you about all the talent coming out of Tbilisi, Georgia (yes, the country)? Shop at this e-shop and keep tabs on all the new labels you should know.
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Photo via @of.an.era.
@of.an.era
Only the cool kids know about this New York-based thrift shop that stocks duds that look like you'd find them at Opening Ceremony. Just comment with your email and location to claim the piece you want.
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Photo via @ellen123ludlow.
@ellen123ludlow
Move over, Reformation, because you can get matching sets like this one and more at this treasure chest of a store. Feel free to call or e-mail to purchase what you see.
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Photo via @foxandfawn.
@foxandfawn
Shop affordable vintage from the comfort of your own couch on Fox & Fawn. Here's a refresher on how to purchase from its feed. Better make moves quick!
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Photo via @namesakevintage.
@namesakevintage
Don't get too distracted by Namesake Vintage's perfectly curated Instagram feed that you forget to head to its online shop to actually score the beautiful vintage pieces you see.
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@dustyrosevintage
Score floral dresses, vintage tees, and some sick denim pieces via this Brooklyn-based brand's Instagram. Though you can shop items on the store's Etsy shop, for of-the-moment updates, Instagram is where you'll find new arrivals as soon as they come in.
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Photo via @shopmarkt.
@shopmarkt
We're still upset we didn't make moves on this $22 "Gucci" sweatshirt. Find gems like this (as well as mint-condition duds from brands you know and love). All you have to do to buy is comment with your e-mail address.
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Photo via @shop_passenger.
@shop_passenger
Minimalists will love this dreamy L.A.-based shop's selection of luxury basics, slip dresses, denim, and more.
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Photo via @forartistsonly.
@forartistsonly
This Australian boutique gets an A+ for styling its product. And if you want everything, you're in luck. You can shop all you see on its website.
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Photo via @nakedcph.
@nakedcph
Sneakerheads, you'll want to follow this account ASAP. Not only does it boast some major eye candy, but it's our go-to for sneakers that are sold out in the U.S.
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@wonder_wander_shop
Ruffles, lace, and prints, oh my! This Moscow-based luxury Instagram shop has all your needs covered with its worldwide delivery.
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@the_vintage_edit
This page takes all the best stuff from Instagram's seemingly endless shops and puts it in one place. So if you only want to follow one account, this should be it.
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@shoplittlegood
Vintage Wranglers, silver hoop earrings, and perfectly pink turtlenecks are just a few of the gems you can find on this fairly-new Instagram shop. They've only posted 70 times, and we're already eyeing a solid handful of items.
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@persephonevint
The on-point styling on this sleek shop seals the deal on all of its lust-worthy finds.
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