You don't need a lecture on the environmental benefits of shopping vintage but with the triumph of Depop, retailers like Selfridges hosting IRL spaces for vintage platform Vestiaire Collective, and car boot sales thriving among Gen Z and millennial women, vintage has long shaken off its dusty fancy dress image.
There's a whole host of new-gen vintage sellers to follow on social media but one trader is so delightful that she's bringing our staid Instagram feed untold joy.
Cassie O'Neill, 39, is the brains behind secondhand store Darling and Vintage and has a knack for unearthing sumptuous evening gowns, kitsch cardigans and one-of-a-kind coats. Having always loved vintage clothing – "Ever since watching The Sound of Music as a kid, it's all about trawling to find that unique piece" – she founded Darling and Vintage in April last year after moving back home to Northern Ireland from New York.
What began as a way of selling her personal collection of vintage finds has snowballed into the store we know today. But what makes her Instagram account so different? Cassie doesn't just post a photo of herself wearing her vintage treasures; instead she gives us slow-mo videos of her dancing in them.
"Mostly I dance to put a smile on my friends' faces and to make fun of myself a bit! Not all the videos are particularly flattering but they just make me laugh. I know it's great to see how an item really moves on somebody, so it helps customers to understand the item, too."
Cassie's favourite decade for vintage pieces is the 1950s – "For the incredible detail that you find in items from that era" – but she's also a big fan of the '70s. "Designers in the 1970s were so inspired by the '40s. But to be honest, if an item is beautiful, I don't mind when it's from." On her profile you'll see her grooving around in '80s polka dot blouses, swinging in '60s floral skirts and jiving in '50s dresses fit for prom night.
What are her top tips for a newly minted vintage customer? "Be prepared to trawl! Great vintage is a little like finding a needle in a haystack and trawling rails of clothing is my favourite pastime. Shop your local charity shop: I’ve found amazing vintage in my locals, and I know friends who have too. I visit mine every single week. Can’t be bothered to go through the rails? Go on social media! There are some AMAZING vintage Instagram shops all run by people who find the vintage treasure for you."
Wonderful one-of-a-kind pieces and joyful dancing in one place? Shopping just got so much more fun.