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5 Vintage Clothing Items That Can Make You Rich

Even everyday pieces like throwback jeans could net you some serious cash.

While there will always be a place for cutting-edge couture, the idea of "what's old is new again" has kept vintage fashion an essential part of our wardrobes. For many, perusing the racks at a consignment store can be an affordable way to land the perfect look for less—or at least find something one-of-a-kind for your outfit rotation. But similar to other items in your house, those throwback threads could also be worth much more than you expect. Read on for vintage clothing items that can make you rich, according to experts.

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Vintage leather


There's no denying that leather is an incredibly durable material for all kinds of items. But this durability also extends to its place in fashion, where older pieces can net you some serious cash.

"Authentic leather is growing in value as vegan leather becomes more popular and sustainable," says Jennifer Straughan, owner of The Thrifty Dresser thrift and consignment store. "Genuine leather is made from animal skin and is harder to come by as the manufacturing, care, and upkeep of products are all more complex. Vintage authentic leather specifically is cured to look weathered and have blemishes such as scratches and staining."

Of course, there are a few places to keep your eyes peeled for the genuine thing. "When you do find vintage leather products, it's usually in the form of cowboy boots or jackets and [they] can have a resale value of anywhere from $200 to $1,000," she says.

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Miu Miu Items

A close up of a Miu Miu handbag on someone's arm

High-design houses can be expensive as it is when they're brand new off the rack. However, savvy shoppers know some items can hold their value well into their years.

"One brand that comes to mind when I think of reselling is anything Miu Miu vintage," says fashion stylist Marlene Anzaldua. "And these days, the fashionistas love Miu Miu because of its trending status."

How much can you expect? Anzaluda says Miu Miu vintage shoes or handbags that sell for as low as $25 to $200 can be resold for as much as $200 to $400.

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Chanel Bags

chanel store

From its legendary fragrances to its pitch-perfect suits, Chanel is arguably one of the most iconic names in fashion, thanks in so small part to its timeless appeal. So it should come as no surprise that many of its items can fetch a great price, especially if they were produced decades ago.

"Chanel handbags have been an increasingly popular favorite for collectors this past year," Straughan tells Best Life. "While the brand is still producing new high-quality products, it does not match the appreciation for the materials and scarcity of the older bags that were produced at the turn of the century or earlier."

She says the fashion house's classic flap bag that sports a 24-karat gold clasp is a consistent consignment favorite—and much more valuable if you can get your hands on one produced circa 1983.

"The rarity of these bags means they can be resold at thousands of dollars above retail price and will likely continue to increase in value," Straughan says. "But honestly, given the brand's popularity as a whole, picking up any authentic Chanel now may result in increased resale value in the future."

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Graphic T-Shirts

Band t-shirt, Ramones t-shirt, 40s, what to give up in your 40s

T-shirts are one item of clothing where freshness is often appreciated. But that changes when you consider what's printed on them.

"Graphic t-shirts have always been popular, but if you have the right kind, they can fetch anywhere from hundreds to thousands," says Valerie Randazzo, co-founder of Afterglow Vintage. "Particularly valuable are bands, pop culture icons, and movies."

Of course, there is something of a strategy for finding a diamond in the rough. "Think niche interests that probably were not as popular during their release and did not sell well," Randazzo says. "The less common, the more valuable."

However, she warns it's important to be wary of fakes when splurging on a vintage t-shirt, as counterfeits have become an increasingly significant problem. "Be sure to reference things like the tag, printing, and stitching," Randazzo suggests. "Working with reputable sellers is the best way to ensure you are getting an authentic garment."

Vintage Corsets

A closeup of someone tying a corset
Julio Ricco/Shutterstock

It's no secret that trending fashion styles also influence the vintage market. And with corset tops growing in popularity in recent years, Straughan says vintage corsets have become even more sought after.

"As the style is from the Renaissance era, having a corset that embodies these designs and craftsmanship increases its desirability and value," she points out. "Designers like Vivienne Westwood have been prominent labels in this space, with new designs retailing for upwards of $1,000 and older compositions from the '90s selling for closer to $12,000 on the resale market."

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Zachary Mack
Zach is a freelance writer specializing in beer, wine, food, spirits, and travel. He is based in Manhattan. Read more
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