If you’ve not heard of Retruly before then let me introduce you to them. This vintage focused marketplace is a new kid on the block, having established just over a year ago in the spring of 2016. However, don’t let this fool you because its founders, Paul & Bernice Armstrong, have been selling vintage online for over 10 years. And not only that, they’ve had plenty of experience of all the big marketplace sites you all know and spend hours on trawling for that perfect piece of vintage!
What makes Retruly marketplace different from the others is that they only sell vintage. This means there’s no handmade or indie brand stuff to wade through and no ‘mass-produced parading as vintage’ nonsense. Hoorah!
And there’s a lot on offer too, from vintage clothing (both men’s and women’s), jewellery, home accessories and more, all provided by different sellers from across the world. They’re adding new sections all the time and their latest addition is vintage vinyl, which I’m definitely going to have to look through.
So, when Paul got in contact with me a few weeks ago, and discussed possibly collaborating with Retruly, I just couldn’t say no. I was given a budget to spend on the site and I could choose whatever I wanted. This was a great way to really get the true customer experience.
The women’s vintage clothing section was, of course, where I headed first and it has a wide range of garments from the 1920s to the 1990s. The latter decades have more of a focus, with the 1960s, 70s and 80s having the most to choose from. However, there are some earlier gems to be had and I spent a long time eliminating a few beauties. These included a 1940s Persian lamb Cossack style hat, a 1930s silk chiffon dress (which was unfortunately too small) and a 1970s does 1930s Horrockses Shirt Dress.
Thankfully, when you open an account, it has a Favourites section for both items and sellers, so I added the hat and the 1970s dress to mine for future reference. However, in the end I chose the most beautiful 1930s hand knitted jumper from a seller in Germany.
As soon as it arrived I knew exactly how I wanted to style it. This stunning orange and navy blue jumper is an absolute classic of the 1930s sportswear look, so I headed straight to Google for inspiration. Immediately I fell in love with a 1930s photo of a group of women lined up all with a golf club in their hands. The lady on the end had the perfect golfing separates on of short sleeve jumper, kick pleat skirt and sensible Oxford shoes. Perfect, I had all of them, all I needed now was a golf club!
The jumper is beautifully hand knitted in basic stocking stitch. However, the orange sections of the front and back pieces have been knitted in reverse. This creates a lovely texture difference between the orange parts and the navy stripes and sleeves. The cuffs and waistband are then rib stitched. It fits me so perfectly both in length and across the bust as if it was made especially for me.
The best part of the jumper, though, is the buttons. When it first arrived I thought what an odd choice of colour but just put it down to perhaps the original owner only having these to hand. However, once I’d thought about it I had an eureka moment. Could these possibly be the rare and totally amazing Uranium buttons that were sometimes used in the 1930s? Well, after getting my black light torch out I had my answer.
Yes, they glowed!! Well, you can imagine my state of glee at this moment! Yay, genuine Uranium buttons! And just to point out, for those who may be wondering, they’re not in the slightest bit dangerous for my health. There is more radioactivity in the air than there is in these buttons or a piece of Uranium infused glass, known as Vaseline glass. I have a couple of pieces of 1930s Uranium glass ware that also glows, so I have done my research. And if you want a thorough explanation of the science behind it, have a read of this article as they explain it way better than I ever could.
The Retruly site was easy and fast to navigate and each section has a good number of filters to use to help drill down to what you’re looking for. One thing I did notice though, was that not all sellers had used the ‘Era’ filter on their stock. Therefore I had to search for both 30s and 1930s via the search box to make sure I saw absolutely everything from my favourite decade. This wasn’t a problem because most of the other big marketplaces don’t have this filter option, but it would be good if every seller made use of it this helpful feature on Retruly as they’ve actually made it available.
The buying process was nice and simple, despite my PayPal account playing up. Once the order had gone through I received an email from the seller to let me know when it would be posted and it arrived swiftly within a few days. I would’ve liked to give feedback to the seller on the site, much like you do on most marketplaces, but unfortunately this option isn’t currently available. It would be great if this could be added in at some point so that other customers know what to expect when buying from a seller.
I would highly recommend Retruly to anyone looking for their next true vintage piece, so if you haven’t tried it yet make sure you do. And if you want to start selling vintage on the site, sign up today and you’ll get the first 3 months FREE!
I want to say a big thanks to Paul and Bernice for giving me the opportunity to review the site, especially as it means that I have a unique and beautiful 1930s piece of knitwear I can truly cherish. Now, whilst I head off into the club house for a cheeky cocktail, I’ll leave the full details of my outfit for you to enjoy!
1930s Hand Knitted Jumper – Retruly
White 1930s Sports Skirt – Made by Me
1930s Navy Suede Shoes – Donna Flower Vintage
Navy Wool Beret – eBay
Lapis Lazuli Drop Earrings – Shepton Mallet Flea Market