New year, new you – stop shopping at big brands and opt for cheaper and more sustainable options, satisfying your wallet and the environment at the same time! Shopping second hand is a great idea, if you know how to do it well, which these tips will tell you how to!
Be Prepared to Leave
If you’re ever in doubt, put it back since you probably will not reach for it much. Plus, since thrift stores don’t typically issue refunds or exchanges, it is safer to only pick pieces you are confident about.
Know your Wardrobe: What You’re Going to Wear and What You Won’t
Before shopping, you should intimately know your wardrobe. Know what colours and styles you tend to wear more and the ones you always think you’re going to wear, but end up at the back of your closet.
Have a Game Plan Before you go Shopping
Before going shopping, you should know what you’re looking for: What are the gaps in your wardrobe? Do you need another pair of jeans? Maybe you need more tank tops for summer? Or more winter blouses for work? If you’re looking to stick to your style, have a good idea of the pieces you usually wear and the ones ignored. However, if you’re looking to expand your style, reach towards new and versatile pieces different from the ones you already have.
Know Where to Look
There are different levels of shopping second hand with different price ranges and variability. The more highly curated, the more you pay for that service. Here’s a list in order of shops you might want to visit.
- Thrift shops
- Resale shops
- Consignment shops
- Online stores (think Thredup)
Don’t Compromise (or Know When to)
In those cases it’s beneficial to know what you can fix or get fixed easily and what you can’t or shouldn’t. Don’t compromise, or at least know when to. In general, be careful if you notice any of the mentioned issues on second hand clothing. But I know that sometimes you just happen to fall in love with a piece and might ask yourself whether you should still get it, despite its shortcomings.
Easy to Fix
- Loose buttons or threads.
- Missing buttons: this depends on the type of button. If it a simple and common design then it won’t be difficult to replace but if it’s a unique and fancy design, then consider it hard to fix.
- Cropping clothing items.
- Basic tailoring.
Hard to Fix
- Broken lining: although it is possible to fix lining, it might be quite expensive and time consuming. So is it really worth it?
- Broken embellishments/details: if it is even possible for a tailor to fix delicate details, it might cost a lot and begs the question – is it worth it?
- Rips and holes
- Stains: the issue with stains is that you cannot tell whether it can be easily removed or not. Unless the stain is tiny or in a spot where you could potentially hide it, stay clear of purchasing anything with a stain as it might turn out to be a flop.
- Loose collars
- Mending Shoes: footwear is quite tricky compared to bodywear. It is usually better to buy when it has not been used or worn out.
There are some great opportunities for shopping second hand, and we hope these were helpful! If you like these ideas, we have plenty more where that came from if you click here.