October 28, 2020

My Tips for Second Hand Shopping!

If you’re like me, secondhand shopping doesn’t come naturally. Actually, clothes shopping doesn’t come naturally. Kezia secrets: Style hasn’t been something that I’ve ever felt really confident in and so the random assortment that comes second hand with no assurance of being currently in stock with a great brand that it’s any level of ‘in’ ha!

But as I’ve got more conscious about where my clothes are coming from I’ve stopped shopping at pretty much every place I shopped 5 years ago. I LOVE the companies I’ve found who are making clothes in an eco/ethical way and the pieces I have from places like Fauxgerty or Everlane or ABLE are all pieces I love. That said it’s hard for our budget to spend on all of those so instead of supplementing with fast fashion which I just can’t bring myself to do, we try to make the majority of purchases second hand.

Here are my go to tips for second hand shopping:

  1. Ask around for great places!  I’ll try anywhere, but often other people know great local spots so if you know anywhere who shops used clothes, ask them! Or look online for information about your local area.
  2. If you don’t want to leave your sofa, look at online options like Poshmark and ThredUp in the States and Oxfam online in the UK.
  3. Where clothes that let you try things on easily and even try wearing something like a camisole that lets your try things on without using a dressing room!
  4. Look for fabrics that are natural. Things like cotton, wool, linen, silk – the often wear better over time than cheaper alternatives but they also don’t release micro plastics into the water when you wash them.
  5. If you do buy man made fibres consider getting a guppy bag, or buy them in pieces that won’t be washed as much like outerwear.
  6. Go often. This is my biggest tip whether it’s clothes or stocking stuffers or something you need for the home. It keeps the shopping calm, there’s no pressure to walk out with something, and you can wait for something that really speaks to you. If you can find places that are close by routes you often travel just pop in whenever you have an extra five minutes. Sometimes you’ll find the perfect thing and it all pays off!
  7. Have a budget. Even though things are cheaper, it doesn’t mean you’re not spending money you don’t have. A deal isn’t a deal if you didn’t need to spend anything!
  8. Know your sizes! Most of us know out sizes in one measurement but knowing them in US/European/UK can help make grabbing something off the hanger much more easy!
  9. Picture three things you already own you’d wear with what you pick up. If there’s nothing you can immediately imagine wearing it with, is it what you need?
  10. How does it make you feel? Not to be overly Marie Condo but she’s onto something: does it spark joy? The joy can be the joy at filling a hole your wardrobe has or saving you money, that totally counts. But don’t grab aimlessly.
  11. Let your kids play with the toy section while you shop! My kids LOVE going to charity shops! They play with a few toys and if I can see they really love something, I’ll often take it home. If I can keep it a secret from them it becomes a treat of gift for a later date. Soon, this area will be a place for pocket money spending. And look over the toy area and buy ahead for gifts when you see the good things.
  12. Take a bag with you! Don’t shop second hand only to take a plastic bag at the end!
  13. If you don’t have anything at all in your area, consider hosting a clothing swap or second hand clothing/closet sale. They can be really fun and great ways to help other people shop this way too. Plus you can make some cash to spend on new (old) clothes.

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