On The Thrill of Second Hand Shopping
At this point, it’s common knowledge that second hand shopping can be an affordable and eco-friendly way to refresh your wardrobe. We also know the damage that fast fashion does on our environment and the mistreatment some fast fashion workers can potentially be subjected to. But people don’t always strongly make the case for why you should bother to shop second hand. 1) You can be assured that you won’t walk past five other people that day wearing your same outfit because you all obviously shop at the same big box retailer. 2) You can build your style in a creative way. 3) You can rediscover trends you loved in the past or items you missed out on when they were in stores the first time around.
I love the thrill of the second hand shopping in brick and mortar stores though there are an abundance of online stores you can use for your second hand shopping needs ( a list can be found below). My favorite city to second hand shop is NYC but any major city has a good will or other chain thrift store, consignment shops and, trendier millennial targeted second hand clothing shops like the Buffalo Exchange.
I personally want to commit myself in 2019 to shop more second hand when I do shop for clothing because I really miss the creativity I had to flex to make second hand clothing work for my wardrobe. If you’re inspired to do the same, some second hand shopping tips can be found below.
Second Hand Shopping Tips
1 | Try shopping in person (at least some of the time)
I know particularly for busy, time-pressed individuals, online shopping is ideal, but shopping in person gives you an opportunity to see an item, try it on and potentially style it in ways that you’d actually wear it in real life. It’s often hard to get a sense of the fit of a thrifted item because sizes are so variable in clothing across retailers and decades if you’re item is from an earlier era.
2 | Go shopping with a friend
Shopping with a trusted friend allows you to get a sanity check on if a piece is actually flattering from someone other than the fitting room attendant. Your friend will be honest with you if an item is less flattering that you imagine it is.
3 | Stick with a budget
It’s really easy to shop with abandon when shopping second hand because even at consignment shops, items will be cheaper than they cost at regular retailers, but to keep from over spending and to be strategic about what you bring into your wardrobe, make a budget and a wish list so you don’t go overboard.
4 | Disregard sizes
Sizes can vary wildly so if you like the look of an item, try it on (or check measurements for online purchases) rather than looking at the size.
5 | But be mindful of potential alternation costs
But when determining whether you want to purchase on item, be sure to factor in potential alternations which can be costly unless you know how to alter clothing yourself.
6 | Know generally what an item should cost so you’re not overpaying
When you are second hand shopping, particularly for designer items, know the general cost so you’re not paying more than you actually would at a regular retailer for the item.
7 | Consider using second hand shopping for accessories if second hand clothing isn’t your thing
I know some people for a variety of reasons have reservations about shopping second hand, but even if second hand clothing simply is a no-go for you, consider accessories instead. Especially if you have a penchant for high cost designer accessories or bags. Those items will hold up their value and will tend to be well made to last.