Secondhand Series: Part 2 – Shopping For Clothes
Hi guys and welcome back!
This is the second post on our short secondhand series and we will be talking about how you need to be shopping for clothes! Before we dive into this article, you should read part 1 that came out last week. It has a lot of information about how you should be caring for your garments. Or, if your garment has reached the point of no return, it will teach you how to mend it!
But you can read the entire post to figure that part out. Today, we will focus on what we consider the second part of this process: shopping for clothes.
We’ve already established that thrift shopping was a great way to save the planet without breaking the bank. It also allows you to get styles from brands that you love and don’t want to give up on. Shopping non-ethical brands doesn’t have to be a struggle when you choose them secondhand. If you have yet to make the transition into a more sustainable closet, this is a great way to start. Not only can you thrift shop, you can also vintage shop, flea market shop, swap or use subscription boxes, which broadens your closet. However to some people, shopping secondhand can be really overwhelming, and there are a few tips and tricks you can apply in order to turn it into a fun and successful outing.
1. Knowing the difference:
One of the main things that is really important to acknowledge before you even start shopping for clothes is all the different kinds of secondhand you can find. Thrift shopping is a main one, that represents your Buffalo Exchange or Crossroads. The place where you might find something extremely recent, with tags still attached, perfect if you’re looking for trendy items. Then you have vintage shopping. Mostly everything in vintage stores will be anywhere from the 50’s to the 80’s. You might find rare stores that will also carry older pieces.
You can shop at flea markets too. Flea markets are a great way to find gems at a small fraction of the price. Sometimes, people have no clue what they are selling. Sometimes, you will also find experts that have been doing the same thing for 30 years, it’s amazing! Swapping is one of the best ways to reduce waste: it’s only exchanging, not selling or throwing away! You also have subscription boxes that will curate thrifted or vintage finds; or even DIY clothes before sending them to you. Do you now have a better idea of what your preference might be?
2. Dress for the part:
In this section, we will ignore vintage or thrifted subscription boxes since they usually curate the pieces for you. If you’re going shopping by yourself, depending on the place, you might need a few ground rules. You may have gone shopping before, but just in case this is your first secondhand shopping trip, you may be in for a treat! We advise you to wear flats when going to a store, you will be stomping, walking around and overall be uncomfortable. It might last a few hours too, so take precautions. Speaking of, make sure that you do not wear valuable clothes, that you are not also wearing jewelry or anything that could get stuck somewhere, or damaged.
You should also think about wearing an outfit that is easily removable. Chances are, you will be trying on a lot of different pieces, so it’s important you maximize your time in the fitting rooms. If you are planning on going to a very cheap thrift store for example, an outlet or a huge flea market with old pieces, bring gloves. You may also want to bring a mask, or other accessories that will help you fight dust and whatnot.
3. How to choose:
Now that we’ve gone through all the basics, you might be wondering how to actually choose the garments, how to know that they are worth it or not. Well this is very much a process of elimination. First, make sure you do not take anything that is too small for you. You may want to purchase items that are too big; and that’s ok because you could DIY them or get them tailored. But smaller items will never fit, no matter what. Check everything under good lighting, especially holes. Also, be careful with armpits. You might find stains, and yellow stains on white garments for example are very hard to wash off, if not impossible.
Some things are fixable though. You may want to buy off-white items, because they can be fixed with bleach. Or purchase that top, even if it smells like your mom’s attic, because that can be washed off overtime. When it comes to accessories, make sure closures are working and not broken, and try to layer some clear nail polish on jewelry you bought. You can also make shoes last longer by having a cobbler add a sole for you.
We hope those small tips will be helpful next time you go shopping for secondhand clothes. Since we love talking about secondhand anything on Native Styling, please let us know if you would like to read about outfit tips and tricks, or examples next time!