Tips from our live panel on the art of second-hand shopping.
THE ART OF SECOND-HAND SHOPPING
Over the weekend I was part of a live discussion on shopping and styling second-hand. The chat was curated by the Garage Sale Trail team and can be viewed soon on their YouTube channel here. I was joined by Natalie Shehata, the founder + editor of tommie magazine ‘the destination for creative Womxn with a conscience’, as well as the Eco Stylist for Save the Children Australia op shops nationally. And Never Ever Pay Retail op-shop blogger, Hannah Klose. Both ladies shared their best tips and reasons for shopping second-hand.
The live chat also allowed us to answer questions and share further tips, the audience had some amazing ones. Today I thought I would pass on some of my tips answering some of the questions I was asked and share info on our 2020 fashion blogger Garage Sale Trail sale. More details below, it is on the 22nd of November here in Perth.
WHAT HAPPENED WHEN I HALVED MY WARDROBE IN 2018
First of all, I’ve been a fashion blogger for ten years, I am VERY fortunate to often be sent sample pieces from designers that I love. It is exciting, however, I will admit that probably 80% of the time these don’t actually fit me. Generally, these items end up being worn for the blog (because I do love the designs) and then find their way into the closet not to be touched again.
A group of other fashion bloggers/ or influencers I guess people say held a Garage Sale Trail sale in 2018. Honestly, I had a lot of fun with our sale. It was exciting to see so many eager faces and meet so many people. It truly felt like being part of a community.
As a seller, I managed to walk away almost $2000 richer and shed an incredible amount from my apartment. I literally halved my wardrobe that day. Anything that didn’t sell we sent to a local women’s shelter.
WHY THIS LED ME TO SHOP LESS OFTEN
I shop less than I used to because I am so conscious of what I do and don’t need. In going from one extreme to the other (over-shopping to barely-ever), I’ve learned along the way that less is more. But this took me some time to learn.
A big part of this has been to develop a capsule wardrobe or self-imposed uniform. Something I’ve talked about on Inspiring Wit a lot but you can find more details here. If you know what you feel great in, wearing that most of the time makes perfect sense. Creating a self-imposed uniform will allow you to dress quickly with little thought.
For example for me, it is jeans, a tee or button-down shirt, and a blazer. This takes me through most days and on most occasions. In summer I switch this up to a skirt or dress and boots or sandals. I also have a set palette of colours I love, wear all the time and that harmonize with my accessories and the other pieces in my closet. Shopping within your own palette allows you to put on blinders to other items.
HOW TO AVOID RASH PURCHASES
I’ve shared more details on this here. When I shop for anything, but clothing, in particular, I check my wish-list first. Then I and ask questions before I buy like:
Would I wear it over many years or just for a season/ single occasion?
Would it go with a bunch of other items I own or would I have to buy something else to go with it?
Could that money and space in my wardrobe be put to better use?
Do I own something similar already?
TOP TIPS FOR SHOPPING SECOND-HAND
There are a few key things I look for when shopping second-hand. Mainly outerwear, blazers, coats, accessories, and dresses. Feel for fabric quality, dig a little and be patient. Sometimes the best finds are hidden or need a little imagination to unearth the potential. Even vintage buttons on a piece of clothing can be worth buying to take off and add to something you own. Keep an eye out for details!
Try things on and see if they will fit rather than rely on sizing details on the garment, sizes change- the average women’s size 16 way back in the day is more like a small or medium now. Also, don’t overlook the men’s section! Want even more tips? Find my post on op-shopping tips here.
WHAT ARE THE BEST SECOND-HAND ITEMS I HAVE FOUND
My men’s army jacket is something I throw over everything. It was from a second-hand army surplus stall at a market and I’ve had it for about 12 years. So yeah, don’t overlook the men’s section. I wear a lot of men’s shirts, knits, and outerwear. They often have better quality natural fiber fabrics and I love styling oversized items. You can do so many things with them.
I also love to shop second-hand for vintage boots and belts, like the ones I am wearing here above. Both were in excellent condition, I just cleaned them up and had the soles re-done on the boots with Topy to ensure they last longer.
And, those outfit photos above, with the gingham skirt were shot SO many years ago now! I had a post in draft about that look for ages. It was meant as a throwback to share an example of the kind of outfits I wore when I was in art school. I’d add a vintage waist belt, boots and then mix colour and pattern together. I never got around to sharing that post. So here is a bit of a bonus! I hope you enjoyed the chance to see me dress up as the former me! It’s almost like playing a character! I’d probably not wear the tee now, I’d swap it for a black one, then have the pink bag be the single punch of colour.
OUR FASHION BLOGGER 2020 GARAGE SALE
Mark the date in your calendar, Sunday 22nd of November (less than two weeks away) from 9 am- 12pm. More details here.
We have some of the best wardrobes in Perth partaking in our fashion garage sale! It’s going to be amazing. There are thirteen stall-holders who are all fashion bloggers and influencers you will know and love via Instagram. I’m so excited! The girls hosting sales are:
We all have a lot of incredible local and international designer pieces as well as your staple brands like Country Road etc. Most items are things that have been worn once for a photoshoot so a lot will be as new. It’s a great way to snap up a curated edit of incredible fashion pieces before summer and for the festive season too.
All of us can’t wait to see you there on the 22nd. If you are in Perth, definitely don’t miss out! It’s not something we have the chance to do very often and I know each and every one of the stall holders have told me they have a lot of amazing pieces to sell at really good prices. I’m definitely going to be shopping some of them too! hehe Just try and stop me.