A current obsession of mine is charity shopping which is not only great for the environment but also amazing for my bank account. I wanted to spend this post sharing some of my top tips for shopping second hand.
One of the reasons I love charity shopping is because I have the ability to just ignore any numerical sizes. My thought process is I can buy whatever I think will fit me. I am very simply a size 10, nothing else, but from charity shops, I have things in a size 14, an extra large and a size 6, so just because something isn’t your numerical size, it doesn’t mean it won’t fit you. Sizing is always a weird thing, but if you pick up a dress that says it’s supposed to be way too big or too small for you but it looks like it’d fit, just try it anyway because you never know. One of my favourite charity shop buys was this knit jumper, originally from M&S but it’s actually a size 14 but fits me perfectly, so you just can’t judge it. I kind of love that about charity shops though because it’s all about the way the product looks and fits, not about its actual size.
CHECK FOR DAMAGE
I am definitely guilty of not doing this because I have come home after buying some great pieces, only to realise that they have holes in it or a broken zip so don’t make that mistake too. I’m sort of skipping ahead to one of my next tips now, but try it on or just look all over to make sure no imperfections stand out to you. Check the zips and buttons also before you buy because it’ll save you being disappointed when you try it on and realise that it isn’t wearable. Charity shops are great though because you can return items back to the shop if you need to, but it does cause some hassle. Do keep it in mind though, there is a difference between something unwearable and something that is faulty.
THINK ABOUT HOW YOU COULD UPCYCLE IT
If you love sewing or turning something you wouldn’t wear into something you would, then this is definitely worth keeping in mind when you next go to a charity shop. The great thing is, you can pay so little for something that will become such a staple piece in your wardrobe. Even if it is just changing out the buttons or doing some embroidery on the pockets or collars, it could transform a piece. One of my favourite things to do is buy maxi dress or skirts and turn them into mini ones either because there are holes at the bottom or just because I’d find it more flattering. It is such an effective way to turn something that is not your style into something that is right up your street. The next time you’re in a charity shop and you are drawn to an item of clothing but you don’t think you’d wear it, think about how you could change it into something you could wear. I am always drawn to unique prints and through realising that I can upcycle it has allowed me to be creative with my charity shop purchases, turning them into one-of-a-kind pieces.
USE THE CHANGING ROOMS
Changing rooms are a love or hate thing for shoppers but for charity shops, I think that they are essential. Like I said earlier, you can get away with things that aren’t your actual size but how are you to know that without trying it on. Some pieces have a bit of flexibility like if it has stretch or an oversized fit but certain things will need to be tried on to see if they actually fit. Also, you are going to notice flaws the most if you try the item on. It will allow you to see what is wearable and fixable but also something that is not wearable whatsoever so I think it is definitely worth spending a few minutes just trying your chosen pieces on in the changing room.
AVOID IMPULSE PURCHASING
It is so easy to go into a charity shop or a second-hand store and just pick up everything because of its affordability, but if you can help it, don’t do it. The point in purchasing second hand is to get more use out of products that still have wear in them, but if you are just buying things for the sake of it, then you are defeating its purpose. Buy the pieces that you are really proud you found or the products you are really excited to upcycle because no one else will have anything like it, they are the pieces you need and want. Don’t just walk into a shop and buy something because it’s cheap but because you think it will add to your wardrobe. Although I am putting this in advice for second-hand shopping, it goes for all kinds of shopping. Living in such a transferable and consumer-based society, it can be really easy to feel the need to constantly buy new items and keep it up to date, but the reality is, you can get wear out of pieces you already own and help do your part by buying second-hand items that just need a little more loving.
I really hope you liked this post. If you would like to see any more second-hand clothing related posts then I would love to hear your suggestions in the comments!
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