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  • Natalie

Top tips for second hand clothes shopping

Updated: Oct 11, 2019

One of my favourite items of clothing are my orange culottes, I always get complemented on them and often asked where they are from. They are from Topshop originally, but I picked them up in perfect condition from eBay. Many items of my clothing are from eBay or charity shops and I have found some incredible items, some designer, for a fraction of the price.

There are many reasons why I think it’s worth giving second hand shopping a go, here are some

You are helping the environment, saving water, reducing carbon emissions and reducing waste. There are many items of excellent quality, in perfect condition, even designer labels, waiting to be rehomed. The more we buy second hand, the less need there is to manufacture new items, which in turn saves resources.

You will find unique treasures. You are far more likely to find a beautiful, one off item that no one else is wearing if you buy it second hand. The cringe-worthy moment of turning up at a wedding in the same dress as another guest can be avoided entirely if you are wearing a vintage dress. Hunting around in charity shops to find gold is thrilling for some, but if that idea fills you with dread then online preloved websites (with lots of filters) eliminate the leg work.

If you are buying from a charity shop, then you are supporting the charities you are buying from.

It saves you money.

If you are keen to get into second-hand shopping, then the following tips can help you get started

1. Try to find a local town/village with a cluster of charity shops and pop in regularly, you might not strike gold the first visit but don’t let that put you off, stock can change quickly

2. Ignore your dress size. Sizing can vary greatly, especially with vintage clothing

3. Try to think of at least three ways you could style the item before buying. I try to apply this principle when shopping new or second hand, I want to buy items that work well with my existing wardrobe, to ensure that they will be worn regularly and I’m getting maximum value for money

4. There are some fantastic websites for second-hand shopping online, including eBay, Depop and Vinted. EBay also offers the option of an image search; If you see an item of clothing you like on a website or in a shop, take a picture on your phone and you can upload it into the eBay search bar, it will then display all the similar items available to buy

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