I love buying second hand clothes. In fact, I rarely buy anything new.
Once you realise just how cheaply good quality second hand clothes can be purchased, you resent paying the full price!
Here’s why I buy second hand clothes and how to find them.
Well, obviously buying second hand will be cheaper than buying brand new. Unless, that is, you buy something labelled vintage! I tend to avoid so called vintage items as I remember many of them from the first time round and they were ugly then.
I was a child in the seventies and mustard yellow and muddy orange polyester monstrosities have left their scars.
You can create quirky looks
Having said that, buying second hand does give you the opportunity to create unique looks. Whilst the hoards buy identikit looks from the chain stores, true fashionistas love to root round the Oxfam Shop!
Charities benefit when you buy second hand clothes
I buy a fair few items from charity shops. Although many charge a lot now, there are still some bargains to be had. I have mentioned previously that we have a Barnado’s warehouse nearby where they sort and sell for their other stores.
I pop in regularly and find loads of bargains, many for as little as 99p and also donate many of my unwanted things.
You can afford better quality
Whereas our grandparents and the generations before them bought clothes to last, cheap, throwaway fashion is the new normal.
Poor quality fashion items can be bought for a few pounds and discarded after being worn a couple of times.
For me, a better option on a tight budget is to buy better quality brands in a used condition. I find Monsoon, Coast, Per Una, Gap, etc all the time.
Reusing is eco-friendly
Reusing rather than buying new reduces waste. As I said above, we live in a throwaway society. Buying second hand clothes extends their life and stops them being thrown away.
Reusing clothing means that less has to be produced in the first place. This in turn means fewer materials and less in the way of transportation.
You can sell yours to make money
When there is a market for second hand clothes this also creates an opportunity for you to sell your old ones and make a bit of extra cash.
You could even source good quality second hand clothes specifically for this purpose. There is a whole army of resellers prepared to get up early and scour the boot sales, or to spend lots of time in charity shops and nearly new sales in order to stock their reselling businesses. See my articles on selling on eBay here and here for more information.
Where to find them?
If you are prepared to make the effort, boot sales are by far the best and cheapest places to find good second hand clothes.
We were lucky enough in the summer to find a very well heeled family getting rid of a van load of designer and top branded stuff for 50p an item!
I have found so many amazing bargains at boot sales – I love them!
Online auction sites
Depop, Mercari, Gumtree, eBay, even Facebook Marketplace – there are many online auction sites these days. I use eBay personally but I am also experimenting with Mercari. They both have a huge selection of used clothing.
Yesterday on eBay I found a seller my size clearing out her Per Una items and bought 2 skirts, a pair of pumps and a jumper! All used but in excellent condition for the princely sum of £28 including postage.
I am all for supporting charities via their shops. However, some of them charge far too much! I have seen cheap second hand Primark items for the same price as they cost new. Charity shops should make money but they also need to realise that people don’t expect to pay a lot for second hand clothes.
Having said that, the smaller ones tend to provide better value. If you can find the larger out of town branches, where they sort and dispose of items, they are even cheaper.
Jumble sales hardly happen at all these days. When I was a teenager there used to be one on in a church hall somewhere pretty much every Saturday. However, once in a while you will find one, and it is also worth looking out for any fundraising community event where they might have a second hand clothes stall.
If you don’t usually buy second hand clothes, maybe now is the time to try. Are you a frugal fashionista and, if so, where do you find your bargains?