Second hand wardrobe - my top tips

So anyone that knows me well knows how much I like visiting op shops! For two main reasons really - firstly I'm pretty frugal, I'm just not a big spender, I can't justify it to myself, and secondly I like things that are a bit different, I like finding unique and interesting items.
Plus I love that I can find quality items and handmade items that will last, and it's recycling at its best - I'm doing it for the good of the planet! (Can I use this reason when my husband asks about the latest acquisitions?)
So with that being said, most of my wardrobe, and my home is second hand. Often when I look down at what I'm wearing it is just my underwear that I have purchased new!
I found these Levis just last week, the perfect fit, they cost me $5. See what I mean! Plus that bag on the floor there I found the week before, I think that was about $5 too. And the basket on the stool and the one on the floor are now holding houseplants.
I know a lot of people are unsure when it comes to buying second hand clothes and in particular op shopping, and I've been told I just have good luck in finding good things. But there's no such thing as luck :) - so I thought I'd give you my top tips, and hopefully inspire those of you who are sitting on the fence to give it a go.
1.  My number one tip is be patient - don't expect to walk into your next op shop and pick yourself up your whole new summer wardrobe. Sometimes I come away with nothing, and that's ok, because you'll start to realise after you get into the op shopping groove that the dry times are balanced out with the times of abundance!
2. Visit often - By this I don't mean you have to be constantly visiting op shops, because who has time for that right (although it wouldn't be so bad). But rather, pop in whenever the opportunity arises. If you're driving past and you have 5 - 10 mins, just stop and pop in. You'll be surprised at the turnover in these places, and there is always new stuff coming in. And this goes hand in hand with the next point.
3. Don't give up on an op shop - give it another chance. Just because your first visit didn't result in any good discoveries, it doesn't mean your second visit will follow suit. Trust me.
4. Have an open mind - sometimes these places can be a little chaotic, and dusty, and at first glance just look uninspiring. But take your time to actually properly look through the racks and I'm sure you will be surprised at the gems that can be hidden amongst it all.
5. Be fussy! - just because it's less than $5, doesn't mean you should just buy it. Take time to actually try the clothes on and really think about whether it works for you - does it fit you well, does it suit you, will you actually wear it? Is it in good condition, is it a quality brand? Be critical, pretend you're paying $100 for it - would you still buy it?
6. If you're after something in particular head for Trade Me (New Zealander's) or Ebay. I have bought some amazing things off Trade Me! - Especially for our house during our renovation, which I will have to share in another post. With this one you do have to be patient once again, there is often a lot of pages to troll through. Also you do have to check it fairly often as items can get snapped up pretty quickly. It's a good idea to actually save a search, that way you can be notified when new items come up that match what you are after.
I hope my top six tips are useful to you, and I hope they might motivate you to give it a go yourself!
And just so you can see how all this random collection of second hand item actually comes together for me on a daily basis, I decided to just randomly photograph what I wore for the week (including the top photo). All the items below were bought second hand, (note: I didn't try to skew the results of this, I just wore what I felt like wearing that day), except for the pendant in the last shot which was made by my mum, and the scarf which was a gift from my mum (aw thanks mum!).
Wide leg Levis - op shop (the ones from the photo further up). Yellow sleeveless top - op shop. Black cardigan - op shop. Boots - Trade Me (I bought these just last week, and I LOVE them! I just searched ankle boots in my size over about a week, checking daily, these came up with a buy now of only $35, so I snapped them up!). Brass bangle - op shop. Watch - Trade Me (um, this was kind of awesome - check the bottom of the post if you're interested in the story ** It's too long to put here).
Green cardigan - op shop. Floral singlet - op shop. Skinny leg jeans - op shop. Black and grey metal bangles - op shop.

White cotton shirt - op shop. Levis jeans - Trade Me. Brass bangle - as above - (its a favourite). Scarf - gift from my mum. And that watch again! - as above.
Jeans - Trade Me, (high rise slim leg from Just Jeans - these jeans are my favourite fit, I have a pair already. So I searched Trade Me for another pair in a different colour). Cardigan - op shop (I love this - I'd love it as a cushion cover actually!). White t-shirt - op shop. Dolce and Gabbana shoes - op shop (score aye!). Brass bangles op shop. Pendant - handmade by my mum, the chain for it is from the op shop.

** The story of the watch if you're interested...
So It's my birthday coming up (3 days away now actually) and I asked Aaron if he could buy me a watch, which he agreed to, yay. So I really wanted a The Horse watch, gorgeous, but when I saw them in real life they were a bit too chunky for my skinny little wrist. So decided to go for a Rosefield, just as gorgeous and just a little smaller. Now the only problem with these watches is there's too many options to choose from! So I spent forever looking and pondering, and finally decided which style, frame colour, face colour - but couldn't decide if I wanted black or brown strap. The straps are actually designed to swap out easily so you can have multiple straps for your watch face, depending on your mood, you know! So I was investigating this so I could maybe get the other colour at a later date. The postage was really expensive for the straps so I decided to check if there was anyone in NZ selling the straps - and checked Trade Me, not expecting to find anything... and my watch was there! The EXACT one I wanted, the only Rosefield listing, what are the chances right! Meant to be I tell you! So the strap was brown so that sealed my decision on strap colour and I saved so much that I can afford to buy the black strap too if I want! The woman that was selling it had ended up with two of the same as her husband had ordered one for her not realising that she had also ordered it, so it was brand new. Perfection! Happy birthday me! And it just shows you it always pays to check!

1 comment

Mee said...

Such a great post! love your photos and the best bit...the watch story!