Pre-loved love

94.2%* of the clothing that I own is secondhand.
I reckon there's already enough clothes in the world, and I feel good about keeping things going instead of creating demand for something new.
I get that navigating an op-shop or secondhand clothing store can feel a bit different from a typical retail store - so here are some of my favourite shopping hacks when it comes to buying pre-loved.   

Pick your store:
Not all secondhand stores are created equal.
From beautifully curated consignment stores (that sell on behalf of people) to piled high op shops - they all have different ways of merchandising and types of clothes. 
In the town I live in, we have three op shops within 100m of each other, and they are all completely different shopping experiences and attract totally different types of clothing donations.
Secondhand shopping should feel good - shop in the stores that suit you.

Know your style:
I know what colours and styles I feel good in.
Most stores are sorted by colour, which makes it super easy to deselect the racks that aren't worth looking at for me. Then I can quickly flick through a section and eliminate any cuts or styles that I'm not into.  

Ignore the tags:
I tend to ignore size tags, as brands vary so much, and clothes may have changed shape due to being previously worn.
I also ignore brands - what's more important is that I feel good in it and it's good quality.  

Go off-trail:
It can be worth looking in other sections of the store. Some of my best costumes have been found on the sleepwear and retro racks and I've found some great sweatshirts for me in the youth and men's departments. 

Stay on the couch:
There is a world of secondhand shopping on the interweb. From social media pages where people buy and sell certain brands, to online marketplaces like TradeMe where you can use all sorts of filters and search terms to find what you're looking for.
If you are buying online, just try to stay local and ask if they can reuse things they already have to package items up.  

The acid test:
Oh man, it can be so tempting to buy secondhand stuff because it's often so damn cheap.
I've now learned to check in with myself... if I wouldn't be prepared to buy the same item at full price, it doesn't make the cut.  

Next time you feel the urge to buy something new, switch up where you shop and give secondhand a whirl.
Pack an open mind and I reckon you might just be surprised at how good it feels.

* Approximately


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