As we’ve all started to emerge from a pretty much year long lockdown (although it did feel at times more like a lifetime) we’re starting to put our pyjamas and sweatpants on the side and get excited again for fashion. Vintage and second hand shopping is one of the most sustainable ways of updating your wardrobe with beautiful, unique pieces but we know that it can often feel daunting to get started. Which is why we’ve reached out to some of our favourite vintage and second-hand fashion influencers to find out a few tips on how to get started. Check them out below:
Tara Lou writes about sustainable fashion and you can find her lovely posts on Instagram at @thisoutfitcost
“My main tip is to search through every rail, you never know what’s hiding at the back. I like looking in the menswear section as they often have great shirts and jackets.
Go in with a clear vision of what you’re looking for, say a pair of jeans and a blazer, so you don’t overbuy. Otherwise you’ll buy loads of stuff then realise ‘I don’t need half of this.’ Try new things even if you’re not sure, you might fall in love with it, that’s how I got some of my favourite pieces. It’s only 50p and it all goes to charity.
I tend to shop after work, some charity shops are open until 8pm or 10pm so you can spend a few hours. It’s less busy than the weekend, so I think that’s the best time to go.”
We instantly fell in love with Suzanne’s colourful Instagram for second-hand inspiration. Check it out here @sustainablysuzanne
“1 - Perfection can’t be rushed: vintage/charity shops are usually such a jumble so set time aside to have a proper rummage through everything.
2 - Take a friend who knows your style: although shopping on your own is fun, my best buys are always made when I’m shopping with my sister. She knows what I like to wear and what suits me so having her browse the racks with me always helps find little gems that I might not have even noticed myself.
3 - MAKE A LIST! I think the best tip that I’ve ever been given for vintage shopping is to know what you want before you go. By having a list it reduces the chance of impulse buying something you probably won’t really wear, and gives you a good idea in your head of what to look out for.”
“In my opinion, vintage shopping is by far the most exciting way to thrift- you never know what you will find. It’s a treasure hunt that will lead you to the most unique garments and be sure you will discover the good, the bad and the ugly along the way. That’s why my number one tip, above all else, is to be open minded. Try out new styles and shapes and don’t be afraid to size up (vintage clothes tend to be on the small side!). Have fun and experiment with as many pattern clashes and era defining styles as possible - you’ll soon find your vintage mojo.
Starting out on your vintage journey can be overwhelming, especially when every item seems unique. It’s easy to go overboard or equally to feel pressured into finding the most ‘cool’ garment. But don’t rush into buying lots of garments all at once, just because they are ‘one of a kind’. Similarly, don’t feel pressure to buy any, if they are not the right fit or style for your wardrobe. Clothing leading up through the decades to the year 2000 (!!) are classed as vintage, so why not do some research into what era fits your style and wardrobe before hitting up any vintage stores and sites? This may help ease any pressure or reduce over consumption, if you know what era you are drawn to the most.”
Safia from @thriftywork has some great handmade fashion pieces on her Instagram as well as second hand outfits that show you can still have fun and be creative with thrifted clothing.
“I started shopping secondhand at the age of 14, and I've learnt all my tips and tricks from my mum! If you have a family or friend who is a great second hand shopper, be sure to tag along with them on a shopping trip and learn how they work their magic! But during COVID going out vintage shopping isn't that easy, especially with others. Secondhand shopping online may be the way forward for you. Platforms such as Vinted, Depop, and even eBay are great for getting second hand bargains and beautiful vintage items. Plus, there's nothing more satisfying than winning an eBay bidding war! One thing I'd recommend when shopping online is to know your measurements, and don't be afraid to ask for clothing measurements if you find something you like!
One of the best things about shopping secondhand is that you can try out different styles and items of clothing you wouldn't usually go for. So bearing this in mind, don't forget to check the men's sections in charity shops and vintage shops! Some of my favourite shirts and jeans have been from men's sections, and they fit perfectly and I feel great wearing them! Good luck with your secondhand journey, and I hope you find some fabulous vintage bargains.”
Lottie puts fantastic thrifting looks together on her Instagram perfect for those looking for some outfit inspiration. Discover her looks here.
“When starting out with thrifting/secondhand shopping, my first big tip is not to feel disheartened after your first shop! Finding gems takes persistence and patience, if you go often enough you will end up with an abundance of perfect pieces. Secondly, check everything on the rails and every section! Especially in England, it's super important that you check every rail as the shops are so small that things are easily put in the wrong section. Cute corsets may be in the lingerie, vintage sweaters might be in the men's section and often women's pieces are put in amongst the children's things! My point is that there are always gems to be discovered in every area of the charity shop. My third tip when starting out with thrifting is to have an open mind and a thrift-list! So I never have a particular list of things to get for each trip as it's unlikely you'll find everything in the one trip and I don't want to feel like the trip was unsuccessful if I don't check off every item on the list, but I always have a thrift-list in the back of my mind so that I have a good idea of the items I'm looking for whenever I go out. I use Pinterest and Instagram for outfit inspiration which helps me add to my thrift-list! As I said before, it's unlikely that you'll find exactly what you're after every time, which is why it's so important to be open-minded! This allows you to imagine the potential of each piece. For example, a plain silk skirt may look simple and boring at first, but picture it with the right t-shirt, jewellery and boots and it could be the perfect piece to complete the outfit! Finally, I always recommend that people bring reusable bags so to not use all the charity shop's carriers. Usually I would also recommend that people wear jeans and a plain top with slip on shoes to thrift in, so that it's easy to try everything on and see how things look when styled with basic pieces. But of course, that tip won't be needed until changing rooms open again! Happy thrifting! “
“Rewearing is the new black. Get creative with your wardrobe, try out secondhand and vintage shops!
My favourite clothes are the ones that tell a story, are unique and I buy knowing I’m going to rewear them as much as possible! The ones people ask where is that from? And you are so excited to say “it’s secondhand”. “