The other day, I noticed a couple instagram stories where people were taking a screenshot and labeling in which posts they were wearing a secondhand/thrifted/used item. So I decided to give it a try and see many times I posted wearing something used. To my surprise I wore or featured a secondhand item in almost every post. I really wasn’t expecting that. But this made me think as to why I’m able to incorporate so many of my secondhand items into my daily wardrobe and the following were some of my conclusions (hint: a lot of it starts with buying the right used clothing):
1) Only buy used items that’s on your “wants list”
So there are two ways I usually shop for secondhand items: 1) Go to a Crossroads, browse items, try them on, and then take some home or 2) Have something specific in mind (usually something I see on Instagram) and then stalk either TheRealReal, eBay, or the selltradees account for that specific item. In the above grid there’s only one post (the most bottom left pic) where I’m wearing a used item procured through method 1. All the other secondhand items I’m wearing in the rest of the posts were purchased using method 2. So clearly for me that’s what works best. As much as I enjoy going thrift shopping, I find that I wear items more if I clearly want them first (and put them on a “want list”) and then buy them after months of waiting. This probably applies for any new addition to your closet, not just the secondhand items.
2) Buy high ticket items secondhand
The used items that I wear most often are the expensive stuff like leather bags (like the Acne Studios Musubi bag reviewed here or the Celine soft cub bag reviewed here) and shoes (like the Martiniano Glove shoes reviewed here). First off, luxury/expensive items tend to wear better with time so even if you buy them “preowned” they don’t feel worn out. In fact I like to get my luxury items used because 1) they’re a much better value since they’re usually considerably cheaper and 2) I don’t baby my stuff yet I don’t want to be the first one to put a scratch on the leather so if it comes a little scuffed up already then I don’t have to sweat it. Just buy them from a reputable source (my favorite is of course Fashionphile—which I talk about here).
3) Buy high-quality classic or base pieces
My most used secondhand items, after bags and shoes, are classic pieces of clothing. So that would be my Elizabeth Suzann Georgia Dress (reviewed here) and my ES Mara Jumpsuit (reviewed here). These items can be worn on their own or layered during the winter to change up the look. And because they’re such classics, I don’t get bored with them.
4) Do a 10x10 Challenge with them
So if you’re not familiar with the 10x10, it’s an Instagram challenge to wear 10 items of clothing in 10 different outfits over 10 days. I love using my secondhand items in these 10x10 challenges because they really push you to come up with different outfit variations (like layering 2 pieces you never thought of combining—and yes sometimes it can get weird). But sometimes you end up with a combo that you really like and now you have some easy go-to combos with your secondhand item. And that makes it just that much easier for you to incorporate your used item into your daily wardrobe.
5) Repeat often
When you do #4 above, you’ll find your go-to, no brainer outfits and those are best for days when you’re on auto-pilot and the last thing you want to mull over is your wardrobe. So then you end up repeating your feel-good, high quality (tip #2) classic base pieces (tip #3) most often. In the above grid I’m repeating my ES Georgia Dress twice, my ES Mara jumpsuit twice, and Martiniano Glove shoes twice.
What about you guys? What are some of your secrets in getting more wear out of your used items?