Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Five Rules For Vintage And Second Hand Shopping

Vintage has been a huge trend in fashion for a while now, and shows no signs of abating, for good reason. Today’s mass-market, quick turnover, high street fashion industry is creating a vast homogenisation of that sector of the market which is beginning to bleed into some sectors of the designer market. There are few alternatives, therefore, for those who want to be more individual in their dress. You can spend thousands on those designers whose work remains more distinctive, you can customise your own clothes, or you can go vintage.
Another great resource is the charity shop. There has always been a certain unnecessary stigma attached to shopping in a charity shop, although this has grown less in recent years, with the advent of ethical and ecological awareness in shopping. Buying from charity shops is just another good way of recycling. If you look at charity shops in certain areas, you have a good chance of finding excellent, high quality items, often never even worn.

However, if you are going to take a foray into the second hand market, there are five key rules which you must remember:

1. would you buy the item if it was new? This is a key question to ask yourself. There is just as little point buying second hand something which you are never going to wear as there is buying it full price. The only exception to this rule is if something is so cheap i.e. up to £10, that it really doesn’t matter.
2. pay attention to the quality of the object. Inspect seams, collars and underarms in particular. Take note of any pilling on knitwear. See if the price has been adjusted accordingly. If it hasn’t, then leave the item.
3. look out for accessories. Charity and second-hand shops can be a particularly good resource for belts, bags, scarves and jewellery. These items can brighten up or completely change an outfit.
4. don’t go into one of these stores looking for a specific item. Rather, let yourself be open to whatever there is. Regular trips are also recommended, because stock can change very quickly and is always varied.
5. try before you buy, especially with clothing and footwear. You cannot return items to second-hand stores and get your money back.

Remember, if you need to make way in your wardrobe for your purchases, you can donate your old clothes too!

No comments: