The Benefits of Buying Gently Used Clothes: How I Get a New Wardrobe Every Season by Terri Kendrick

5 years ago

The Benefits of Buying Gently Used Clothes: How I Get a New Wardrobe Every Season

I’ve always loved used stuff. I’ve lived in a string of old houses, always adopt rescue pups, have an estate sale engagement ring and married a divorced guy. But where this previously owned aesthetic plays a significant role in my life is in my wardrobe. It’s no understatement to say that 80 percent of my wardrobe (outerwear only, mind you!) was purchased thrift or consignment. While I can afford to buy new clothes (and do own random unused pieces), I prefer to buy used, and here’s why:

  • The most obvious reason is the cost. A blouse that cost $30 to $40 in the store could run you as little as $4 at a thrift store. I’ve paid more to dry clean a piece than to buy it!
  • The variety is also much greater. While every retailer is selling the latest trends, a good thrift or consignment store will feature a couple of years of styles, which gives you so much more choice.
  • Because of the low cost, you can refresh your wardrobe frequently without the guilt. If I’m not loving a find after about a month, I put it in the “donate” bag and free up space for my next, more perfect score.
  • The compliments I get on my $4.99 Lucky Brand jeans or $5 Softspots boots are just so much sweeter!

Do you buy used clothing? Share your tips and tricks!

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Elisa Schmitz
This is so fun, Terri Jones . I have friends who say thrift store shopping feels like a treasure hunt to them. I even have a friend who frequents thrift shops and rummage sales to re-sell designer pieces on Ebay! I may have to rethink how I shop, LOL!
Sheri B Doyle
Wow, I think that is so cool they sell designer pieces on eBay! I have always thought of looking at their vintage clothing but get a bit overwhelmed trying to figure out who is good and not...
Sheri B Doyle
I love this. It is also so great for the planet and to slow down the disposable clothing chain which is not always humane. I buy a lot of my stuff from consignment shops and my husband loves his deals on shorts and golf shirts from consignment or thrift shops. I can't tell you how many 100.00 shirts he has bought with the tags still on them for about 5.00 each! Thanks for sharing!
Terri Kendrick
Darn! I wish I had included the benefit to the planet in my tip. That is a huge reason that I do it. I hate seeing anything new being made or built--buildings to clothing--when there are so many existing things that could easily fulfill the purpose.
Jessica Acree
A great reminder that new isn’t always best... I love consignment shops for my kiddo, but admittedly don’t use them much for myself. Starting now!
Terri Kendrick
If you can get over the stigma--and find good ones--you'll be amazed at what you can find!!
Egan Patricia
Thrift shops are great. I just need to have the time away from the children so I can shop slowly.
Elisa Schmitz
Good point, Egan Patricia . It is more fun when someone isn't tugging at you, LOL! And I know what you mean, Jessica Acree - I draw the line at shoes. I can't tell you how many pair of Manolos I have not purchased at thrift stores because I don't want to put my feet in someone's used shoes. But then again, maybe I need to get over it. What say you, Terri Jones ?!
Terri Kendrick
Oh, I definitely buy shoes! Bought a cute pair of sandals yesterday. But I also open bathroom doors with my bare hands (no elbows or paper towels) and am just fine sleeping in hotel beds. In other words, I'm not a germaphobe by any stretch of the imagination! ;)
Terri Kendrick
Personally, it takes less time for me to find something at Goodwill than any department store. I hate trying to figure out which department--women's, sport, designer, etc. Overwhelming!
Ann Marie Patitucci
Yes, yes, yes, Terri Jones ! We have so many great thrift stores in Richmond! And I love how gently used stuff feels- so much comfier! Of course I wash it first. :) It's kind of how I feel about older homes- they're so beautifully, comfortably lived in. I haven't bought shoes yet, though.

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