2nd Hand Shopping & the Carefully Curated Closet

Left to right, top to bottom for thrifted items: maroon blazer / gold sequined top / striped top, blue jacket, straw clutch / J. Crew floral pants / vest, J. Crew bag / top / Limited shorts / sweater / polka dotted pants / Salvatore Ferragamo pumps

I had to make a work related trip out to the West End of Richmond yesterday and figured what better time to check out a few of my favorite consignment stores that are now quite a bit out of my way.  My love affair with thrift stores started in high school when it was just cool to wear cheap stuff like boys t-shirts and run down sneakers.  In college, I began to shift my purchases to more worthwhile items like clutches, blazers and scarves.  Today, as a working professional, my tastes have shifted into 2nd hand high gear with my focus on consignment stores.  Thrift stores are still my go to for unique items or a good deal, like a pair of $5 J. Crew cords found at Goodwill, but consignment stores have slowly taken on a big part of my spending, especially when I found Salvatore Ferragamo pumps for $50.

Thrifted items- Left: leather skirt and sunglasses / Right: top, skirt, belt

Thrifting and good deals is a large part of how I shop, but I should point out that it is not all about scoring designer items for cheap, but rather about owning beautiful, unique, well made, investment pieces for an affordable price.  It also has a lot to do with shifting spending priorities, something I’ve been thinking a lot about recently and reinforced by a  tweet to take a pledge to shop 2nd hand in 2013.  At first I scorned the idea – turn down Forever 21, H&M, Target??  What kind of fashion girl would I then be??  But as I thought about it, I admitted to myself that I am really not that into trends (the closest I got to a trend last year was buying a pair of mint pants – from Goodwill no less), and trends and cheap clothes are the focus of many high street stores.  I want to begin to create a closet that is full of investment pieces that are well made, that I love, and that I really want to wear.  And let’s face it, that sweater I got from Forever 21 for  just $20 is sitting at the bottom of my drawers full of pulls and faded fabric – and it’s just not that chic anymore.

Thrifted items – Left: skirt / Right: boots

Maybe I’ll make an official pledge, maybe not, but I will be sharing more of my consignment and thrifted finds, how they made the cut into my soon-to-be curated closet, and what I’m craving to fill closet holes.  Also new to the blog will be some fun surprise features (as soon as I can get my act together!).  And in case you want to take the 2nd hand plunge, I’ll be filling you in on the wide variety of places you can shop 2nd hand without resorting to shifting through too small boys t-shirts and shoddy sneakers.  I hope you join me!

All images copyrighted to chicstripes


9 thoughts on “2nd Hand Shopping & the Carefully Curated Closet

  1. I’m so jealous of your closet ;) And you’ve found some amazing thrift store purchases!!! Honestly, MOST of my clothes come from thrift/consignment stores haha. With the exception of a few things from Gap/Express/The Limited and a few other places where I can get basics, most of the fun stuff is pre-owned ;)

  2. I think we have a very similar attitude- first off, to not give a dollar to the fast fashion shops means you are saying with your almighty dollar that you do NOT support sweatshops, disposable fashion and companies that steal from designers, artists etc. Secondly by focusing on looking to already created products FIRST, you are helping eliminate our already to quickly filling landfills. But best of all, by focusing on quality and long term durability of clothes in your wardrobe, you are creating a marketplace for quality, and you are creating less waste for disposal, all with the satisfaction that you are investing stylishly in style guilt free. Congrats, lovely Sydney!

  3. I love thrifting because you can find one-of-a-kind pieces, reduce consumption and new production, and save money. Also for the price you pay you get far better quality than discount mass retailers. I never have time to do it though, life is too hectic so I have resorted to online thrifting via eBay and Etsy. But some of my most prized wardrobe pieces are second hand. Fabulous post!

  4. I am the worst thrift shopper on this earth! If you ever teach a class on dos and don’ts of thrifting, I would completely sign up for that. Or if I could just follow you around a consignment store. I am blown away that you got all those items from 2nd hand places!

  5. Thanks for such a thoughtful comment! I love that you find things on eBay and Etsy – I’ve gotten a few things, but I like to try on items before buying, but I’m sure I will be eBaying more in the upcoming year as I try to shop 2nd hand first.

  6. Thank you for such a sweet and thoughtful comment! I have to say that I’ve always been a lover of thrifted items, but reading your post on shopping 2nd hand first really inspired me to do more with my purchases. I’m excited about the next year of shopping. :)

  7. I love thrifting and shopping consignment, all of my best vintage and designer pieces are previously worn from local shops, its more fun to shop that way!!! We should go thrifting sometime :]

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