6 ways to shop second hand this party season

How to second hand clothes shop

Until the sun came out this weekend, it felt like we’d been completely robbed of an Autumn in 2019. Endless days of rain had obliterated my hopes of crisp, sunny walks on crunchy, frost-bitten leaves – replaced instead by grumpy days indoors reorganising my under-bed storage boxes and cursing the weather gods with every colourful word in my vocabulary.

Crappy Autumn or not, the shops have still, like clockwork, filled up with glitter, faux fur and sequins – which can mean only one thing; Christmas party season is just around the corner.

But this is 2019, and the environmentally damaging effects of fast fashion more widely understood than ever. The cold hard fact that one million items of clothing are sent to landfill in the UK each week has people shunning the high street stores and choosing more sustainable options instead. If you’re hoping to do the same, here are some of the best places to start…

1. Look for vintage kilo sales and indie boutiques

For lived-in Levis and old-school glamour, go vintage. Look for local Kilo sales, which allow you to literally buy a kilogram of second hand clothes for a fixed price. What’s on the rails has often been pre-sorted by someone with a good eye for fashionable finds, too. No kilo sale near you any time soon? Try Sobeys or Hobos in Cardiff city centre instead.


2. Head to eBay

eBay is still a great place to find second hand fashion bargains – my other half shops his jeans exclusively from eBay after finding numerous pairs of Levi 520’s at a bargain price. The trick is to know exactly what you’re looking for, and search for that specific item; this week I decided I wanted a pair of black Nike Air Max trainers and have just won the bidding on a nearly-new pair for just £26.

3. Raid the charity shops

Head to your local charity shop to unearth some gems whilst giving to a good cause.

Rumour has it that many high street chains donate surplus stock to charity shops, who sell these products with the labels removed to prevent returns to the original store. So if you spot something brand-new with no labels, you could be clutching an even bigger bargain than usual.

If you feel like you could use some expert help, Cardiff-based sustainable stylist Claire Rees has teamed up with Ty Hafan charity shops to host an ‘up style club’ on November 14th. It’s a chance to shop her favourite finds from across their stores with a glass of fizz in hand. Tickets are £10 each and available here: www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/party-pop-up-at-ty-hafan-tickets-77150883369 

4. Look out for dedicated fashion resale sites

Resale sites are becoming big business as people turn away from brand-new, fast fashion, and they mean you can still shop second-hand from the comfort of your couch. Sites like Micolet – which started in Spain, but has now expanded into five more countries across Europe – offer up to 90% off big-name brands including Zara, Ted Baker and Topshop.

5. Shop your own wardrobe

Got a bedroom full of clothes and still “nothing to wear”? I know the feeling. I recently spent a good couple of hours going through my wardrobe, mixing colour combinations and layering options that I’d never usually think of trying. As a result, I’ve started wearing pieces that hadn’t seen the light of day in years.

From fixing broken straps and small holes, to adding embellishments, or getting a few key pieces professionally tailored, this article has some good tips for shopping your own closet: www.self.com/story/how-to-update-your-closet.

6. Swap with your pals

One man’s trash is another’s treasure, as they say.

If you always find yourself lusting over your best mates clobber, why not try organising a swap? Ask a few mates to rifle through their wardrobes and pick out a couple of pieces they never wear. Then get together over a few drinks for a night of outfit swapping – anything that goes unclaimed can go the charity shop in the morning.


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