Home Opinion The Art of Shopping Secondhand

The Art of Shopping Secondhand

Different used clothes for men, women and children on the rack in a second hand shop or thrift store - selective focus with very little depth of field for adequate copyspace

by Rebecca Dance

Last Saturday, I went shopping at Plato’s Closet. It wasn’t the only place I went shopping, but it was a successful shopping trip. However, I found some issues during my day out spending money I don’t have. 

Issue #1: Size does matter. 

I’m not about to fat shame myself or anybody else, but it is a fact of life that all bodies are different and all of us deserve to have nice clothes that fit us. Secondhand stores aren’t particularly good at having sections for those of us who need clothes bigger than a medium, or pants bigger than a size 7. This issue is not limited just to secondhand stores, but I noticed it this weekend while shopping. 

Solution #1: Ignore the signs.

I’ve found that grabbing clothes I like and then trying them on limits some of the issues with finding the right size. Secondhand stores are generally a little disorganized because the clothes have been worn and shoppers pick things up and put them back where they like, I go through all the clothes because, without fail, something I love has been tucked in with the extra smalls. 

Issue #2: Is it ugly? 

Trying to decide on whether or not something is ugly when you’re holding it, it’s been worn, and there’s department store lighting is a truly insurmountable issue. 

Solution #2: Try it on! 

It’s important to try things on before you buy them. Returning things is a hassle, and stores that you buy things in second hand typically do not have a return policy. Therefore, it’s important to actually put the clothes on and decide how they make you feel before you take them home. My method here is to not care about the designs. Frequently, I make purchases because I think the pattern is kind of ugly, but I like it. 

So, if you’re going to shop secondhand, I encourage you to keep these in mind.