It’s no secret that I love buying second hand clothing! I have been doing #thriftythursday posts on instagram for a quite a while now, sharing all the latest opped buys and reinvented looks. But for those who are new to the trend (or who just want a few more ideas) or for those who want to find unique pieces more sustainably and reduce their carbon footprint, here is a quick list of places I have used to buy used clothing as aside from scouring your friend’s wardrobes (which I do do on a regular), there are many places close by, some in bricks and mortar shops, others on the web and others within your friend’s collection!
Op Shops/Thrift Stores
In Australia we have a system for recycling clothes where charity shops take the unwanted items, clean them, and sell them in shops and use the profits towards their charitable cause. These items are donated usually by people placing their items in designated recycle bins that are taken into the shops. Shops in Australia include: Red Cross, Lifeline, Vinnies (St Vincent De Paul) and the Salvos (The Salvation Army).
(This shirt and scarf were recent purchases from op shops. The shirt is Forever New and cost me $8 from a Lifeline Op shop. The scarf was $1).
Second Hand Boutiques
Second hand boutiques are for profit stores where each item has been curated often for a specific aesthetic and likely purchased second hand from op shops or elsewhere and put into the shop for sale. In Australia, we’re still going to call them op shops though they operate a little differently. Most often prices are a little higher at a boutique but you are paying for the person’s time to actually hunt through the large amount of second hand clothes out there and pay all the overheads so that you can walk into a beautifully designed shop and have an experience (and maybe, take home a new item for your wardrobe) 🙂 Also, the items are usually better quality, vintage or on trend as the shop owner usually has a good eye for quality which saves you having to look through a bunch of items in a regular op shops til you find the gold 🙂
(This denim jacket was from a second hand boutique. It cost $30 and is definitely my favourite jacket. The bag was from a Lifeline store Op Shop)
There are loads of websites designed to sell second hand and a quick google search should bring that up for you. The Style Me Petite Shop has some items which we will add to in time. There is also Facebook Market Place which is a feature of Facebook and a great tool for shopping for second hand items. Gumtree is another as is Instagram (try hashtags like #buymyclothes #shopmywardrobe #prelovedclothing #prelovedclothingforsale etc). EBay and DePop are others. To use these platforms, simply search for something that you are looking for like for me I search “size 8 women’s clothing” or “size 6 shoes”. If you have found something that you like and it is local, you can contact the seller and arrange a time to inspect or otherwise, arrange postage. If you don’t see the item in person, make sure that you ask all the details about fit including the measurements of the model in the pictures (if applicable) or at least the size they wear. It is totally fine to request more photos or also negotiate a price if you don’t feel that the amount is reasonable but you like the item (eBay doesn’t always allow for this but it has the feature of auctioning so you can bid with others where the highest bid wins). Try to stay polite and keep in mind depending on their audience, they may have a lot of people enquiring about items and it may take time for them to get back to you.
Garage Sales/Yard Sales
Usually advertised by homemade signs, facebook marketplace or gumtree; garage sales often have a wealth of really cool stuff and sometimes, you may find someone who is the same size as you selling some of their old clothes. You can usually snap up a really quick bargain this way and sometimes negotiate a sale with the seller.
Clothes Swap Parties
These are events where people bring their clothes they don’t wear and swap them with others. These work best when they are larger groups to give you a better chance that there are items in your size and style though it’s also a really fun thing to do with a bunch of friends (with some nibbles and champagne!). Check Facebook Events for local events or create your own!
There are quite a few types of markets, some are just Farmer’s Markets but others have clothes as well. On the Gold Coast, there is a great market called “The Village Markets” which I am a regular at which has some stalls with second hand clothing. What I love about TVM is it also has some original works from local designers so definitely worth checking out!
I recently went to Ballarat, Victoria to visit my family and went to the Mill Markets in both Ballarat and Daylesford. This is a great place to find used items, usually really stylish ones that have been handpicked for sale.
A suitcase rummage is similar to a market where a bunch of people bring their unwanted items or original creations in suitcases to sell. There is a small fee to sell your things but it is completely free to attend. There is a fun suitcase rummage that I have attended at Brisbane Square (also launching in Melbourne soon) where i purchased this shirt for $5 and a denim skirt. The rest of the items pictured here were from op shops except the brooch which was a hand me down from a friend.
What is your favourite thing purchased second hand? If you would like to keep updated of the things that I have purchased second hand, follow me on instagram. I post second hand items that I’ve acquired every Thursday with the hashtag #thriftythursday. If you have more ideas of where you have got second hand items, please leave them in a comment or tag me @stylemepetiteblog in your instagram posts 🙂
Thanks for reading,