One of the reasons some women overshop is because they have a high need for novelty and variety, and shopping offers so many opportunities for stimulation. There’s so much to look at, to touch, to smell, to surround yourself with. There’s other people around, store clerks to talk with, other shoppers to commune with (or ignore, if you choose).
There’s a lot going on in a shopping environment, and some of my overshopping occurred on days when I was feeling especially unstimulated and in need of an antidote to feelings of boredom.
Preloved shopping is a way to have some of those needs for stimulation met through shopping, but in a different way. Preloved shopping is about buying items that someone else has owned (and loved) before.
I have written before about pre-loved shopping (here and here) during my year without clothes shopping (2010). I’ve also shared a TED talk from a young Brooklyn designer, Jessi Arrington, who has a wear nothing new policy (here).
Wake Up! Tune In!
Shopping your wardrobe is about being more conscious in your consumption choices. It’s about tuning in to what you have – the fullness and richness that already exists in your life, and learning to use what you have in new and interesting ways.
For some of us, we get a similar feeling of being tuned in when we shop preloved. Shopping preloved often means we spend less and it gives us a feeling of being ‘green’ and not contributing to the fast fashion cycle that may be wearing out the world.
One Shop Your Wardrobe reader, Tamara from Ontario, wrote to me and we got chatting about preloved and thrift shopping. Tamara, a jewellery and accessories artist, told me that she buys many of her jewellery supplies in thrift and preloved stores as well. “I love taking vintage and pre-loved jewellery and garments apart, cleaning the elements, and reusing them. I end up with much more unique pieces that way. The same can be said about outfits – you end up with much more unique outfits often when you shop thrift because you find the neatest pieces!”
Here Tamara shares in visual form some of her preloved finds and how she transforms them.
For the boho denim jacket, I bought the jacket plain secondhand and made it the way it looks now. I cut off the sleeves to 3/4 length and embellished it with vintage lace, button covers, and buttons, as well as crystals and pearls, and some gold sparkle!
I pick up a lot of pre-loved purses and this is one of them. It’s the same oriental style as this preloved oriental jacket (an authentic piece – the writing on the tag is Chinese). I draped a necklace I made with embellished repurposed lace over it. That can be a neat way to spice up purses – attach a string of beads or a necklace to it.
Thank you Tamara for our wonderful conversation which I have thoroughly enjoyed (long may we chat!). You can find out more about Tamara and her unique jewellery art at Pink Pearls by Tamara.
How to Incorporate Preloved Items into Your Wardrobe
Preloved shopping offers the opportunity to shop consciously and discover ‘finds’ – unique and interesting pieces that aren’t available at the mall. These items have much potential:
- Combine them with existing wardrobe pieces – mix and match across eras and genres to create a unique look.
- Re-purpose, upstyle, transform and create entirely new items from. Turn a silk jacket into a scarf, a dress into a tunic, a printed shirt into a purse. Just avoid the pigs ears – they make very poor silk purses.
- Add pizzazz, interest and variety to a wardrobe that has become a little stale or dull.