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My Guide To Buying Secondhand Clothing

You can pick up some absolute gems when searching through racks of pre-loved clothes, all it takes is a little patience. I’ve been doing it for years and love creating outfits with beautiful pieces I’ve bought either on Depop, in a charity shop or vintage store. There’s something to suit everyone’s style. Here are my top tips for buying secondhand clothing for this seasons wardrobe.

Forget Any Preconceived Ideas

Charity shops have come a long way over the years and aren’t full of stained or moth eaten clothing that no one would ever dream of wearing. The stores are stocked with carefully chosen pieces that have already been washed and everywhere is laid out in sections, either by colour or style. The staff are extremely helpful and knowledgeable, just as you’d find in a high street store.

Minor Problems Can Be Fixed

You can easily sew on a button or put on a complete new set to jazz up a blazer or coat. Broken zip, no worries, a new zip can simply be sewn in, either by you or anyone you know with a sewing machine. A hem can be taken up to make a skirt or dress just the perfect length and if a top or dress is slightly too low cut across the bust, a few stitches are all it takes to protect your modesty. If there does happen to be a slight mark it can easily be removed by one of the many fabric cleaners on the market. Failing that take it along to a local dry cleaners, which is well worth doing for a one off vintage or designer garment.

Always Try It On

Clothes may look fabulous on a hanger but can look absolutely hideous the minute you try on what you thought was the perfect looking dress. The same rule applies the other way round, it could hang like a sack on the hanger but once you slip it on the dress could give you the most stunning shape and drape beautifully across the body.

Always Check The Returns Policy

This is definitely worth checking if you’re buying on Depop, Ebay or Oxfam On Line. Imagine how heartbroken you’d be after ordering a stunning piece of clothing only for it to arrive and it didn’t fit. Or there was a hole in the garment that wasn’t shown in the photo and the seller wouldn’t give you a refund.

Trust Your Instinct

If you know an item will go with at least 3 outfits in your wardrobe and you know you’ll get lots of wear from that piece then it’s worth having. Does it suit your personal style or are you buying it just because it’s something that’s on trend? Also don’t be a label snob, if you think you will wear the item then buy it.

Don’t Rule Out Accessories

Hats, jewellery and bags all add those perfect finishing touches to any outfit. You may stumble across a 1950s bag that looks brand new and you’re unlikely to see one of your friends with the same one. If you can’t quite stretch to a full price designer handbag, then buying secondhand is the best way to go, especially if it’s a classic design that’s never going to go out of style.

Have you found a great secondhand bargain?

You may also like to read My Autumn Charity and Vintage Shop Haul

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Styling A 60s Print Midi Skirt This Autumn

You’re guaranteed to see me in at least one new midi skirt each season. They’re super versatile, making them a key piece for any wardrobe. I’ve always been inspired by the fashion from the 60s and 70s and many of today’s trends have been inspired by that era. When I think about clothing I already own, such as a pair of Knee High boots, mini skirt, baker boy hats and patterned tights. they’ve all started out in the 1960s.

The “Swinging 60s” in London is such an iconic era, from music, the social scene and, of course the fashion. Richard Allan was a British scarf designer from that time and known for his bold prints and vibrant colours. The brand have now teamed up with H&M and have created a collection of fashionable pieces using classic vintage prints from their original 60s scarves.

The collection is absolutely gorgeous with autumnal gold, orange and brown tones. There are midi skirts, dresses and tops which have a definite retro feel about them. The design details are feminine, yet chic, with soft pleats, high neck lines and wide cuffs. I’ve been trying to get my hands on the collections gold patterned scarf, but to my frustration it keeps selling out. I think the H&M and Richard Allan Collaboration have got it so right with these pieces, bringing the 60s bang up to date.

I chose the midi skirt from the Piccadilly Collection which is inspired by the neon lights of Piccadilly Circus in London in the 1960s. Each piece works in harmony together, yet for me this stunning pleated mid skirt is the most versatile. The material drapes beautifully over the body and feels elegant and swishy when you move.

I first styled the skirt with a pair of camel knee high boots (on show thanks to a gust of wind!) and are on trend now just as they were back in the day. They go beautifully with this camel top handle bag I found in a vintage store and the cream pussy bow blouse adds to the feminine, retro look. I finished off the outfit with a gorgeous velvet baker boy cap to add to the 60s feel.

My second look is perfect for when the weather gets cooler. A black roll neck jumper has been a wardrobe staple for many women over the years, I’ve certainly gone through a few. This one was an investment piece a couple of years ago, it’s made from Alpaca wool and keeps me super warm.

This time I completed the look with a pair of suedette black knee high books and a golden, light brown cross body bag. The gold chain strap of the bag goes perfectly with my large hoop earrings for a real retro feel. I’m absolutely head over heels in love with this midi skirt. I love the print, the pleats and the material. It’s a piece that will see me through the whole year, dressed up or down.

If you just want to buy one thing from the collection, play it safe with the scarf (let me get my hands on one first before they sell out again!) It can be used in a multitude of ways to jazz up an outfit, especially if all over bold prints aren’t usually your thing. This collection really does have something for every kind of vintage lover, it’s an absolute dream.

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