I’m almost one month down in my six-month challenge to shop secondhand only, and so far, it hasn’t been as hard as I thought it would be. It’s incredible just how easy secondhand shopping is nowadays. With apps like DePop and Poshmark, you can thrift from the comfort of your bed; and with consignment stores like Buffalo Exchange and Crossroads Trading, you have the luxury of someone curating items for you to sift through.
I know that this first month has been a breeze mostly because I haven’t been on social media all that much (which means I haven’t been envying what others have), but I’m hoping that these feelings of contentment with my wardrobe will continue going forward.
Something that I’m grappling with at the moment is am I more of a minimalist or an advocate for ethical fashion? I don’t think they’re mutually exclusive; however, I often feel that pull of minimalism is stronger than my conscience to shop ethically. I firmly believe that shopping minimally is a way of shopping ethically; and therefore, I also believe that we cannot consume our way into a more ethical or sustainable world. We also must be conscious in shopping consciously. This is why moving forward, I am trying to shop way less, especially now that I feel like my wardrobe is curated well for my life and for my body type. This is how the challenge of shopping secondhand only was birthed.
Knowing my shopping habits a little better now, I knew that shopping secondhand could easily turn into an excuse into buying more things. I also knew that secondhand stores could easily turn into places I frequently haunt like malls used to be when I needed a place to pass the time. I didn’t want secondhand shopping, while ethical and sustainable, to be a vehicle for returning back to old habits that I’ve worked so hard to break. I want shopping secondhand to be a way for me to be even more conscious when I shop. A major reason why I rarely shopped secondhand was its inconvenience–I wasn’t able to instantly gratify my desires–but its inconvenience is ultimately what I’m hoping will slow down my consumption and really make me work for my clothes (and appreciate the clothes that I do have).
I also knew, however, that if I didn’t do some thrifting (and feel successful at it) this month, that this challenge may not be fully completed. And so, we ventured out to Crossroads Trading in Silverlake yesterday. I’m so happy that Brandon has also become interested in shopping more ethically and shopping secondhand. It makes for a great date as it’s always fun to see what we pick out for each other as we’re combing through the racks. I actually found this denim jacket in the men’s section while sifting through a rack that had a bunch of items from A.P.C (one of our favorite luxury brands) in search of sweaters for Brandon.
I didn’t necessarily need a denim jacket as I already have a lighter wash one that I wear a bunch throughout the year, but I fell in love with the darker wash (and the designer label and the $55 price tag). Brandon was also an avid fan of it (and he’s rarely ever a huge fan of the things I buy as he feels they’re all the same ha), so I walked away with this one piece for me and an A.P.C sweater for Brandon as an early gift for Valentine’s Day. He walked away with a black Etudes denim jacket and an A.P.C trench coat that he’s been wanting for years. It was a great haul and a great date, and I cannot wait for us to return in a few months. We are definitely benefiting from the rich LA hipsters who must be clearing out their closets this January (another reason to be grateful for Marie Kondo!)!
I’m hoping to start a new little series on the blog now that I’m moving towards shopping secondhand where I share the lessons that I learn from going thrifting (IRL or online).
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This month I learned…
DON’T SKIP OUT ON THE MEN’S SECTION | There are some pretty great gems in there, especially if you like the oversized and boxy fit of jackets and cardigans like I do. There are also brands, like APC, that have more unisex clothes that can work for anyone!
TRY EVERYTHING ON–NO MATTER THE SIZE | I had heard of this advice from some friends who go thrifting quite a bit, and so I brought a lot of things of a variety of sizes with me into the dressing room. There were things labeled as an XS (and I am most certainly not an XS) that fit me while things that were a Medium+ did not. I’m also secretly hoping that shopping secondhand will also help me on my way to be more body positive and realize that size is just a silly number and doesn’t define my worth.
And so there you have it! I’m feeling great about this challenge so far! Cheers to another 5 months & 11 days of shopping secondhand only, and all the lessons I’ll learn!