You Can Still Dress Chic If You Shop Secondhand

I just finished reading a New York Times article about Out & Back Outdoor, a resale shop where ski bums can purchase gently-used outdoor gear. It’s a great way for beginners to access expensive equipment that they otherwise wouldn’t bother paying full price for.

One of the article's most provocative quotes:

“The ski bum mentality is always, ‘Never pay retail.’ That changes with age, money, and access, of course, but most people here still live by it.”

I mean, shouldn’t that be everyone’s mentality? Paying retail is getting beyond my price range. I’m not made of money, but evidently, I like to dress like I am.

It seems like every piece of clothing worth its salt averages $30+ nowadays. A new, high-quality outfit costs well over $100. That being said, shopping fast fashion is hell on the environment and the general welfare of factory workers. So throw that out the window, too.

However, thrifting has become the Next Big Thing again thanks to our favorite celebrities. Emily Ratajkowski is on TikTokwearing all “vintage.” Post Malone bought a set of hand-selected, gently used tees from Y2K thrift paradise, Rogue.

@emma.rogue @Post Malone ty for being the realest #postmalone #vintagegrails #vintageshop ♬ original sound - emma rogue

And yet, whenever I tell my friends I shop for my favorite brands on resale websites like Poshmark, I instantly feel them disconnect. They tell me they’re “not sure why it sketches them out,” but “good for me” for getting my favorite brand at a discount – even if it's new with tags.

Thrifting clothes and devoting time to resale websites gives you the chance for a unique shopping experience. You may struggle a little bit to find your size since you’re shopping in somebody's closet, but scoring a unique outfit is the most rewarding experience.

@brokemagazine not to be dramatic but we’d die for colombo 🐕🦺 #emilyratajkowski #emilyratajkowskistyle #emilyratajkowskiestyle #fashiontok #fashiontiktok #brokemagazine ♬ original sound - Broke Magazine

At the end of the day, who is going to know – or care – that your Free People jacket isn’t from Nordstrom? According to the NYT,

“ A 2022 resale report from ThredUp, a secondhand e-commerce site, estimates that secondhand sales in the United States grew a record 32 percent last year.”

This really comes as no surprise with TikTok normalizing resale culture and the newly-popularized, “influencer sale.” Influencers all over the country donate their PR packages and free clothing to stores, giving you access to the most popular brands.

According to ThredUp, the pandemic accelerated the rise in resale shopping, reporting 33 million people bought secondhand clothing for the first time. It’s expected to grow 127% by 2026, thus making resale shopping the next hottest clothing trend.

I love resale because it gives me the chance to try out new brands at a discounted price – plus I can often find a bunch of sold out pieces that aren’t on the brand’s website. Even if it’s new with tags, I’ve scored major price cuts on big name brands.

If you’re looking to save money during the holiday season but still want to buy yourself something, resale shopping is the way to go. Here are a few of my favorite websites to try out:

    1. Grailed
    2. The RealReal
    3. Vestiaire Collective
    4. Rebag
    5. Poshmark
    6. ThredUp

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