Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Thrifted Life: Fashion, Size and What NOT To Buy

I'm not entirely convinced this look works for her.

There are several reasons to go down the secondhand path when it comes to fashion.
  1. There’s variety, and therefore a chance at finding something unique; something that hasn’t been slung on a hanger in its original retail state for perhaps decades.
  2. The slim possibility of finding designer names. I’ve lucked into Betsey Johnson, Jones New York, Lucky Brand and Calvin Klein.
  3. Thrifting allows for some experimentation with different looks you wouldn’t think to try. 
  4. It’s hella cheap.
And recently I’ve learned the importance of being fashionably thrifty when it comes to the whole dieting interim. If you’re losing weight (or even gaining weight due to pregnancy, medical concerns, too many pastries, etc. etc.) and looking to temporarily expand your wardrobe to accommodate your shifting physique, thrifting is the way to go.

I’m currently hovering at the 40 pound loss, but still holding out to lose more. And for the first time in months I went out today…to the mall…and actually bought some key fashion pieces…new. I caved and bought a pair of dark wash jeans that do some fabulous things for my ass. There. I said it.

Now…I bought them on sale, with an additional coupon. I don’t have buyer’s remorse. But I must admit that while I was happily rewarding myself for the achievement of a smaller pant size, I had just an inkling of doubt. What happens when next month I look in the mirror and these pants are just as baggy as the ones I’ll soon be donating to Goodwill?

In the past, when I had the  opportunity to purchase something smaller and cheaper with the hopes of fitting into to it at a later time I would use clothing as a primary motivator. You know what I’m talking about, ladies. But there was little-to-no follow-through. 

Now that I’m in an epic battle with my wardrobe, facing the rivals of sagging behinds, baggy knee jeans and an overall dissatisfaction, I’m wondering if downsizing in the thrift is a smart choice.

Is it better to buy for right now? Or is it better to reserve something slightly smaller for the future when you spot something cute?

I do know one thing. Just because you can squeeze your body into it, doesn’t mean it fits. Much of the time, size is subjective to the time and place the garment was made…and perhaps more importantly, the body wearing it. I’ve seen some really tragic ensembles on various sized women and can only shake my head in confusion.

Price, size, style. These things are important. But if you’re busting through the seams, can’t breathe for fear of busting a stitch, can’t bend at risk of a projectile button…simply put it down and walk away. Let somebody else thrift it and keep your eyes peeled for a look that works.

What's your secondhand fashion strategy?


Vanessa said...

All excellent points, ma'am. I've been meaning to confess, I found myself in the hideous mall to meet some friends. While there I spotted an AMAZING dress, it's "me" in every way. I bought it, it fits me perfectly, and I get compliments and exclamations like, "you look amazing, you lost weight!" whenever I wear it (I haven't, but that's what a good fit does for you.)

So my strategy, thrifty all the way, but an occasional rare retail purchase that fits you perfectly and makes you feel good is lovely. Always buying 2nd hand makes the rare retail item you get fresh and new extra special.

Jackie Jardine said...

I agree, Van. Most times I cannot justify spending $80+ dollars on pants. But if the timing is right or there's a special occasion, I'll splurge a bit. And you're right...getting something new every once in a while can be somewhat refreshing!