The 3 things I always look out for when shopping second-hand 1 month ago

The 3 things I always look out for when shopping second-hand

We all agree that vintage shopping can be daunting, yeah?

Everyone has a pal who always seems to wear the coolest pre-loved pieces but where on earth would we even start to find great stuff like that ourselves?

It took me a while but I feel like I’ve gotten the hand of second-hand shopping in the past year. I’ve had to get used to rummaging but the pay-off has been great. I’m now the proud owner of some one-off bits I absolutely love and can’t pass a second-hand shop without going in for a nose.


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If you want to get into second-hand shopping, my first tip would be to know the difference between charity shops and dedicated vintage stores.

Really want a pair of old-school Levi jeans or a vibey sesh jacket? Check out a vintage shop. The stock there will be curated so this is where you’re likely to find branded clothing and show-stopping pieces. Talk to the staff about what you’re after as they’ll know what they have and should be able to guide you. There will be some bargains to be had but don’t expect everything to be super cheap. You’ll be paying for quality, plus the resources the store has put into tracking down each item.


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Charity shops, on the other hand, are cheap and cheerful and tend to be a lucky dip so you’ll have to be ready to dig. Enable Ireland, SVP and other similar shops are great for grabbing fun pieces for next to nothing. They’re not all about super old stuff either – I’ve come across fab things from Zara and Topshop that would be just a few years old and in great condition.

If you find yourself overwhelmed by all the stock in a charity shop, just look for quality materials and for colours you know you’ll wear. A good rule of thumb is to ask yourself, would I buy this item in a high street store? This will keep you on track.


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Whenever I go shopping in second hand or vintage stores there are a few things I always look out for.


Men’s shirts

I love a boxy, structured shirt so my first stop tends to be the men’s section. Decent 90s style flannel shirts are easy to come by, while a crisp white shirt in a natural material like linen will look class with jeans.


Oversized t-shirts and jumpers

Again, I’m a big fan of anything big and boxy so I always look for tops that are a few sizes up in both the women’s and men’s sections. For reference, I’m a size 12 so in women’s clothes I’d look at sizes 18 and up and in the men’s I go straight for size XL and above.


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Brand new items with tags

You definitely have things in your wardrobe that you’ve never worn, right? Well, so do other people and often enough, they donate them. This means you’ll find pieces still with tags on in pretty much every charity shop. I’ve bought brand new t-shirts, sports bras, shorts and even a dreamy satin dressing gown in charity shops, all complete with tags.