How do you decide what to wear for those Christmas and New Year parties?
Do you have to have the latest fashion? Do you buy something new, or do you start with a rummage through the wardrobe to see what you have already? Perhaps you already have an outfit that could be refreshed with different accessories?
Last Christmas I was on a mission to not buy any new clothes, including any that were just new to me, from July until after Christmas – you can read more about that here: No new clothes – learning to love the clothes I have and realising I actually don’t need more. So when I decided to attend my work’s Christmas presentation evening for the first time, I had to come up with something suitable without buying anything. There was a black and silver dress code for the evening. I already had a gorgeous fitted black satin skirt from Coast, bought in a charity shop a few years earlier, which I had never yet worn as it really didn’t go with any of my shoes. As I wasn’t buying anything I asked a friend with the same sized feet if she had a pair of smart shoes I could borrow. She came up trumps with a perfect pair of black court shoes, which she had herself bought from a charity shop and only wore occasionally for parties. My auntie lent me a black lacey blouse and a silver scarf and I was good to go. I really liked this outfit although I sadly don’t seem to have taken any photos.
Over the year I have been keeping my eye on the local charity shops for a suitable new (to me) top to go with the same black skirt without any luck. But, whilst in looking instead for items to go in the Christmas crackers I was making, I happened to spot a lovely Monsoon tunic dress. Sometimes the best finds are when you’re not actually looking. So here was my outfit – an evening dress for £5.99. And I was able to borrow the same pair of shoes from my friend. I wore jewellery I had already (a previous Christmas gift from my husband) and accessorised with a Planet handbag, also from a charity shop a few years earlier. My coat and scarf are also charity shop sourced – though only the scarf is new to me this year.
So, why buy preowned?
There are plenty of advantages to buying preowned. I’ve always bought some of my clothes this way because:
- It’s cheap
- It’s fun – you never know what you will find, and there is something different to look at every time
- You don’t have to follow the crowd
- You can often get much better quality items than you might afford or want to spend on otherwise
But recently I have been trying to source most of my clothing this way with other reasons also in mind:
- It saves the use of new resources, in terms of the material and the energy and shipping that goes into the production of new clothes
- I’m not supporting “fast fashion” often made by workers in poor conditions to make it cheap and disposable
- I like the fact that my money is supporting a charity rather than a multinational clothes shop
- Because I live in a small town, I can also find the things I want locally and on foot more easily this way
Have you got any favourite ways of shopping or favourite finds?