Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Used Clothes Shopping Guide

So you all have figured out by now I'm sure that I've been buying used clothes a lot now that I've "crossed over to the green side." So I thought I would write a little guide to buying used clothes and what to look for.

I'd like to consider myself a professional in this area because I worked in Retail for 10 yrs. Needless to say, I know my way around a clothing rack...probably because I cleaned that rack or stocked it.

And I just want to say that I totally scored big at a yard sale the other day. We were driving home from an arts festival in Sumner (a free one might I add) and there was a church having a rummage sale. Churches are notorious for this stuff AND cutting you a big deal because they just want it GONE.
So we pulled in to take a peak because they had a ton of stuff. They had a sign that said, "Fill a bag with clothes for only $1" so I asked the lady how big that bag was and it was your normal plastic grocery store bag size. She said, "Just fill it up and take whatever. I want it gone."
So I went thru the racks and took basically anything that I remotely liked or could fit into or use. All in all I got 13 items including a pair of shoes for James for a buck. SO that means I only spent about .08 a piece for each item. Might I add they were brand names like Mossimo, Old Navy and the like?? TOTAL score! Now mind you this is hard because I wanted to just take and take and take, but I had to be realistic since most wouldn't even fit me anyway and the rest was just junk.
I left pretty stinkin happy to say the least. Yay Yard Sales!!

Ok so here's my shopping guide to buying used clothes at either yard sales, consignment shops or the Goodwill & thrift shops.

  1. If you are at the Goodwill for example check to see what color tag is on special. You know how every store like this runs some sort of sale on something. Check this before even shopping. You never know what you might find for a $1.
  2. When you find something you like carefully inspect it.
  3. Check all zippers, buttons, snaps or any sort of closures on the item. it may look new but the zipper could be busted and unless you are good at replacing a zipper I would pass.
  4. Check all seams from top to bottom. Pull on them to see if the fabric pulls away and the stitching is pulling out. If the seam is splitting see if you can restitch it and how good the fabric is in the area. If the fabric is pulled or torn it probably wouldn't make sense to restitch the seam because it would pull in that spot.
  5. Check the crotch of pants. I know this sounds silly, but jeans for example split very easy in that area if its worn out and unless you look you may miss this. Nothing worse then a tear in the crotch!
  6. Check the arm pits for stains. I have seen clothes even at those pricey consignment shops where the pits are all stained up from sweat stains. This can be removed I'm told by adding salt to hot water and pouring over the sweat stain, but I haven't tried this yet. Either way if its stained you might want to pass. Ick anyway. be sure you check this in the light otherwise you might miss it. Turn it inside out if necessary to see it better.
  7. Check the collar for sweat stains or makeup stains. Just like the sweat stains check this in good light.
  8. Try stuff on if you can. Obviously this isn't always possible, but its good advise.
  9. Check the bottom of all pants to see if its been hemmed. Just cause it says its your size doesn't mean someone didn't alter it. Same goes for anything someone could alter.
  10. Hold it up to yourself. I know this sounds so old school and something your mom would do, but it really does help you know better to see how wide or long something is.
  11. I always hold stuff up to the light to see if I can find stains. I'm like a stain radar and my family hates it. I can spot a spot from far away!!!
  12. Check the pockets for money. JUST KIDDING (the Goodwill checks this stuff anyway)
  13. Check to see if its dry clean only. For me, I don't' do dry cleaning. So I have to double check something to be sure I'm not buying something I ultimately won't wear because its dry clean only.
  14. Make sure all buttons are on the item.
  15. If you are buying a sweater check it over closely for small holes. I personally can't fix a hole in a sweater--I have no idea how that could be fixed properly.
  16. Check for holes in pockets.
  17. If buying pants check to see if the pockets are pulling the fabric (like the back pockets of jeans) or starting to tear.
  18. Check the label. You might find some Mega brand name items that you are already familiar with and won't need to try on. If you know you wear a size 6 in Old Navy Jeans then go for it. Makes shopping easier!
  19. If you are buying at a yard sale bargain bargain bargain. If you see a few items you like just make an offer. Most people would rather get something then nothing when selling things at yard sales. This works really well for kids clothes.

So those are my tips. If anyone wants to add to them please feel free!! I hope this helps and please, consider buying used clothes because honestly lets face it--once we wash something its used by then anyway. Clothes don't exactly appreciate in value. I have yet to see any piece of clothing worn by the every day Joe that went up in Value.

Why bother spending a fortune on clothes to only have them wear out or get ruined. Labels mean nothing to me and never have, but the thrill of finding a good deal just makes my day!! I DO like to shop, but now its just a different approach at shopping. Its more careful and detailed.


Parties by Design said...

Oh my goosh-You are soooo funny, I love this blog..why havent I looked earlier??
Yah, always ask for a deal. I just asked for 2 tables that are 999- for 100....never know? :)

Rachel Ann said...

I LOVE, LOVE garage/yard sales, and have to make sure I don't leave with things I don't need.

I did buy a formal dress (long to the floor and black) for $25 at a yard sale 5 years ago or so. I've worn it on cruises, in my sister's wedding and for other formal events....totally got my money worth!

MKD said...

Thanks MEl. I'm pretty stinkin' awesome!
See?? You like my blog!! Now that you have nothing better to do--why not waste your time reading my blog! I will enrich your life!! LOL

Rachel Ann said...

You've been tagged!!!

Follow below to see the details...