I’ll be honest, in the beginning, the idea of buying someone’s used items was entirely gross to me. It wasn’t until I started working in luxury sales that I realized consignment shopping is more common than I thought.
I guess the idea of purchasing luxury fashion is the same idea as buying a new car straight from the lot. As soon as you drive your brand-spanking-shiny-new car off the sales lot, the car decreases its value. The same goes for fashion – as soon as you wear your luxury fashion piece, it loses its value. Therefore it isn’t a sound investment. Except for limit edition stuff, the cost for designer limited edition goods can go up in value over time, in rare and situational cases – this is a subject I’ll go into more detail about in seperate blog.
When shopping consignment, the resale purchase value for your designer goods can stay the same, depending on how well you care for it. Aside from the obvious financial benefit of shopping vintage, there are 5 additional key points that have convinced me to officially switch to consignment shopping.
The benefits of shopping pre-loved fashion:
Let's be real, things were made way better back in the day.
Way back in the day, the cost of labour was a lot cheaper than what it is now. Companies could actually afford to produce things in North America & Europe rather than having to cut corners and outsource labour to places like China.
In the past, the quality of goods being produced were better in quality in comparison to the goods being produced today, because back then, companies didn’t have to break the bank to source quality materials and labour.
I’m not saying that the quality of today’s clothing pieces are made poorly, I’m just saying, in my opinion, they were made better in the old times.
Lastly, I find that vintage pieces not only FEEL BETTER, but they also fit my body type better in comparison to the fast fashion of today.
Our world is dying, and we need to do our part to reverse our environmental damage to it. For the sake of our children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, great-great-grandchildren.. you get it. Recycle.
The amount of carbon emissions it takes to produce a new article of clothing is mind-bending. In the state of our world today, we definitely do not need to be pumping more pollution into the air for the sake of fashion.
There is plenty of gorgeous vintage fashion finds that you can purchase, that, in a sense, are going to be new in your wardrobe. Vintage purchases will still be able to give you that thirst-quenching feeling of adding new & interesting pieces to spice up your style.
Aside from doing your part for the environment, you are going to look amazing doing it.
3) Fit & Style
The likelihood of you showing up to an event wearing the same vintage outfit as someone else: slim to none.
Need I say more…
I imagine the conversation to go like this:
- Non-vintage shopper: “OMG, girl, I love your dress and your shoes, where did you get it!?”
- You: “It’s vintage.”
In other words, Vintage pieces are exclusive.
Meet new people, learn about fashion history & make new like-minded friends, who have great taste.
Online communities such as Poshmark and eBay are a great source of finding great vintage finds while also making new connections. Though be wary of authentication of items sold online, be sure to purchase from reputable stores with an excellent rating.
Poshmark hosts local Posh Parties where you can go and meet like-minded people and learn more about fashion. Talk about past collections, share opinions on brands. In these environments, you will find people, like you, who appreciate value and quality in their fashion.
You may develop long-term friendships with fellow fashionistas. I know I have!
5) The Chase
Victory is sweeter when you work for it.
When shopping preloved fashion, you must consider many variables, such as condition, style, size and of course, cost.
Because vintage pieces are exclusive, you have to be creative and have the ability to see past what an item is, to what it can be.
For example, you might find a piece you love that is too small or large. Can you take it to a seamstress to get adjusted? Is it worth the extra effort? You might find a pair of Louboutins that are beautiful, but their soles are disastrous. You get them resoled, but does the seller’s price point make it worth your while?
And of course, there is the ancient art of haggling, sellers are usually open to a discussion of the items worth, and if your offer is within a reasonable range, they might accept! But you must be wary with haggling, as humans, we want what we don’t have – and with vintage shopping, in most cases, there is only one item. If you don’t get it, it’s gone, and you might not ever see it again.
After all that effort of finding and buying your vintage piece, when you receive it, the reward is exhilarating, almost addictive.