Pieces of history
I HAVE never been a fan of secondhand clothes. You’d think that growing up with two older brothers would entitle me to brand-new dresses, skirts and blouses all the time but no, my parents had other ideas.
Instead, many of my clothes came from their friends and relatives who had daughters who were older than me.
I guess it was a great way to save money; after all, kids do grow up fast. After only a few months most new clothes become too small and parents are all too happy to accept good quality hand-me-downs.
In my teenage years, I suffered through many a shoulder-padded dress (it was the 1990s and everyone else was wearing jeans and black T-shirts) and pantsuits to humour my mother’s generous friends who had no daughters to pass on their precious clothes to.
However, I wish I had kept all those items I hated so much from years ago, because I’ve recently discovered, cliched as it may sound, that old is gold. (Thank goodness I saved the jewellery!)
Just go to shopping malls and clothing bazaars and often, you’ll stumble across stalls selling “pre-loved” aka second-hand items with girls scrambling to get their paws on the goods.
I’ve met many women who usually head straight to the stalls selling secondhand stuff, frequent thrift stores and hold clothes swaps with their friends as a way of saving money, but there are many other reasons to go vintage.
For a cause
Many second-hand stores and stalls are run by charity organisations, and by buying an item from these places, you are lending a helping hand, while doing something you love!
For an item to end up in a recycling pile after so many years of use, it has to be of good quality. Back in the day, clothes, shoes and accessories were made with greater care and better quality because presumably, raw material and labour was cheaper. The best thing is, you’ll get awesome items for cheap, and it’ll probably last you a good couple of years as well.
Age of recycling
How many years have you been hearing about the three Rs – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle? Surely, by now you realise that re-using something is an “in” thing to do.
If you’re uncomfortable using strangers’ clothes, check out your mother’s, aunt’s, older sister’s wardrobe, or hold a clothes swap among friends. I did this recently; it’s really fun!
It’ll help reduce clutter, and you’ll have new clothes you didn’t have to pay for. You’ll also get to share stories about where a certain item came from and so on. It’s like owning a piece of history.
When you’re wearing something from the early 1970s, you can be pretty sure you won’t be seeing it on another girl at an event.
Even if something is as recent as 10 years old, what are the odds of someone else owning the exact same item? My guess is, pretty low. To get even more unique items, shop online, and from other countries. That will guarantee you one-of-a-kind goods. ❑ For some suggestions on where to get your hands on pre-loved items, visit blog.rage.com.my.
Second-hand shopping can sometimes get you items that are of good quality. Julia Roberts in vintage Valentino. If you’re really, really lucky, you might be able to find a gem like this at second-hand bazaars or flea markets. In Malaysia, there are movements like Threads Zoo that encourages second-hand shopping.