10 Tips for Shopping Secondhand

When secondhand shopping, or thrifting, it’s important to remain focused on what you need, rather than just giving in to temptation. With Secondhand September becoming more popular, I thought I would share some tips to help you advance your thrifting skills, so you can shop more consciously, as well as sustainably, whilst saving money. By doing so you can I hope this helps you keep your wardrobe in line with your life and style, clutter free and happy!

10 tips for secondhand shopping | Pin


After years of being a serial shopper, and then 7+ years as a reformed fashion addict (who now opts for quality over quantity) along with all my years of sustainable styling experience, I have concluded that these pre-planning steps and shopping tips make shopping preloved or second hand, a much more rewarding activity.

Secondhand Shopping Tip No. 1:

RSL Secondhand September Shopping Tips 10

Create a list so you are super clear on what you need before you start shopping

Secondhand Shopping Tip No. 2:

The Sustainable Stylist Secondhand Shopping Tip No. 2:

When you find yourself drawn to items you don’t need, ask yourself and “if you really need it” or if the money saved on this could go towards something else

Secondhand Shopping Tip No. 3:

The Sustainable Stylist Secondhand Shopping Tip No. 3

Remember that larger sizes can be altered to fit you perfectly – don’t overlook the right piece because it’s not in your size

Secondhand Shopping Tip No. 4:


Before you commit to purchasing always check the care labels, are you prepared to take care of the fabric as recommended?

Secondhand Shopping Tip No. 5:


Always do a quality check, sadly so much cheap badly made ultra-fast fashion has flooded the secondhand clothing market. There’s no point investing in clothes that won’t last beyond a few wears and washes if you’re not willing to keep repairing them.

Secondhand Shopping Tip No. 6:

RSL Secondhand September Shopping Tips 6 (2)

Always carry out a rigorous check of any secondhand garment for any imperfections you may not be happy with, or willing to repair.

Secondhand Shopping Tip No. 7:


Online shopping for secondhand clothes can be a lot more hit and miss. Make sure you know your own body measurements so that you can check before you commit to purchasing.

Secondhand Shopping Tip No. 8:

Don’t let the size on the label get you down, particularly when shopping for vintage. Body shapes and sizes have changed a lot over the last few decades and so you need to go on the measurements of the garment not the size shown on the label.

Secondhand Shopping Tip No. 9:

RSL Secondhand September Shopping Tips 9 (1)

This is by far one of my favourite things about being a sustainable stylist, getting creative! I love to flex my wanna be designer muscles and see the potential of a garment beyond what is in front of me on the hanger. If you can tap into your creativity when shopping and see the possible potential of a garment and how it can work, rather than just relying on finding the exact item in your head – it’s a lot more fun!

Secondhand Shopping Tip No. 10:

The Sustainable Stylist Secondhand Shopping Tip No. 1:

There are so many places to find preloved clothes, from vintage, high-street and high-end. There’s basically an app for everything now! Don’t dismiss good old fashioned walk-in charity shops, flea markets and car boot sales either – you never know what you might find.

Secondhand Shopping Summary

These 10 tips act as a useful checklist to prevent you from bingeing on secondhand clothing, very often when we first try to slow down and do the sustainable fashion thing, it’s easy to replace our past shopping habits with secondhand hauls. My advice is to only buy what you need and what will make you truly happy, not just in the moment of purchasing a ‘bargain’ but think ahead for the long term.

Please feel free to share these across your socials and help encourage others to get involved with #secondhandseptember

Find Sustainable Shops and Services in London _ By Roberta Lee The Sustainable Stylist

I hope you enjoy secondhand September, and whilst it’s a month of raising awareness it’s something we should all seek to do more of throughout the year. Secondhand, or preloved as I prefer to call it, should always be our first port of call before buying something ‘new’ first-hand.