Tips for Buying Second-Hand Clothing

Sustainability has become an undeniable buzzword in the fashion industry as the world becomes more aware of environmental degradation and the role fashion plays. Exciting ideas and innovations continue to grow and shape this stage of fashion history. Secondhand shopping and clothing rentals were hailed as key solutions for ushering fashion into a greener future.

Being able to buy clothing for a lower price won’t hurt your ego; plus, it will help you be guiltless of paying a higher price to miss the feeling of being left out, only ending up being thrown into your overstuffed wardrobe after use.

Since you now have more reasons to try secondhand clothes, you can get inside a thrift shop and give the green light to try secondhand clothing. Yes, buying used clothes can be difficult. When you cross the threshold of a thrift shop or vintage shop, a kaleidoscope of colors spreads before you. But we heard you, and we are here to help. This article will provide important reminders before you buy pre-loved items. 

Tips Before Buying Secondhand Clothes

1. Identify what you are looking for

Walking without a mental list of what you need will only overwhelm you and trick you into buying items you don’t need. Make a list of what you are looking for. Next, establish how much you will be spending to avoid getting out of the shop feeling like you have been robbed. Sticking to your budget will help you avoid rushed purchases.

2. Know where to shop

There are different types of secondhand shops worldwide. The most popular are thrift shops, resale shops, consignment shops, and online shops. The trick is to plan, know the nearby secondhand shops and take time to read online articles about these shops. It will save you time to know what you want and where to find them.

3. Wear comfy clothes

Remember, buying secondhand clothes is a mission. Wear clothes that you can easily pull on and off. It is more likely that you will dress up more often; thus, make sure that you have comfy clothes that are manageable to take off, even in small changing areas.

4. Expect the unexpected

Secondhand shopping takes time and energy. Bring hand sanitizer, everyday wear cologne, drinking water, snacks, and reusable bags. These things will help you be prepared and safe while shopping. 

Be open to new possibilities. Even though you know you must find a new coat for winter. You need to be open to trying other styles, labels, or cuts you don’t normally like. Part of the fun of digging into used clothes rack, and shelves is the opportunity to try out different styles from brands you’ve never heard of.

Lastly, be prepared for minor imperfections. A garment with multiple owners will inevitably have minor flaws, so don’t be alarmed if you find a coat without a button. Minor problems may be the reason the original owner abandoned the clothes. However, you may be able to repair, fix or restore the item yourself.

Tips While Buying Secondhand Clothes


1. Prioritize what’s on your list

Walking in and seeing all the racks of clothing can be daunting and tiring. You may not even have the whole day to spend shopping, so first things first. Remember your list and go to the sections where you can find what you need.

Go beyond the ordinary rack by checking out all the options in this section. It’s different from shopping in a mall, where styles are neatly arranged. You have to dig to find gold.

2. Look through every rack

More often, pre-loved clothing items are returned to the wrong place. It’s always worth checking out the shop or every rail in the shop to ensure you’re getting the best finds. At the end of the rail near the fitting room, there is an area where customers in a hurry often hang garments. You can sometimes find great items there.

3. Try it on

When you find what you are looking for, try it on and take a photo of yourself with the item to catch the different angles. Sometimes, it fits perfectly but how it makes you look is another story. Walk around for a minute to feel the item. Don’t rush. Try on a few times and a different item for each style.

4. Check the quality

When we are drawn to clothing brands and styles, it is easy to overlook the imperfections of clothing. Snags, tears, and holes in the fabric may not be immediately apparent and are all about delicate fabrics and can be irreparable, so be careful. If you are buying a suit or a coat, ensure the lining is still intact, as the lining is often torn at the back seam or under the armpits, making it look like it has been worn too quickly.

5. Determine which is worth buying


You now have different styles of the items you are looking for, which feels overwhelming. You might get a lot of great options, but either you need to stick to your budget, or you don’t want to overbuy. Check the quality of the material and care instructions. Only buy what is easy to maintain. 

6. Prepare to leave empty-handed

Remember that secondhand shopping takes time, dedication, and patience. But feel free to go home empty-handed, no matter what. Being ready doesn’t guarantee you a hundred percent assurance that you will get what you are aiming to buy. However, you can always come back. 


Our wardrobe preferences create a long-lasting impression and subtly impact our reputation as we live. The clothes we wear send clear signals to our colleagues or strangers, projecting the image of ourselves we want to portray. Moreover, as fashion tends to be more personal, an era of buying secondhand clothing becomes a part of the fashion industry as it serves the purpose of making fashion history sustainable. Before you start secondhand clothes hunting, remember the tips for creating a worthwhile pre-loved item shopping.