Why I buy my clothes secondhand

April 8, 2013 at 8:59 pm | Posted in Daily Life | 4 Comments
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I’ve always loved scouring charity shops and being on maternity leave has given me more time to browse the high street – after spending time with my gorgeous boys, it’s one of the things I’ll really miss when I go back to work – alongside lazy afternoons in Costa, having time to plan what’s for dinner and never having to sit in rush hour traffic.

As well as charity shop bargains, the age of the iPhone has made it incredibly easy to shop on eBay and Gumtree.  Combined, it really means you don’t have to buy anything new or full price. It’s made me think about buying clothes and other things in a whole new way. If I see something in a shop, I’ll always check online for a second hand version first.

vintage 1

It’s also made me question the way we buy gifts. How would you feel if you received a present that was second hand? From a charity shop for example?  What if, rather than high street vouchers or a top from Next for example, it was a beautiful cup and saucer that the sender knew was perfectly you?  Buying second hand means you get more for your money as well as something unique, with history – and matched perfectly to the recipient.  What if you bought a child a gift from a charity shop and your child gave it to them at their party?  It should be fine right, but would the parents approve?

My absolute favourite is Helen and Douglas House – especially their vintage shop in Summertown just outside Oxford town centre.  It’s well worth travelling to.  Buying second hand clothes means that you can afford to buy better brands.  A pair of Jigsaw trousers from Oxfam may set you back around the same as a pair of New Look trousers for example.  The second hand Jigsaw trousers will last you forever despite having a previous owner whereas the New Look pair will last a season, maybe two.

vintage 2

I picked up some baby gifts for a friend who has just had a little girl – an Old Navy crocheted top from Scope and a pair of handmade booties from the Animal Sanctuary.  I know that she’ll appreciate them, where they came from and that they’re just a little different to the other gifts she’ll receive.  That’s what I’m hoping.

What are your thoughts about buying second hand clothes – and gifts?  Let’s not forget, at the same time as getting a bargain, you’re helping a good cause.  Clothes with good karma!


Images: Top – Old Navy cardigan £1.50 Scope, knitted booties 50p Animal Sanctuary.  Middle – hat with blush £5 eBay, butter dish Blue Cross £8.95.  Bottom – Baby K t-shirt £1.50 Helen & Douglas House, French Connection blouse £6 eBay.



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  1. I think that giving second hand gifts is fine, this Christmas we decided to save as much money as possible and rather than buying new, give gifts that had meaning. These ranged from chilli plants grown from seed, to purchases from markets and Folksy/Etsy with a healthy mix of stuff from second-hand shops.

    The gifts were all well received, because more thought had gone into them than simply getting Amazon vouchers.

    • I knew you would be on my wave length! Am going to make it the norm – could class it as slow gifting I guess?! Like slow food – back to basics

  2. Inspired! Just popped out and snapped up a pair of 7 For All Mankind jeans for a quid! Too good…..

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