Ok so I’m by no means a fashion blogger, nor do I care to be. But I’ve got some pretty impressive pieces in my wardrobe and a good amount of it. How much did it cost?
Less than $100.
“How is that possible?!” I hear you ask. And “I’ve got no time to traipse around a mall every other weekend to go looking for designer garments, I’ve got kids at my feet/a job to get on with/better things to do with my life.”
I was the exact same way until I came across a few secret Fashion Hacks that have literally saved me thousands of dollars!
It’s a touch controversial, but hey, if you don’t know me already that’s nothing new.
Let’s get started:
1. CHECK THE THROW OUTS
So here in Australia we have a wonderful, council organized time of year that allows each household the opportunity to ‘throw out’ their unwanted items onto the council owned frontage of their house/apartment building. It’s then cleared by the end of the week by the council, free of charge.
So during this time, living in the northern suburbs of Sydney proper, you can imagine how one person’s junk is literally treasure to someone like me.
Pristine Superga sneakers, designer shirts from Saville Row, leather clutch bags in their boxes and even a Karen Millen fascinator (if you’re British, you’d be jumping up and down). And that’s just to name a few!
Sure you’re literally going through people’s discards, but is it any different shopping at an op-shop? Or borrowing clothes from a friend?
Trick is to know your area. You’ll have better luck spotting washing machines and car parts in the farmland countryside than you will finding a five year old Celine handbag. Wealthy inner city is the shopfront area for your new wardrobe.
2. DO THE FACEBOOK SWAPS
We all know about Facebook Marketplace, it’s a great place to find a good deal, sometimes. Most times it’s a way for people to make a little extra money on the side by getting rid of things they don’t want anymore. Which is absolutely fine, but that’s not going to help your financial cause.
What you want to do is SWAP.
It’s not about gaining garments so much as it is upgrading. Particularly dresses you know you’ll just never wear.
Take excellent pictures, make sure the items are immaculate and roam the marketplace for that piece of clothing you’d LOVE to have but could never justify paying for (as long as it’s in the same price range as your own sellable). Then simply messenger away with a cheerful disposition, hoping for no offense given and plenty of happy face emojis.
It might take you a few good gos, but eventually you’ll find that one person who will feel like they’ve just won the golden ticket.
3. THE ONCE-A-YEAR OP SHOP OUTLET SCAN
So about two years ago in Los Angeles, my husband and I came across a huge warehouse with ‘Goodwills’ written on the top. We discovered that it was the OUTLET for the Goodwills op shops.
It was the place clothes went if the stores had either no space for them or they had already taken up too much time on the racks.
It was a GOLD MINE.
Crates and crates of unscanned clothes waiting to be discovered.
Best part, you pay by weight. Yup, $1.99 per Lb (0.5kg) to be exact. That means about 50 cents per item on average!
It takes a few hours, or however long you can last, of scouring piles and piles of clothes to find the $10 bundle of amazing finds you can come away with by the end of the day.
And let me tell you, I’ve replenished my entire wardrobe in just two days here for less than $25.
Just make sure you put gloves on.
4. REJECT CLOTHES/FRIEND SWAPS
Lastly, my secret weapon.
THAT friend you have who loves clothes/works in fashion/probably buys too much but has a generous heart. When they do their yearly wardrobe cull (thank you Marie Kondo), you’re their first call to go through the bags.
These are the pieces I have hanging in my wardrobe that I can’t believe I actually own for myself. Thank you secret weapon, you know who you are and I love you.
But if you don’t happen to have your own personal fashionista donator then just find a friend who’s up for a little friendly culling/swap session.
Or even a group of friends! Make a party of it in your living room, dump all the clothes into a big pile, open a bottle of wine and watch each other try on treasures for FREE.
Now, after all of that if you’re still not sold or just unsure about the whole thing, then let’s consider the old environmental footprint impact.
While I may have just spent the last couple of paragraphs bragging about my wonderful, cheap wardrobe I can feel pretty confident about the fact that it’s a relatively ETHICAL and GREEN closet too.
Nothing in it has been bought straight from the store, meaning less money driving sweatshops for branded clothing, less impact on commercial farming and far less heading into landfill.
6 tonnes of clothes are sent to landfill every 10 minutes in Australia. It’s a pretty disturbing thought.
Enjoying clothes and having a wardrobe that you love doesn’t have to mean being a part of a wasteful system.
So check out the op shops (even their outlets), do fashion swaps, offer up your unwanted pieces to a friend who you know will love them and if you’re really dedicated, Upcycle (a post on how we do that soon!)
And if you want to know more about how you can shop ethically in stores here’s a good place to start.
Now go get that wardrobe you always wanted for almost nothing!
You won’t just be making your wallets happy, but you’re actually saving the planet while looking fabulous.
If you’ve got any strange and wonderful tips, leave a comment below. I’d love to hear from you.
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