TMI: Why I'm Only Buying Second Hand Clothes for 2019

TMI: Why I'm Only Buying Second Hand Clothes for 2019

Credits: Photo - Anonymous, Styling - Sarah G. Schmidt, Location - Commonwealth Bar

If you are new to my site, first thing first: hello, you look fabulous. Second, for the frequent fashion friends that have been with me for years – thank you, love you – you know I love a style challenge. This one I’m in now, is a doozy.

Phenoms – from sports coaches to fellow entrepreneurs – often say that it takes 10,000 hours at something to really own it. By spending that much time on one thing, you’ll eventually become a master. Hard work and sticktoitiveness pay off. While I always am keen to learn new things, I’ll put myself up to a challenge and force myself out of my comfort zone. I have earned my 10,000 hours in the malls shopping years ago and in my work, I’m delighted to share all that I have learned with my clients and supporters. I am dedicated to shopping where my clients want to and are comfortable with. That will not change.

That said I’ve upped the ante for myself: for 2019, I have challenged old Schmidty here to exclusively purchase second hand clothing for myself. That includes tops; bottoms; dresses; shoes; jackets; and hats. If you name it, I’m trying to buy it second hand. Only exception is undergarments, because I have to draw the line somewhere.

If you’re like most, you’ve got plenty of options stocked inside your closet. Like I try and demonstrate my clients, it’s about getting to a place when you love what you have and being super diligent when considering any new-to-you items that you bring into that space. I say, make your wardrobe work harder for you by working on it.

Back to my song and dance, I know that as things wear out – for example my creme silk button down blouse that is on its last legs – I am replacing them with things I find second hand. For 2019, I’ve committed to myself that if I purchase something, it’s got to have a history. 

For some that may seem limiting. For me, it’s a muscle to flex. Let me share with you all that there’s plenty of options out there. I can shop at the Goodwill, independent thrift stores, online resellers, and maybe the latest and greatest option for concerned shoppers… 

Ladies and squirrels, you know about consignment, yes?

For those that this is new it’s pretty simple: a consignment store will sell your clean, in great shape clothing in their stores for a percentage of the set purchase price. In other words, for the work they do prepping, showing, and selling your clothes, they take a cut and you get the rest. Many consignment account holders will use their newly earned money to shop within that store (hello in store credit) or they get choose to take the cash (cha-ching). The system works wonders for our local economy for many reasons. Less clothes hit our landfills; one person’s, “I’m over it” is another person’s, “I can’t believe I found it;” and local businesses can keep that money earned right here in Calgary.

All this to say that I will be fine. I’ll be better than fine as I have all I need right here in Calgary. If you’re wanting to join in, below is a quick A-Z guide to some of my favourites should you be curious.

Clothing Bar Boutique (Marda Loop) – This place is tiny yet mighty. The basement is the sale section (on already low prices ). 

Danielle’s (17th Avenue SW) - If you are a mid range label gal, that likes a tidy, small collection; this shop is for you.

Expressions (Avenida) – They stock all the usual suspects plus have a dedicated accessory store a couple doors down.  

Peacock Boutique (3 locations) – A more eclectic mix for those looking for vintage leathers and whimsical items.

Trend (Kensington) - For the #YOLO at heart, you’ll always find a colour pop. This OG shop has been around for over 20 years. Plus, the owner brings in her dogs some days.

The Upside (Manchester Road) – Read my lips: authenticated luxury goods in-store and online. And home of one of the best pay-to-client percentages.

Vespucci (Elbow Drive and Heritage) – Know that this place is huge but don’t let the volume throw you. It is very well maintained and organized by garment type including some accessible brands all the way to luxury fashion. 

Happy hunting. If you want some help, call me. We can do it together.


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