Back in January, I wrote about my More or Less New Year’s resolution and an effort to buy fewer new items, so I thought I was due to give an update on my second-hand journey.
I will confess I haven’t been as disciplined in this effort as I’d imagined, but I have had some successes. Not counting the items I bought with my Christmas gift cards, for myself I’ve bought a handful of new items – undergarments, a couple T-shirts, a pair of shorts and sunglasses before vacation, the dress I wore for our vow renewals. But I’ve also purchased several wardrobe items from thrift and consignment stores, had two pair of shoes repaired rather than replaced, and upcycled a thrift store frame for Pumpkin’s room rather than buying one.
For the girls, it’s a little bit trickier – they tend to wear out and require shoes, socks, leggings, etc., fairly quickly. They do wear a lot of hand-me-downs so I don’t feel too guilty when I buy them something new. We have been going to the library a lot more and buying books a lot less.
Another area that’s challenging is gifts. I had paintings of the dogs commissioned for the girls’ Easter baskets, but bought new frames for them. I did find a Barbie still in the box at a second-hand store for Pumpkin’s basket, and added a never-used box of puzzles a friend was getting rid of. When my sister visited during her birthday earlier in the year, I bought handmade earrings at a local store, and a Yahtzee game (a family favorite) from the thrift store. It was missing the dice, so I purchased those new from a local gaming store. My mother and sister-in-law’s birthday gifts were all local, and for Mr. G we spent money on a party rather than things.
Now, last weekend, I attended my first blogging conference and I knew I would be meeting a lot of new people and wanted to look nice. I wasn’t super excited about the choices in my closet, and I considered buying something new, but I felt too guilty about it considering this challenge I had given myself, and went to a consignment store instead. Many times I strike out when shopping second hand, but this particular day I found more items that I liked and that fit than I could take home – a good problem to have!
Here is the second-hand Blended Conference wardrobe I ended up with:
The first part of the conference was a tour of Fairytale Brownies. I had come straight from work, and wore a button-up dress I had bought at a consignment store a few months ago that’s frequently in my work wardrobe rotation.
For Friday night’s events, which included mingling with other bloggers and listening to the keynote speaker, I wore one of my new-to-me purchases: a black dress with a ruffle bib front and bell sleeves. This was a steal at $10.
For Saturday’s sessions, I found a long, print maxi dress. This is a great dress I can wear on many different occasions. (I just need some practice not tripping over it!)
So far, although I haven’t 100 percent stuck to the plan, I think I’m doing pretty good because I’m more aware of my purchases and I’ve found some great items that have helped me refresh my wardrobe and saved money and resources at the same time.
What’s your favorite thing that you’ve purchased second hand?