Ahh, January. The month in which we feel the pain of over-indulgent spending. Is it possible to undo the monetary damage of the holiday season? Not entirely, but selling your unworn clothes, shoes and accessories for cash is bound to alleviate some guilt. Follow this handy list of Do’s and Don’ts, and you’ll be able to net some much-needed moolah in exchange for your closet castoffs. Here we go.
DO: Clean Your Closet Thoroughly
Take a good hard look at your wardrobe, and be brutally honest with yourself about what you do and don’t wear. Items that have gone unworn for six months or more should be removed from your closet immediately. What happens when you hang onto stuff that’s too small on the off-chance it’ll fit again some day? You try it on periodically, and it makes you feel like crap about yourself. Get it out, and don’t look back.
Note: 80% of your outfits come from 20% of your clothes. That means you could get rid of over half your wardrobe, and your style wouldn’t change a lick. I’m just saying.
DON’T: Be Delusional
Think someone’s going to pay you for dated work apparel or nineties-era Paris Blues? Think again. Retail might be struggling, but resale is recession-proof: Secondhand boutiques are pickier than ever about what they buy. A Buffalo Exchange staffer summed it up best: “If it’s not something your best friend or sister would want, chances are a resale shopper won’t want it either.” If it’s seasonally and stylistically relevant, it’s a potential seller. If not, into the donation pile it goes.
DO: Divide and Conquer
Split your potential sellers into two piles: resale and consignment. A resale store buys your clothes on the spot in exchange for cash or store credit; a consignment store compensates you as your items sell. What goes in what pile? So glad you asked.
Imagine the gently worn world as a highbrow department store. The Premium Designer floor is consignment. The Contemporary Women’s Apparel floor is resale. Helpful analogy, yes?
Read the rest on Huffington Post Style. Tweet for good shopping karma :P.
Every time there’s a season change, I’m overwhelmed by the variety and volume of new merch all over again. I yearn for an omniscient sartorial guide to steer me toward what I want and away from what I don’t: My brain is too saturated with glossy features, luxe ads, sponsored posts, editorial endorsements and product launches to know the difference.
Enter Shopbop Lookbooks: No Fall Trend Report is more drool-worthy or relevant to my personal taste. Shopbop doesn’t just have a knack for highlighting the best of Fall’s apparel, accessories, handbags and shoes; it manages to style the goods in ways as creative as they are wearable. I’m not saying go out and buy the site’s latest and greatest – the prices attached to its goods exemplify material obscenity. Browsing Shopbop Lookbooks is a look-don’t-touch exercise only. We look; we note; we hit a thrift, resale, vintage or consignment store; we review our notes; we find a version of a coveted thing for a fraction of its shopbop price!
Here’s a breakdown of one of the site’s coveted looks, and some tips on how to shop ‘it second hand.
Contemporary sweaters and leggings can easily be found at resale shops or buy-sell-trades. Stick with stores that stock seasonal, on-trend apparel: Buffalo Exchange, Beacon’s Closet, Second Time Around and Crossroads Trading Co. are all stellar bets. (Crossroads, kindly stop depriving us east-coasters of your awesomeness, and open an NYC location).
The odds of that kickass Elizabeth & James blazer popping up at a resale shop anytime soon are probs non-existent, but fret not, chickadees: You can get the same look by sewing metallic trim onto the shoulders of one you already own!
Order online from M&J Trimming, or hit your local fabric/craft store for the necessary materials. Hip hip hooray for DIY.
Stay tuned for more trends and ways to shop them second hand.
Totally spaced on posting this: Had the honor of being featured in Women’s Health with a crop of fab budget shopping bloggers.
I also had the pleasure of meeting some of the glossy’s editors in person, who couldn’t have been nicer or easier to work with. It appears bitchiness isn’t a prerequisite for working in fashion. Either these girls are an exception to the rule, or I don’t know everything. I’m thinking it’s the latter.
I guess I can’t be right all the time. :P
The below Tresics top has the following pros: burnt orange/red color (always a plus for olive-skinned brunettes); thin, cozy material (great for layering); butt-covering length (plays well with leggings); a crazy-low price ($3.99 at Salvation Army, Chelsea. Word.)
There is, of course, one glaring con. The keyhole neckline.
The keyhole neckline is the least flattering of all necklines in existence – it ruins the fit of a top entirely, making one’s boobage lumpy and asymmetrical in the process (unless your chest is flat to the point of pre-pubescence, in which case, you should probably start eating). Who came up with this asinine styling detail? We have v-necks, crew-necks, turtlenecks, scoop-necks, boat-necks and cowl-necks. There’s already too much to choose from, so if you’re going to throw something else into the mix, it better be good. The keyhole neckline isn’t just bad – it’s an insult to breasts everywhere. It’s even more offensive than the mock-turtle (another piss-poor attempt at neckline diversification).
I bought this top for the explicit purpose of exorcising my rage re: the keyhole neckline. The battle involved scissors, hem tape, and a scalding hot iron. Here’s how I emerged victorious:
Step 1: Plug in iron; turn heat to STEAM function. While it warms up, scissor the front of the top into a wide V or U shape. Chalk a line from the shoulder to the center, or eyeball it if you’re a badass like me. (In order to remove the keyhole entirely, you must cut into the hem of the top’s neckline. Don’t worry about it. It deserves it.)
Step 2: Trim the neckline hem off the shoulder and back portions of the top, staying as close to the original line as possible. Bust out the hem tape (I prefer Heat ‘n’ Bond. (Note: Any no-sew hem tape that claims it works sans heat application is lying.) Cut two strips (length should roughly mirror the back-neck portion. Cut those in half down the middle. You now have four thin pieces of hem tape and a hot iron. You are READY.
Step 3: Turn the keyhole-free top inside-out. Hem tape is a bitch and a half, btdubs, but if you work on the inside of the garment, errors are virtually invisible. Anything’s better than sewing. Peel the paper off one of the pieces of tape and apply sticky-side down, about a centimeter from the edge of the neckline. Fold the part of the neckline you’re working with over onto the hem tape. Ready the iron in one hand; use a finger of the other to keep the fold in place. Remove it just before you get the iron down on the material, and try not to burn yourself. I can’t have that on my conscience. Hold the iron down for a few seconds before moving it back and forth. I highly recommend hitting the STEAM button periodically, in addition to ironing on high heat.
Note: My iron reads that synthetic materials should not be subjected to the STEAM function. It is lying to cover its ass in case I damage something and get mad at it. Cotton poly-blends are not synthetics in my book – if it’s got cotton in it, it can handle the cotton heat setting, and that means it gets the STEAM. Your hem tape might not set properly otherwise. (All of this is off the record – I don’t want you effing up your clothes on my account. Use your head. That’s that lump that’s three feet above your ass!)
Repeat Step 3 until you’ve worked your way around the re-vamped neckline of the top. Flip top right-side out; iron out front to smooth. Un-plug iron, let top rest for approximately twenty minutes, and go do something else.
Once heat-tape is fully set, put top on… BACKWARDS! You cut the tag out when you trimmed the neckline hem anyway – why not? (You can wear it with the wide V/U in front too obvs – I just dig the high-neck/low-back thang).
When you’re done, you’ll have successfully obliterated that unsightly keyhole into something like this:
Dear Cheap JAP,
I am a legging whore but when I’m not wearing leggings, I go for the skinny jeans tucked into boots. The problem is, my jeans bunch up and are all uncomfortable tucked into the boots. A friend of mine told me a while back, that she heard about a new invention that kept the jeans in place–no bunching or anything. Of course, now I can’t find it because I don’t know what it’s called. Do you know? Or do you have any other recommendations? Maybe use the clasps that hold my sheets onto my mattress?
This is a common problem, fo sho. The solution requires the magic of an old pair of tights. Bust out the scissors, grab some old and/or damaged hosiery you’d otherwise trash, and cut off the legs a few inches above the knee. Observe:
Pull on boots. Doneskies. :)
(If you find your old tights’ elasticity has expired, a pair of stockings or knee-highs from any drug store is an excellent alternative. That is all.)