An accomplished, well travelled writer and reviewer, Michele resides in Brisbane. Witty and highly articulate, her rivetting reviews show life through the eyes of a highly Gifted Adult viewing a world where she has an IQ in the top 1% of that world.
Published April 21st 2012
Image by londog23 (photobucket.com)
'A penny saved is a pound closer' or 'In one hand and out the other. Baby I don't even know why you bother!'
By far the cheapest form of second hand shopping is the garage sale, best done in the warm months when it's light earlier and not cold. Garage sales kept my babies in designer wear which was in keeping with where I lived. It's tempting to buy knick knacks, but try to concentrate on clothing and accessories. In winter I wear vintage hats and gloves and a garage sale is a great place to grab them for a snack. Jewellery is usually junky.
eBay can kick up bargains, but the postage hurts. Weigh it up. Choose wisely. Is it worth it? And you can't try it on either. Great place for furniture finding if you hit on something local. But be prepared for that piece you love to be pick up only in Perth. I've grown stronger, I take it in my booted stride.
The primary thing to do when you are second hand scouting is to be sure that you are inside a charity shop and not a registered second hand dealer. Those sharks get gear from garage sales and grave sites and charge the earth. They are scavengers and the money goes to them not charity.
Know your charities. The major ones are the Salvos, St Vincent de Paul (Vinnies) and Lifeline but there is also Red Cross, Endeavour and RSPCA. It gives you a holy feeling to know that what you spend is going to help a person or puppy in need.
Google the locations and addresses. Prices vary. West End is cheaper than the Valley. Vinnies Dalby is the cheapest of all.
Set yourself a budget so you don't go crazy. The clothing on the racks is arranged either according to item like dress or skirt or according to colour. If arranged according to colour, arrow straight for black and red because that's where you'll find the sexy gear. Red is a sign of a 'sexual extrovert' so only wear it if you have the skills and personality to follow through with that. My favourite dancing dress which I performed and won a trophy cupboard of prizes in is red.
Black is the colour of 'sorrow'. Reject that. Whilst I do have a black mantilla for Irish Catholic funerals, I have worn it as a scarf. Grief was attributed to black ancient ages ago before it got all short and lacy and became fish net or lace top stockings. Black lingerie is unequalled and is favoured by prostitutes.
Look first for a style you like and then immediately check the size. Either it will fit or it won't. As the FBI say, 'Eliminate or incriminate.' Then check the price and decide. If you know your fabrics you will know that some are superior quality to others and it shows. In something vintage, a tear in the net petticoat can be mended, is not seen and you may get it for less. A tiny tear in the right place at the top can be fixed and covered with a brooch.
Scour the accessories and know what you are looking for. I also keep an eye out for retro tea towels which are not cheap on eBay. Sale's tables rarely throw up goodies, but you don't know unless you look. If you don't have a pearl necklace, get one. If you don't have a brooch, get two. Never underestimate the power of a brooch, especially if a rose bud. They match the tattoo on my chest. Have a look at hats and sunglasses.
When you get home decide what can be machine washed and throw it in. If you must hand wash, keep colours separate. You will find that after being washed and aired in the sun that the moth ball smell will be gone. However I feel better spraying the clothes with fabric freshener and I recommend highly Avon room and linen spray in rose. It's divine.
Second hand shopping will save you money which you can save or spend. You have also contributed to recycling. Well done.
'One, two, three, four- tell the people what she wore.'