WOOOOOOO! Time for New Year’s goals! My favorite!
This year, one of my big goals is that I want to purchase ONLY used/pre-owned/pre-loved clothing for the whole year. Yes, the whole year!! I have never done a goal like this before and I am equal parts inspired and terrified!
I have been considering doing this since last summer and felt ready to take the leap. One reason is that my closet is fully stocked with basics like jeans, dresses for certain occasions, tops, jackets, etc. And to be totally honest, it’s began to look a little bit like a Madewell store in there—haha. Not that that is a bad thing (I obviously LOVE Madewell), but I really want to feel like I have my OWN style as well. So I felt like taking this next year to shop vintage and pre-owned things might help me to add a little more personality to my closet. For better or for worse, I am one of those people who values uniqueness, so it would make me super happy to add some personality pieces to my closet.
Here are my hopes and intentions behind this goal.
-Like I said above, I’d like to add some more unique pieces to my wardrobe. I think I’m pretty covered on basics now, so I’d like to focus more on the personality element of my clothing.
-Being less wasteful. I love shopping and capsule has helped me become much less wasteful. But, I still feel tempted by fast fashion, too much online shopping (even though I return a lot of it, it wastes a lot of time), shopping sales, and I still occasionally buy items I never wear even once.
-Good for the environment. This is an obvious one, but shopping used clothing is a sustainable practice that benefits the environment in multiple ways!
-Enjoy the clothing I already have. I have plenty of clothing. I’d like to just focus my energy on styling new outfits this year rather than shopping or thinking about what I want to buy next.
-I miss vintage. So much! I grew up thrifting and it’s definitely a happy place for me. Many of you know we used to own a big vintage store in Missouri, which ultimately led me to complete burnout where I didn’t want to wear anything vintage for several years. I got rid of literally ALL my vintage clothing at one point. Well, now I miss it because LIFE IS A BIG CIRCLE. I want to bring it back into my wardrobe in a more minimal way (I used to buy just WAY too much of it and never got anything tailored, so it was kind of a mess).
Here are my “rules” (and loopholes, LOL)
-I will not spend ANY money on new clothing in 2019. The only things that don’t count are underwear, tights or socks (I would say swimsuits too, but I don’t really need any new swimsuits currently) because, well, I have to draw the line somewhere.
-Gift card loophole. If I get a gift card as a gift I can use it. Ironically, I received zero gift cards for Christmas—lol.
Also, if I get any clothing gifted from brands, that is OK too (this almost never happens so it’s not a big deal to me).
-Any used item is OK to buy. Any “used or pre-owned” marketplace is OK to buy from, so I can shop online or locally in Nashville (Nashville isn’t really known for its vintage shops, but it has a few good ones).
ETA: It’s ok to replace basics if they get ruined for some reason. (thanks for the suggestion! I hadn’t even thought of that!)
Should I make any other rules? Let me know if I’m missing something obvious!
These are two things I purchased secondhand last year that I love so much: this skirt, which I found from Goodwill, and this Chloe purse I purchased from The Real Real. I hadn’t bought a designer bag in a long time and it felt so cool to purchase it with the money I saved from closet sales last summer.
As a part of this challenge, I am planning to share a report here on the blog of the ups and downs, things I learn, anything good I find secondhand and things like that! I don’t know if I’ll do it monthly or once a season—probably just each time I have something new to share … we’ll see!
Wish me luck. One of the reasons I am sharing this here is to hold myself accountable to do this challenge 100%. NO CHEATING. I’m sure it will not be easy. I love shopping and I will for sure resume shopping at my favorite stores after this year is over—I just want to see if I can do it!
What do you think? Do you think this challenge sounds ridiculously difficult or easy or somewhere in between? For the past few months I’ve been telling all my friends I was thinking about doing this and most people tried to talk me out of it or (like my husband) zone out and just totally do NOT care, haha. I guess it is pretty specific, but it’s making me feel really inspired, so I am excited to go for it!
Wish me luck? xx – Elsie
Great article and idea! definitely agree with you on this. People should consider this as its really eco-friendly and saves a lot of money too!
This is a great idea! I buy secondhand as much as possible for myself and my 2 boys. My husband is irresponsibly tall so I have to buy tall sizes for him online, I can’t ever find his sizes in regular stores, let alone thrift stores.
I do buy bras, swimsuits, and shoes secondhand as well. Here’s the thing I figured out: if you buy a pair of shoes, a bra, or swimsuit once and you discover it doesn’t fit or isn’t comfortable, what do you do? You can’t return it. So you donate it. There is always a good supply of seemingly never worn shoes, bras, and swimsuits at my local thrift store. I figure it’s not really different than buying it new and someone else tried it on first.
That said, I’ve never found used underpants or socks. So I still buy those new!
I came across your 2019 challenge from another website, “Young House Love”. When I saw you had set this challenge for a whole year, I had to reply. I’ve been buying used clothing from thrift stores for nearly 30 years. At first, it was out of necessity, I needed clothes for work. But it branched into enjoyment. I also started buying for my kids, especially my daughter and now my grandkids. And my husband was the last on board. If I saw something in a catalog or magazine I thought was pretty, I would take the catalog, later years, I took my cellphone. Eventually, I cut out pics from catalogs and magazines and taped into a journal. I carried the journal with me when I shopped for myself. I didn’t have to do this since I had the cellphone but it was fun. The only things I buy new are underwear, socks and shoes. I tried buying used shoes but they made my feet hurt so I stopped buying thrifted shoes. Tell me how you did last year? Did you enjoy shopping thrifted clothes? Did you make it the whole year? I truly do not miss the Mall. It’s a rare occasion when I go.
I’m joining you in a similar challenge this year!
Oh gosh i love this! i know the fashion industry is so problematic with so many people around the world working in sweatshops. this is a great way not to contribute to that. i love fashion, but don’t like contributing to poor working conditions around the globe and cheap things being made and trashed. this is such a good way to be mindful about your spending. we vote with each dollar we spend. i love your style and can’t wait to see what you come up with. when i buy at local thrift shops i try to go to ones that i like who they contribute to. (aids network charity/local schools/etc). happy new year! xx
I LOVE this idea. I just made an Instagram dedicated to thrifty finds/outfit inspiration, etc. It’s @thrift__b 🙂 <3, B
Good luck Elsie! Can’t wait to see what you come up with.
Dropping by the comment section to mention how much I love your skirt!
This is very inspiring. I have been thinking of doinh something like this, or only handmade, or just nothing new at all. So far I have made it 10 days without buying any new clothes. Seeing all the positive comments and that other people have done similar is making me feel like committing to not buying new stuff. I do love to knit and sew and have a bunch of patterns that need making so would be cool to focus on those! Keep posting about this to keep me going! Thanks!
Fantastic goal but Nashville has *tons* of vintage clothes shops. I stumble across a new one almost every time I go out of my apt! Just found a new one in East Nasty across from the Book Shop
This is such an incredible challenge to take on for 2019. I had a similar goal last year where I started taking my own closet items to consignment shops or selling on preloved online marketplaces and that money became my “funds” for new (to me) items in my wardrobe. It was really interesting to see how little I felt like I “needed” vs wanted. Excited to hear more about how your journey goes!
katrina / http://steadycatalog.com
This is an awesome 2019 challenge! I hadn’t really thought of a unique “resolution” this year, as mine is a combination of staying healthy and happy, but I might adopt this, too! I just moved from a master bedroom with a walk-in closet to a room in my friend’s condo due to landlord wanting to sell house. Downsizing has been a challenge, so I think this mindset will really help me in my limited space – and not to mention slowing my roll in shopping fast fashion.
Will you also post about where you buy items you like? Online places would be more applicable for me, but I am sure locals would love to know the brick & mortars.
Yes, I will! 🙂
Good luck with your challenge. I look forward to watching.
I have been doing a version of this for the last year, but with household items not clothing so much. I don’t like to shop, so buying clothes isn’t one of my weaknesses anyway. I do have a rule though, for every clothing item I bring in, I put a clothing item in the donation box.
I live in Houston and our house flooded in Aug 2017 from hurricane Harvey. First off, it FORCED us to get rid of tons of junk that had accumulated for the 12 years we have lived in this house. That has made such a difference, I can’t believe how all that STUFF was mentally weighing me down! As we have put the house back together, I am very mindful now that I don’t want a bunch of knick-knacks and clutter. I really think about it before I bring anything back in.
Does basics include shoes? I know I couldn’t make it with used memory foam Sketches!
This is a fantastic idea and I plan to follow your rules also!
I have a sewing machine which makes used clothes shopping easier kmowing I can turn a Size 10 dress to an 8- I dont have a blog.
Thx for great idea
Hi! For me it does include shoes. I am pretty well stocked up, for all seasons, that’s why. We’ll see if I regret that choice as the seasons change. haha
I think this is a wonderful idea! It’s great that you’re so conscious of being environmentally friendly, yet still get to be creative with your wardrobe. I shop at thrift stores and second-hand stores 99% of the time for myself. I don’t find it difficult at all because it’s in line with my values and I write about frugal living and my side hustle selling those clothes online. The only thing I tend to buy new (besides underwear and things like that) is shoes. I’ll often catch myself during the day realizing my whole outfit was thrifted.
You really won’t be missing out. If you find something your like, even if it’s still in season, you can always search for it online and will likely find someone selling it. You can even find new clothes sold on second-hand sites because people didn’t wear them or it didn’t fit. I can’t wait to read your updates as the year goes along!
Good for you! I know you can do it. It’s a great goal. Enjoy your vintage adventures!
Oh my gosh, I have totally been toying with doing the same fashion challenge this year!!! I may just go for it now that I know you’re doing it, too. I read your loopholes and those are totally the same ones I would use. Ah! I’m scared but since I haven’t purchased any new clothes so far this year (lol, in the first five days) I feel like I should at least try.
I love the idea of this challenge (though I’m not quite bold enough to do it myself.) I’ve been slowly working on switching to more pre-owned clothes and reducing the amount I shop and I’m looking forward to your updates on how it goes. If you haven’t already I’d suggest unsubscribing from any store newsletters you get – those always roped me in to getting something. Good Luck!
Love this! I basically do this and I’ve also been able to replace staples using online sources like Poshmark and EBay. I have multiple pairs of Madewell jeans that someone else wore once or twice that I was able to score for 75% less than in store! Sometimes just have to stalk the sites for a couple weeks until someone posts what I’m looking for.