Sometimes I like to imagine what a magazine spread on my outfit would look like. Today, mine would look something like this:
Shirt by Monsoon, on clearance £10
Vest (Camisole), Bra, Knickers, and Socks by M&S £8/2, £22/2, £1.50, and £6/2
Jeans by Dorothy Perkins. eBay £7
Jumper (Sweater) by Per Una (M&S). Cancer Research UK Charity Shop £5
Boots by Clarks. eBay £5.
So the most expensive item I’m wearing today? My bra. LOL But the shirt would have been £40, the jeans £30, the jumper £60 and the shoes £50 if I had bought everything at full retail price. I <3 charity shops, clearance sales, and eBay.
With my on-going weight loss I have been shopping charity shops, jumble sales, eBay, and online swapping/shopping groups (on facebook and livejournal). They have been a godsend. I purchased four pairs of jeans (2 are Dorothy Perkins, 2 are Marks & Sparks) for less than the cost of one pair (though I did need to shorten them), countless tops from Dorothy Perkins, M&Co, Monsoon, Miss Selfridge, Per Una, etc. etc. for again, the cost of one top (maybe one and half), and I even managed to score an amazing M&Co silver sparkle dress I wore to a friend's wedding for probably 10% of the cost of it brand new.
If I'm shopping at a charity shop or jumble sale, I always go for branded items and stay away from items sold by Asda, Tesco, Sainsburys, and Primark (because the quality isn't very good, and usually it's just as cheap to buy new from those places). I always look over the items carefully, checking to make sure there are no pulls, rips, or holes in the item, making sure zippers work and all buttons are attached. If there is a problem, I look to see if it's fixable. One time, the person on the till noticed a cardigan I wanted had a (fixable) hole in it and knocked it down to £2. I rarely try thing on in the shop because the prices are so low I don't mind passing the items on to other people, but most shops do have an area to try something on if you are so inclined and also offer a return policy.
Purchasing items off eBay or other online communities gets trickier. I tend to read the descriptions well and examine all the photos. I trust that the sellers will indicate if something has a rip or stain simply because they do not want negative feedback. I also base if something will fit me off of what size I already own of that brand. I've only had two instances where that hasn't worked, and it was due to the fabric of the item. Fortunately, many eBay sellers are willing to let you return items that do not fit.
And when I shrink down further and need smaller sizes I can re-donate the clothing to a charity shop, jumble sale, or I can try to re-sell the items myself. Win-win.
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