Second-hand shopping is definitely the trend. But are you asking yourself, “Where do I even start?” Don’t worry, you’re not alone. We asked fashionista, Tosha Eason to take us through the wonders of second-hand fashion.
“Thrifting is how I found my sense of style.”
Tosha’s love for second-hand fashion began when she moved to LA from a small town in Texas. “When you get the new trends in LA, we got them a year later. Maybe not as much now because of fast fashion, but that was how it felt back then.” LA exposed her to all the amazing treasures of vintage and second-hand fashion, which made her start her personal style blog showcasing her original style of mixing the highs with the lows with the ‘70s and the ‘90s.
Why Tosha’s in love with second-hand fashion
Cultivates individuality and creativity
Second-hand shopping allows Tosha to get creative with fashion. “When it comes to fast fashion and things that are mass produced, you’re more likely to see other people wearing it. Everything is already laid out for you. But with second-hand, you have to ask yourself, ‘How do I want to wear this?’ It’s very creative. It’s like finding my own treasure and I know I’m going to be the only one wearing it.”
“It’s also great to see all these young people in second-hand stores now because when I was younger, I didn’t want hand-me-downs. I wanted new clothes. Now, it’s more about individuality. It’s great to see that they’re proud to go into second-hand shops with no negative connotation.”
Better for the environment
“It cuts down so much of our pollution. We consume without thinking, and a lot of it goes to waste. I feel like we’re obsessed about having the latest and we forget about what’s amazing in our closet that still shines. So, I always like to revisit all of my vintage pieces.”
While most second-hand stores reject unsellable items, Tosha was impressed that second-hand store, 2nd STREET took unsellable items for a penny and sent it off for recycling. 2nd STREET also recycles 100% of the items that don’t sell in the stores. “I’ve never seen a store that did this.”
Quality items at amazing prices
“You can go to a vintage store and find a blazer or a coat and know that it’s going to last you a long time. I feel like everything was made better back then than now. Like this vintage sheer top I’m wearing today is one of my favorites. All the sheer pieces you see today are thin and can easily fall apart, but you can tell this one’s different. On top of quality, you can get everything at a much lower price than regular shops. Second-hand shopping is way more cost effective.”
Tosha’s 5 pro tips for second-hand shopping
1. Stay focused with a good list
“When you go second-hand shopping, have a couple of items in mind you want to invite into your wardrobe. It could be denim, a denim jacket, a leather jacket or a leather skirt. Always have an idea of what it is you’re looking for, so you’re not just blindly looking.”
2. Choose your store wisely
Tosha tells us that quality, variety and organization is the secret to a great second-hand shopping experience. Along with quality items at great prices, a good variety of content is equally important. Variety means category as well as price range. “When you see items that range from $5 and even less, all the way up to $1000, that’s good variety.” As Tosha browsed through 2nd STREET in Melrose, she mentions, “The way the store is organized is super important too. I go into some stores and immediately feel overwhelmed. I hear myself saying, ‘Ok, I don’t know if I want to dig through all of this.’ I’m literally a scanner when it comes to shopping, so it really helps when items are organized by seasons or by colors like this.”
Customers are surprised when they first step into 2nd STREET because unlike other second-hand shops, the store is odorless and all items are carefully curated and organized. Some people don’t even realize it’s a second-hand store until the moment they see the price tag.
3. Go in open-minded
“Always go in open-minded. When I pick up an item, I think about how I want to wear it. It also helps to be aware of what’s already in your wardrobe. That way it’s easier to mix and match items in your mind.”
4. Don’t forget about alterations!
“Things can get altered. I once bought a silk cami dress at a second-hand store for $8. I took it to a store and had it taken in and had a split added, and the alteration cost me $20. Even if it doesn’t fit you in the store, just remember you can always have it fitted.” It’s all part of the fun in second-hand shopping!
5. Look for that special piece
“Don’t go for one-off pieces like heavy prints. Look for pieces that you know you’ll always have some attraction to for a long time. I always look for special pieces. The ones that people just can’t resist but ask, ‘OMG Where did you get that!?’ ”
Ready to go second-hand shopping? Great news for Angelenos. 2nd STREET is running a special sweepstakes in all three stores in Melrose, Pasadena and Costa Mesa. Happy shopping! Find out more information on the sweepstakes.