I remember how I felt when I first started using eBay back in high school. I was nervous… and a bit overwhelmed. But I was so excited about potentially being able to buy items that I couldn’t otherwise afford with my $6/hr cashier job. I made a purchase or two every month. Some worked out… some didn’t. Over time I got more and more competent at buying pre-owned. Now-a-days I’d I can find deals on just about anything I’m looking for (if there are deals to be had).
Some years I shop on eBay extremely often, and other years the purchases are few and far between. If you read this blog, you’ve probably noticed that I’ve made significantly more pre-owned purchases than new ones this year. There are a few reasons for this. First, it seemed as though every blogger was starting to wear the same clothes. That’s not the worst thing in the world, but its certainly annoying (especially when others look better in the stuff!). Next, I just wasn’t finding items that fit my style. This was especially the case this past spring and summer (I swear I couldn’t find anything that was flattering), and this really revved up my eBay shopping. The biggest reason I’ve stuck with shopping pre-owned was the strikingly poor quality of the items available. I’ve been attempting to build a versatile wardrobe (with a focus on professional wear), and I’m looking for high quality, well-fitting (or potentially well-fitting after a trip to the tailor) items that I’ll want to reach for day after day.
Lets talk about pants for a moment. I’ve always struggled to find well-fitting pants (jeans are a problem too, but I’ve given up looking and now stick with my AG stilts and these Citizens ;)). At work last year I lived in my J. Crew Minnies and Ann Taylor trousers. These were the best off-the-rack pants I could find (I tried other popular styles like drapey pants, dressed-up sweat pants, tuxedo pants… but they looked ridiculous on me). Wearing these pants was fine for a while. But my Minnie pants always had to be worn the same way, with bum-covering tunics or sweaters, because they’re closer to leggings than pants. And my Ann Taylor trousers always fit just ok and typically were a little too long or short because I could never justify bringing $40 pants to the tailor for $30 in alterations (I’m between sizes and inseams). Lacking basic pairs of well-fitting, flattering pants really made it difficult to feel good about any outfit! So, as my eBay shopping was increasing, I made it a priority to look for some pre-owned pants. I did some browsing on NAP to become familiar with brands ogle their perfectly styled models featuring an array of pants styles (skinny pants, wide-leg trousers, flare trousers, slim cropped pants, wide-leg crops… gorgeous). Since the pants I was buying were so affordable (high quality brands like Prada at less than $50!), I allowed myself to try so many styles I would have otherwise avoided. It turns out that so many styles of pants can be flattering and comfortable with the right quality material and a little tailoring, even on a petite figure!
I know buying pre-owned isn’t something that everyone is comfortable with, but it works for me and keeps me from getting caught up with the next great trend, like dressed up sweat pants. I know its not overly useful to blog about sold out or unavailable items, but there are probably 2,254,643 fashion blogs right now that link anything and everything you could possibly be looking for. And I’m sure I’ll be back to buying mostly new eventually!