Secondhand for a Mature Mother

I’m visiting my parents at the moment, and as soon as I walked in through the door my mom was super excited to show off her new secondhand clothes she just got from a friend. She hasn’t owned much secondhand clothing before – she’s quite demanding of her clothes, and she’s found it difficult to find nice secondhand clothes in her size. However, now one of her friends has given her masses of clothes that are all her size and all her style. They’re exactly the sort of clothes she would buy new, but she happened to get them secondhand now. So naturally we decided this deserves a blog post!

My fondness for recycling and trying to live ecologically has clearly come from my parents. Especially my dad is crazy about recycling. He uses every single scrap piece that comes from any of his renovation work or other handyman jobs he does around the house – he’s pretty creative with all sorts of materials, and he has really done his research about what the best ways are to recycle and dispose of things. I’ve gotten used to recycling from a very young age, so naturally I’ve just kept the habit as an adult as well.

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All of these clothes are secondhand and as good as new! They’re all made from good quality materials, so they’re bound to last my mom quite a while.

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My parents have been pretty good role models for shopping. They’ve never been the types to just go shopping for fun and coming back with bags and bags of stuff. When we were kids we would get new things when we needed them, not whenever we wanted them. And in our family of five children, clothes were often handed down from older siblings to me, the youngest, not because we couldn’t buy new things, but because there wasn’t a need to. Also, my mom has made a lot of clothes herself, especially when my older siblings were little, so a lot of our stuff has been ethically made!

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Mom sporting a professory look, but with a bit of sparkle, because she loves a bit of bling. By the way, apologies for the poor quality of these photos: I didn’t have my camera with me so I had to take these pictures with our adorable, tiny, old digital camera from 2003. Technology has come a long way since then.

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My mom’s main tip for not needing to buy new clothes all the time is to know your own personal style. My mom has had the same style for years: earthy colours, animal prints and a little bit of glitter are things that will always satisfy her fashion needs. Almost all of her clothes are from Gerry Weber – which isn’t an ethical brand, but the clothes are good quality, so they’re an ecological alternative if you care for them well and use them for a long time. She has such a clear style and has known what she likes to wear for so many years that all her clothes go together well. When she buys a new item, she’s sure to have plenty of items in her closet that will suit well with it.

Having a consistent style means that your clothes can have a long lifespan. My mom has a whole bunch of clothes that she’s had for many years or even decades, but since her style has stayed relatively unchanged, she can still use her old clothes and feel comfortable in them. Another perk of having a clearly defined style is that your friends know what suits you. My mom got all these clothes from her friend, because her friend immediately noticed that they would suit her.

 

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A graphic secondhand shirt (the type I would totally wear) combined with a secondhand neutral skirt.
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Secondhand sweater paired with the skirt from above.

 

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A much used handbag of my mom’s from the mid-90s.

I hope this post serves as inspiration to anyone who has established a clear style and shopping habits that have lasted many decades. It’s never too late to get excited about secondhand shopping, or to change your consumer habits. I’m super happy that my mom takes pride in her secondhand clothes, and wants to share how happy she is with them with my blog readers.

And P. S.  the clothes my mom doesn’t wear anymore can easily be handed down to her daughters. I adore one of my mom’s vintage 70’s dresses that I use quite often. I’ve even dedicated a whole post to the beauty!

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In a previous post I praised multifunctional clothing, and this secondhand piece is a perfect example of multifunctional clothing. It’s reversible, so when my mom is in the mood for animal print (so, like, always) she can wear it like this, but if she wants a more neutral look, she can reverse it, like in the bottom two pictures.

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