Tips For Shopping Second-Hand Fashion Successfully

Shopping second-hand is more accessible than ever these days, but the sheer amount of choice out there can be daunting for those who are new to the world of pre-loved fashion. That’s why stylist Amy Bannerman – who has worked with the likes of Dua Lipa and Sophie Turner and was behind Love Island‘s second-hand wardrobe this summer – has been sharing her insider tips to help guide others along the way.

“My love of second-hand shopping started very early on,” Amy tells Vogue. “My older brother Angus inspired me a lot growing up – he had a vintage ’80s leopard print coat which I endlessly coveted. I was always very sentimental with clothing, so I guess that a love of the meaning behind pieces was imbued at a young age.”

As well as being an eBay obsessive, Amy can regularly be found trawling the rails at charity shops in search of hidden gems. “I love how in London you get such different things in different areas,” she says. “I live in Leytonstone [in east London] and often find quite eclectic things, but in west London you’re more likely to find luxury brands. I love traveling and I can’t see a charity shop I haven’t been to and pass it by – you just never know what you’re going to miss out on.”

Over the years, the stylist has accumulated a range of second-hand gems, from a pair of Prada loafers to some Marc Jacobs snakeskin boots. Below, see Amy’s expert tips for second-hand shopping.

Look for the pieces you’ve always wanted

For those who are just starting out, it helps to have specific pieces in mind. There’s a reason that the ’90s and Noughties are particularly popular right now – as those who grew up then can finally get their hands on the pieces they longed for when they were younger. “The feeling when you find the thing you’ve always lusted after is unbeatable,” Amy says. “No brand new purchase can do that.”

Go online for something specific

After drawing up your wishlist, it’s time to start tracking down those much-wanted items. “If you’re shopping for something very specific it’s best to shop online, as you can use filters to narrow down [your search],” Amy says, adding that online alerts help, too. “If you are [just] browsing, then go into stores,” the stylist continues. “This is when you’ll find all the pieces you didn’t know you needed.”

Be creative with your search terms

In order to land those bargains, it’s worth being creative with your search terms – you never know what you might find. “Try to spell things incorrectly – I have found some mega bargains this way,” Amy advises. “Use alternate search words. [For example]if something is diamanté someone else could potentially describe it as shiny, sparkly or sequined.”

Shop out of season

Another top tip is shopping out of season. “If you’re looking for something like a leopard print coat or a leather trench when it’s cold outside, everyone else will be too,” Amy says. “But if you shop when it’s summer, or typically out of season, fewer people will be looking and you’re likely to get a bargain. Check your wardrobe, or your iPhone photos, for things you felt like you were missing in the season gone by.”

Know your measurements

Finally, it’s important to know your measurements, particularly when it comes to buying online. “A lot of people list with measurements or are happy to measure if you ask them,” the stylist comments. “Go to a tailor and get measured properly – they will ask for a nominal fee. [When] buying vintage, I always size up by one or two sizes as the sizes don’t equal to modern sizing.”

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