It is rare that I ever head out to the shops with the hope of being able to find an entire ensemble as I have imagined it in my head.
I know that there are likely to be many hours spent trawling the stores looking for the perfect pieces, perhaps only finding one or two. I have my favourite mainstream stores, Allannah Hill, Cue and Review, but aside from these I know I’m going to have trouble finding pieces that really inspire me and work with my taste.
Last week I participated in the Thrifty Fashionista Market at Westfield Southland, the first such event. The concept saw myself, fellow bloggers and other fashionistas, given the chance to showcase pieces from our own wardrobe that needed new homes. Set up in centre court, our mini-market gave shoppers the opportunity to experience a concept many had never seen before. Recycling great fashion finds.
While shopping for vintage and second hand may seem like common knowledge to many of you, I was surprised by the number of people who were new to the concept. Perhaps it was due to the retail mall location, or maybe it isn’t as regular practice as I believed; either way it was a happy surprise for most. The idea that you could essentially happen upon a once off opportunity to shop through pre-curated and diverse fashion finds of different styles, colours, eras and sizes, and come across a gem that you wouldn’t have found anywhere else.
One lady came to see me half an hour before closing with an arm load of finds and a huge grin on her face. She’d been out shopping all day at another centre and had come away empty handed and disheartened. She was thrilled to tell me that within the last fifteen minutes she’d managed to find four fantastic new finds well below her expected budget. Now that is my kind of shopping experience!
This type of market was absolutely perfect for someone like me; both as a seller and as a buyer. Why? When I do buy new off the rack pieces, I try to buy the best quality, the more unusual, or the independently made. What I don’t always do though, I abide by shopping ‘rules’. There are times when I don’t try things on in my haste, or times when I plan to “fit into it one day”, and of course my taste changes like the wind. So I’m left with loads of wonderful pieces that need new homes. Sure, I could list them online, but that is hugely time consuming and there is no guarantee they will find the right audience. Having the opportunity to show off these pieces and match them with new owners was quite thrilling!
One happy, stylish shopper.
I must say a HUGE thank you to so many of you who came out especially to see me and my wardrobe stash at Thrifty Fashionista. We had a wonderful time chatting about our mutual style passions, and there were a few of you I surprised with my eye for picking the perfect wardrobe partner. Yes, I can eye off your measurements at ten paces and pick the one you’ll fall in love with before you’ve even met.
I’m quite impressed that a group like Westfield has recognised the complimentary place that vintage and second hand clothing holds in the retail market. Acknowledging that fashion can be both more sustainable, and more inclusive than the traditional offerings. There is so much room in this concept for helping people to understand shopping better, making it a more pleasurable and personal experience, as well as encouraging their creativity.
There is talk of this event happening again later this year, and I’ll be first to put my hand up and say I’ll do it again.