Dating and Relationship Advice

On average, Americans purchase a new item of clothing every five days. Think of all that waste, both in the landfills and on credit card bills! What if I told you there was a way you could spend less money for higher quality clothes? And that it would be waaayyy better for the environment, too? That's right, rather than dropping another $100 on sweaters from Zara that won't last a wash, try shopping consignment instead. Here are five reasons why.

1) Designer brands for cheap

It's tough keeping up with fashion in a big city when you have neither a sugar daddy nor a trust fund. My budget says H&M and Zara, but my taste cries Sandro, Rag & Bone and Theory. Shopping consignment means I don't have to sacrifice my style or all my spending money. Recently I purchased adorable high-rise, wide-leg jeans from Rag & Bone for only $40. When it came time to splurge on a winter coat, I purchased an elegant, maroon Moncler coat for the same price as a new parka from Arcteryx.

2) It's unique

I went to a large, public high school in Boise, Idaho. There, you could throw a rock and hit five girls wearing the same outfit from American Eagle. Sure, that olive green utility jacket is cute, but it looks less cute when you see it over and over and over again. When you shop consignment, you're buying clothes from all different brands and seasons, so there's barely any chance you'll see someone wearing the same 'fit as you.

3) You can explore a new look

Trends are cool, but it's also cool to find your own style by experimenting with out-of-the-box looks. I once saw a wise Tik Tok comment that said, "I have a theory: no one is ugly, they just haven't found their style yet".  That's because attractiveness and charisma come from embracing and expressing your unfettered individuality. Digging that fedora but not sure you can pull it off? Buy it and make it work. Want those retro sunglasses but not sure if they're hip? You can make them hip.  

4) Environmental sustainability

The verdict is in: fast fashion sucks for the environment. That trendy sweater vest from Zara may only cost $30, but it's costing a lot more for the climate. Unfortunately, buying from environmentally-conscious brands can get expensive fast. An easy middle ground is to shop secondhand. It's inexpensive and helps the environment. Plus, it is even better than buying from sustainable brands because it requires no additional production—no more materials, labor, manufacturing, etc.

5) You can trade in your old clothes

Many consignment stores exclusively offer store credit in exchange for your used clothes. It's a win-win scenario: you sell your old outfits and get to pick out some new ones that other stylish people gave away. Beacon's Closet in NYC has this exact policy and they have an insane selection of faux coats, comfy sweaters, and chic boots. Or, if you're feeling charitable, you can donate your clothes to a place like Housing Works in NYC, where all proceeds to go AIDS prevention and treatment. They also have a wide selection used books, furniture, clothes, and kitchenware that you can purchase for a good cause.