Are you a night owl and a lover of nightlife in posh clubs? Then the last few months must have been hard on you. Online entertainment has helped to keep you busy. Probably you have loved places like Virgin Casino and now you would like to see their real-life club version. Perhaps a trip to Atlantic City for a crazy night out? Great idea, but then you open your closet and realize you don’t have anything really fancy to wear.
In case the crisis has hit you hard on the wallet too, do not despair! There are some yummy available options out there to renew your wardrobe even on a shoestring budget. Do you love designer clothes and accessories? This is no longer a problem. A cultural revolution has happened in the last few years.
Forget about humiliating words like “second-hand” or, even worse, “thrift”. Today wearing luxury clothes that were somebody else’s before is no longer diminishing. No, nothing to be ashamed of. A new definition for these items is “pre-owned”. There is a better one still, more emotional than technical: “pre-loved”.
Yes, someone before you has loved that Chanel bag very much. Or those sexy Jimmy Choo sandals. That, someone, took extremely good care of those designer treasures: they look like new. Yet not all love stories are eternal, so the lovely luxury items and their owner parted ways. Lucky for you, because this is your chance now to start an affair with them.
Wear them proudly in broad daylight
Pre-loved is the new trendy. You can wear it proudly in broad daylight. No one will notice the difference anyway. Enjoy Gucci, Balenciaga, Luis Vuitton, Stella Mac Cartney…. you name it. At a much lower price.
The good side of luxury fashion is that it is made to last. On the material plane, that is. High-quality materials, accurate craftmanship, especially if we are talking about Italian fashion. Think of unique items made by hand.
Style, the appearance, was planned to be the perishable part, as a way to keep the business going. Buying new clothes, shoes, bags and other accessories were imposed as an inescapable rule for the socialites. The actual reason was obviously to keep the deep-pocketed clients spending lofty sums over and over again. The new faith ended up producing the fashion victim as its most extreme degeneration.
First came vintage, then retro
True lovers of good style, though, have been getting smarter. First came the concept of vintage, borrowing the word that indicates a good year for quality wine. As all connoisseurs now, the most precious wines get better with time. They can age for years, even decades, and only get better.
A vintage fashion item, by commonly recognized wisdom, needs to be at least 20 years old. More than 100-year old objects fall into the nobler category of antique. If you wear something from the sixties or seventies, you are definitely vintage. Today this category can already include fashion from the eighties and nineties.
Retro is a different concept. There are slightly different interpretations of retro. Usually, it is attached items that can be newly made, deliberately imitating the style from some past period. Retro can have a negative bias attached to it or not, depending on the context.
What is common these categories is the idea that there is value in a style, even if it belongs to a season in the past. There is creativity in it, an original aesthetic concept, and a statement. Fashion is something more than pure aesthetics just because it makes a statement. In this sense, it is a social phenomenon.
The threshold of acceptability becomes shorter and shorter
How old must fashionable apparel be to allow you to wear it with dignity? The minimal threshold is no longer twenty years. You do not need to be vintage to gain social approval. The fig leaf of “old enough” has fallen. Used, aka second-hand is now socially acceptable.
And yet, to win over the snobs, a new definition was needed. Enters the pre-owned new label, and the idea of “thrift” is consigned to the past. Pre-owned in its turn was not enough, although it is now currently used. It is a neutral definition that simply states a fact, setting a neutral tone. This is when pre-loved comes in.
Better pre-loved than fake
The truly chic have no doubt on this point. Fake is fake. Some fashion victims rejoice at the idea of making their girlfriends and work colleagues envious by sporting a perfectly counterfeited Gucci bag. The frustration of being unable to fork several thousand dollars for an authentic one is counterbalanced by having spared eighty percent of the price buying on some seedy online shop.
Forget about it, if you want to really enjoy being posh. Your friends won’t know that it is a scam, but you will! There are better options out there for you.
Get fashionable by tapping on your mobile
If you like it quick and easy, pay a visit to online fashion marketplaces like Poshmark and Vestiaire Collective. There are millions of users already on board there, stylish people from all over the world who love to trade their closets’ content.
Finding out what is available is as easy as downloading an app and opening an account. The fact is that hunting for pre-loved beautiful clothes and accessories is a lot of fun. There are decades worth of treasures around, hoarded by so many people who are now ready to declutter and restock their wardrobe.
Platforms like Fashionphile and The RealReal also have several brick-and-mortar boutiques that you can visit.
Make some money too
The new trend is a lot of fun, but it can also be beneficial to you. All these hi-tech marketplaces help you not only to buy at lower prices but also to sell your once-loved items. If you have lots of beautiful stuff that is just collecting dust and cluttering your closet, trade it in!
Designer bags are your thing? Try Rebag and its “Infinity” program, for example. You can change luxury handbags every few months without being a millionaire. Or get your beloved authenticated by a service like Authenticate First, Real Authentication, My Poupette, or Lollipuff and sell autonomously from your own blog.