This post is part of an ongoing series: The Do Gooder Lifestyle

Back when I wrote my first piece about clothes, I said buying used clothing was one of the best ways to be a conscious consumer, but the truth is, I was skeptical.


Here be guilt-free treasure

I’m not much of a shopper. Even in a store targeted specifically to my needs and laid out by colour and style, I have a hard time. So the idea of sifting through piles of fairly disorganized junk looking for gems that fit and look good seemed pretty unrealistic.

BUT THEN: I discovered Nicole Rowan. Nicole is a stylist who specializes in thrift store shopping. Having worked with stellar stylist Shirley Borelli in the past, I knew that it could be a big help in getting me into outfits appropriate to my goals. Although Nicole’s personal style is not the same as mine, she worked really hard to get to know what I liked and needed.

In one whirlwind afternoon at what she calls “VV Boutique” (Value Village), Nicole helped me get 19 new-to-me pieces for $150, including jeans and dresses. The savings more than covered her modest hourly fee. She later blogged about it, here.

So: I got a whole new wardrobe PLUS the advice and assistance of a professional stylist, all without the consumer guilt I would have felt buying new, and all for less than it would have cost me for one good quality pair of jeans and one nice dress bought new?

Yes, please! I am totally hooked. I recently needed a few new pieces for spring so I enlisted a fashion-savvy friend who likes to shop, popped the baby in the stroller, and off we went to our local VV Boutique. This time, I got 10 new-to-me pieces for $50.

I may never buy new clothes again. An activity that used to make me part of a problem has been transformed into something that makes me part of the solution. And does it ever feel good!