SLOW (fashion)

Second hand stores are really the only place where you can walk in circles for ages without someone approaching you to check if you are looking for something. Whether I am looking for something? Yes, my mind. But I didn't answer out loud, knowing they didn't have it.

my way of shopping was partly born out of necessity.

The new shopping. Although, new - for me it has been the most normal thing in the world for quite a few years now: I'm actually shocked if I accidentally end up in the center, everything seems to be screaming.

I was burned out, to the ground. Could not think so well anymore, could not process everything that was going on. Overstimulated as soon as I stepped into the world... What does that mean?

Well, making choices was not much of an option, so shopping was not too smooth: 20 types of peanut butter? Panic! ERROR. How was I supposed to decide? In the end I went back home, without a jar of goodness. (best enjoyed with cucumber & cress)

The morning after, husband: do we also have peanut butter? Me: crying eyeballs out.

So... it didn't work out too well. And my money? Yes, that slowly ran out. I was no longer able to work, the savings account slowly dried up, which makes you automatically become more conscious of what you spend. I did not need many things; if you are sick at home, your costs are actually quite low.

Of course there are fixed expenses, but you do not need much as a houseplant with anxiety and the stamina of a starfish.

At some point, you have to get back out there. You need fresh air, have to build up to a life again - so you need a mission. But what are you going to do? No clue, no budget, and preferably no peanut butter problems.

If you almost live next to the thrift shop like me, you will end up there. And: it worked.

I couldn't choose there either, but they didn't mind. Sometimes I wondered there for an hour and left empty-handed, other times I walked out with 7 books, 2 bowls and a cardigan.

And flower pots, because I could still take care of the greenery at home and they just kept on reproducing! (I have never read as much as being sick that first year, I got tired of everything and anything - at first though even reading wasn't possible)

At some point I thought, as a high school dropout, I do have time to read all those mandatory literature that everyone except for me already finished! Finally I got up to date with Tolstoy and his friends, a great wishlist to visit the second-hand neighbor on a weekly basis. Score some 50 cent plates that just came in, and some cute wine glasses that I didn't need ;)

Best buy: a Levi's for €7,50 which I then didn't dare to wear because they were too fashionable at the time. The high waist mom jeans were just around the corner, and not everyone was aware of that - so the jeans would stay in the drawers for at least another year. (because what if somebody noticed my jeans and said something?! That would be terrible! I still preferred to be invisible...

Before I fell ill I'd already found a thick woolen coat in a local vintage store, the thrift story was not new to me. But...

Every season until I got sick, I also set for the city for some temporary satisfaction in one of the ridiculous fast fashion chains. I didn't know exactly how bad the truth was, at that time.

I knew that stuff from those mega stores was a bit too cheap, and that most of it fell apart after a few rounds of laundry - yet the slavery was still a bit vague and far away.

Those big stores just made me crazy now. The noise, the light, the enormous offer, the queues, the mess, the colors. I stood there feeling lost, feeling attacked by fluorescent marketing, and realized it finally! Such a sickening place. I was never going back.

(gifted second hand top, thrifted skirt)

Of course it did not smell great at the average second hand store, but I could musty a lot better than perfumes and plastic (behavior) mixed together. But if you don't feel like that, go online to thrift your new favorites!

Aside from the local second hand store, there's also a lot more 'fresh' vintage popping up. Thank the lord! Maybe your new favorite sweater will cost €10 instead of €2.50 there, but let's be honest: that is still very cheap and here it is a fair price. The yield of your €29.95 sweater may be a lot less neatly divided throughout the chain...

Long story short: I shop second hand. And you can do it too!

Just start small, slowly get used to it, find your favorite cities and routes...

Most of all set out on a quest to find something cool, rather than getting a certain outfit in a certain color. Second hand doesn't really work like that!

It's bumping into that amazing pair of pants you're gonna wear every day next year. And that's fine. Although it's rapidly changing and online you can definitely find a lot - just scroll a few times in spare moments and you'll find your match!

Lat but not least, hey for undies and socks, of course we don't want to have it pre-owned.

And sometimes you just want something new. I know, by now I know where to go instead of the fast fashion terror if I want to be the first to wear it:

For instance, shop new clothing online at Sophie Stone & The Green Labels.

Shop offline in Amsterdam: Verse Good Store & Het Faire Oosten, and Antwerpen: F.A.A.M.

The Levi's winner, now my favorite: