How 7 Glamour Staffers Style Their Favorite Secondhand Piece 

As part of our Restyled series, which has been running during the month of April, Glamour recently published a story with the headline “Shopping Secondhand Is a Badge of Honor, Not a Dirty Secret.” The sentiment was a reflection of what several fashion experts communicated to the journalist who wrote the piece: Because so many shoppers are in possession of a newfound social conscience—an increased awareness around sustainability, the circular economy, and fair labor—the stigma that surrounded buying something used has been replaced with a giddy sense of pride. Adding to the shift is also a borderline obsessive desire fashion lovers have for pieces that look and feel authentic, unique, referential and, depending on your level of commitment, as if they’re a bit of a punch line. 

Aritzia top. Tory Burch bandeau. Khiry earrings. Nina bag. Schutz boots.

What’s your item? I chose a pair of trousers, but the cool element is that it has a skirt attached. It’s not removable, but it adds an interesting layer. I got them in Paris while I was vintage-shopping last December. They were really affordable, like 20 euros. They’re not a brand I know, and at first I was reluctant just because I’m always wearing all black, but I tried them on and loved the way they looked. It’s very, very, very, very rare for me to find something that fits me right when I put it on, and the pants fit perfectly.

Are you generally excited by thrifting? Absolutely. I’m a person who really likes unique pieces. It’s something my mom kind of ingrained in me: If everyone else is wearing it, don’t wear it again. I’m not really one who wants to follow trends. That’s never been me. So anytime I find a piece that I feel like no one else will have, I’m interested—and I think that’s usually done only when you’re thrift shopping. Thrifting was also my way into luxury. My mom used to go to consignment shops all the time, and I even worked in a consignment shop in high school and fell in love with it. I learned how to authenticate stuff. So that’s made it easier for me to be able to have an eye. Even now, if I want, say, a Vuitton bag, I’ll probably go vintage versus getting a new one.

Would you classify yourself as a shopper? I love to shop. But if I’m buying something online at a certain price point, I usually give myself a week or two to really think about it before I make the purchase. I shop in store only for secondhand. Everything else can be done online. I know my sizes. I’m also sustainability-minded in the sense that, living in New York City, there’s very minimal closet space, so I have to be thoughtful about the amount I buy. And if I want to buy something, let’s say a new pair of jeans and I already have eight pairs, one needs to go, so I’ll either donate it or resell it if I can.

Do you have a secondhand “jackpot” item? Prada knee-high suede boots. I love them so much and have put way too much use into them that I’ve had to have them resoled multiple times. They can stand up to all seasons. I found them in the consignment store I worked at in North Carolina, so I had an employee discount on top of the [good] price. It was so excellent.

Perrie Samotin, Digital Director 

Bevza pants.

What’s your item? A black blazer with faint white pinstripes by bygone sportswear label Evan-Picone. The cut is pure ’90s—strong shoulders, slightly boxy, a bit dated in its lapel formation. I see it as “important businesswoman working,” but a colleague said it was giving pure Paulie Walnuts, which is maybe better? I got it at the Goodwill in my neighborhood on 40% off green-tag day, so it was $6. 

Are you generally excited by thrifting? Always. I’m talking about true thrifting—secondhand stuff at accessible prices—not “vintage” shopping, which usually comes with a different mindset and price bracket. I love a Salvation Army, I love a Goodwill. I prefer to thrift alone and look through every rack, like, three times. I also have been pretty into secondhand apps this year, like Poshmark. I’ve gotten some great things, including a black, white, and pink tweed cropped jacket with gold buttons by Castleberry, the poor man’s Chanel of the ‘80s, for $25, and I wear it once or twice a week with jeans, dresses, and skirts. 

Since the pandemic began, I’ve been much more attuned to my shopping habits—which I’d classify as mindless and indulgent—and how many things a person truly needs, so buying secondhand when there’s something I want is a way into shopping more mindfully for me. I know it’s not a magic bullet in terms of sustainability and overconsumption, but it’s a start. 

How would you describe your style? All over the place. I wear whatever I like, no matter how it’s perceived. I love pieces that I envision a rich Upper East Side lady wearing, like little tweed jackets and chain bags. But I also love things like oversized black blazers and sharp black pants, giant puff sleeves or shoulder pads, dramatic ruffles, cowboy boots, or great sweats and sneakers. You won’t catch me in anything bohemian, but I’m not particularly limited otherwise. It’s a cliché to say fashion should be fun, but it should be. I don’t subscribe to the idea that you have to have a signature look. I like what I like!

Secondhand “jackpot” item: An original ’90s black Prada Tessuto backpack I negotiated for on Poshmark and also a $5 pastel pink silky prom-style gown from the ’80s with short flutter sleeves and small shoulder pads that I had hemmed into a blouse. It now hits just above my waist and I truly wear it all the time.

Kat Thomas, Assistant Fashion Editor

COS pants. La manso ring. Kara bag. Reike Nen shoes.

What’s your item? A Liz Claiborne tuxedo vest that I thrifted from [New York consignment shop] Housing Works a couple years ago for around $25. It’s one of my staple pieces that can be worn with everything and I love it. I wear it over button-downs to work with a trouser, by itself with leather pants or jeans for a night out. I love Liz Claiborne; I grab every piece that looks like it’s from the ‘80s or ’90s that I possibly can because everything is super well made and fits me like a glove. This vest has a small adjustable piece on the back, like a tuxedo vest would, so you can cinch it or wear it open.

Are you generally someone who enjoys thrifting? It’s one of my passions. If I want something, I go secondhand first. Especially if there’s a piece I already have and want more of, I’ll immediately go to Poshmark or Depop or eBay to see if I can find it secondhand. I like things that are a bit worn. For example, I have a collection of Weejun [loafers]. And most of them are secondhand because I like that they’re already broken in. A worn-in loafer is everything. Worn-in Doc Martens? Yeah. Worn-in brogues? Yeah. To me, it’s like, “Thank you so much for doing the hard work so that I can have a comfortable shoe.”

Do you feel like a large percentage of your daily outfits have a thrifted component? Yeah. Pretty much. I have a collective closet with my roommate. Just one big closet. Pretty much all of it is vintage or thrifted, and when people come over, we’re always like, “Come in to our collective closet and borrow whatever you want.”

Do luxury finds excite you? I do like designer stuff—I love Acne but can’t really afford it—so I get more excited by what I’m able to do with well-made pieces that aren’t designer that I’ve thrifted. They’re valuable to me because of the materials that they’re made with and how they fit. 

What’s your secondhand “jackpot” item? Two separate thrifted Acne pieces I found in one month. An Acne button-down that has these wide sleeves and are cuffed. It had, like, a little stain on it, so I got it for $10. I took it to the cleaners and it’s perfect. And then that same week I went to Buffalo Exchange in my neighborhood, and I got a pair of navy Acne trousers that are loose and oversized—a pair of pants I’d wear every single day. Those were $40, and I feel like that was karma.

Sam Barry, Editor in Chief 

Eloquii bustier. Jenny bird necklace. Schutz boots. 

What’s your item? A white men’s tuxedo shirt for $20. When I go thrifting, I find myself gravitating toward the men’s section. I live in Chelsea neighborhood of New York, and there’s a lot of amazing men’s stuff in consignment stores like Housing Works. I’ve always loved the idea of male tailoring on women.

Are you generally someone who is excited by thrifting? I like it, but it’s important to me that a space be laid out well. I don’t have the dedication to dig through a bin or look at every rack.

What’s your secondhand “jackpot” item? I just bought a full vintage Versace men’s suit for $200, which isn’t nothing, but it’s so well made and doesn’t even need to be tailored. I’d rather spend $200 on a designer suit from the ’80s than a trendy suit from fast fashion that would cost the same. If I’m spending money on that kind of stuff secondhand, I’ll really look a lot at the stitching and the lining to make sure it holds its value and it’s something I can also resell if I want to.

What’s your general shopping philosophy? I’ll spend less on things that I might spill stuff on like white T-shirts or basics that aren’t the core of an outfit. I’ll spend less if I want to try out a trend or maybe on a pair of jeans because I’m so not a denim person. But honestly, I feel like I’ve aged out of very trendy stuff. I’m 40 and I know what my style is. I like leaning into some of the ’90s and 2000s stuff, but I’m not going to be wearing low-rise jeans and a belly top—that’s never been my style even when I was 16. And I think when you know your style, it makes secondhand shopping so much easier. I love black and white. I love layers. I love a cuff. I like a shirtdress and a blazer. So knowing that helps me go into the world of secondhand with a clear purpose.

Bella Cacciatore, Beauty Writer 

Bevza top. Aritzia skirt.

What’s your item? A mixed animal-print coat probably from the ’90s. I got it at a store called May’s Place in St. Louis, which is one of the spots I always hit up when I go visit my parents. It was around $60, which felt expensive at the time, but I truly wear at least two or three times a week during the right seasons, so it’s paid off. Most stuff I gravitate toward is from the ’90s, and I really liked the Kate Moss meets Adriana from The Sopranos vibe of this jacket—it’s a little tacky but also cool. I also dress really simply, so I always look for bolder jackets, shoes, and purses to do the work for me. Even if I’m wearing just jeans and a tee, it still feels special when I throw this coat on top.

Are you someone who generally likes thrifting? I love thrifting. I’m a Depop addict right now, but if I’m going in person, I’ll either go with my mom when I’m home—that’s kind of like how we hang out, we go shopping—and I’ll do it with friends where I live.

What’s your secondhand “jackpot” item? I got a Dior saddle bag for $75 in Japan. I also just got a Gucci Jackie bag in St. Louis for $200. Shoes and purses are kind of my holy grails, and that’s where I tend to spend.

Do you thrift with sustainability in mind? At first, thrifting started in high school as a “cool” thing driven by aesthetics, but [sustainability] is something I’ve been thinking about more and more—where my clothes are coming from both thrifted and new. I’m trying to buy more thoughtfully and support smaller brands I like. I’m trying to cut down on my consumption in general and feel better about buying something I want off Depop. If I’m gonna drop $70, I might as well buy something that’s already been in the world.

Ana Escalante, Editorial Assistant

Tanya Taylor top. SVNR earrings. Jenny bird necklace.

What’s your item? A pair of Reformation jeans that I fished out of the “Lucky Number 7” clearance bin at the local thrift store in my college town three years ago. They were $7. I always feel like I have a tricky time with jeans, so I don’t buy them online and I don’t go shopping in stores that much, so they were a good find.

Are you someone who generally likes thrifting? I like the thrill of the thrifting hunt, but I see it more as a game when it comes to tracking down the “perfect” item. I don’t go thrifting just for fun, although I usually drag my friends with me. Instead, it’s always with a specific purpose in mind, like finding a certain pair of pants I swear is “missing” from my black hole of a closet.

What’s your secondhand “jackpot” item? A green Miu Miu tweed jacket I got for $80.

If you were to invest in a luxury piece, would you look to secondhand first? I don’t really want to walk into a store to be put on a waiting list just to own something way out of my price range. If I find a bag on The RealReal or on Vestiaire Collective that looks current-ish for hundreds less, I might bite that bullet. 

How would you describe your style? Like a mood ring. There’s pieces for every single aesthetic and season in my closet, so it’s hard to narrow down one label. Some days I pretend I look as cool as Jane Birkin in my straight-leg jeans and white button-down shirts. Other times I show up to work in a neon orange hoodie and men’s suit pants. I’m striving to be one of those “capsule wardrobe chic” kind of girls, but in reality I’m more of a “wear whatever isn’t in my laundry hamper” person. It works!

Cortni Spearman, Senior Social Media Manager 

Wray top and pants. Reike Nen bag.

What’s your item? A vintage black blazer with a fun animal-print collar and pockets and—my favorite part—shoulder pads. I got it at [New York City consignment store] Crossroads in January for $15.

Are you generally excited by thrifting? I am! I try to thrift as often as I can, and it’s my preferred way to shop most of the time. You never know what you’re going to find, and I’m almost always buying one-of-a-kind items. I usually end up mostly with tees, oversized jeans and jackets or blazers.

How would you describe your style? A mix of elevated athleisure and relaxed street style. I’m able to pull off a Nike pant with a Carhartt tee and New Balances as easily as I can a high-waist jean with a crop top and heeled boots. All paired with a cute bag and accessories, of course. 

What’s on your bucket list to buy for summer and will you look to thrift it? I’d love to get my hands on a vintage swimsuit. That’s on my list. I also love finding vintage bags and really want a vintage Louis Vuitton or Gucci bag in my arsenal.

Styling: Tchesmeni Leonard @tchesmeni and Kat Thomas @kath_tom
Hair: Yukie Nammori @yukienammori for Act + Acre @actandacre
Makeup: Misuzu Miyake @misuzumiyake
Art Direction: Allie Folino @alliefolino
Production: Cassie Basford @cassie.basford

Perrie Samotin is Glamour’s digital director and host of Glamour’s What I Wore When podcast. Follow her @perriesamotin. 

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