There was a time when the phrases ‘you look good’ from my husband had been adopted by ‘the place’s it from?’
These days, he already is aware of the reply — 9 occasions out of ten I’ll reply: ‘It was Pamela’s.’
OK, possibly eight occasions out of ten, as a result of it may need been Lianne’s, or my mum’s, and even his personal mom’s.
I like hand-me-downs. Whereas some individuals get a kick out of perusing the excessive road, there’s nothing I like greater than a bag of second-hand garments.
Ellen Manning shared the teachings she’s gained from carrying secondhand garments, because it’s revealed there’s an estimated £30 billion of unused clothes sitting in UK wardrobes. Pictured: Ellen, left, with Pamela
It’s develop into an ongoing joke with my closest mates who, for years, have given me first dibs on their undesirable garments earlier than they’re donated to the charity store. If I do know one in every of them is planning a wardrobe clear-out, my coronary heart does a little bit leap.
I don’t have older sisters, so I used to be by no means given hand-me-downs as a toddler however, rising up, my household didn’t have a great deal of cash, so my faculty uniform was typically second-hand and we had been no strangers to charity outlets.
At 15, I volunteered in my native Oxfam retailer and noticed it as an enormous bonus that I used to be allowed to kind donations earlier than they hit the store flooring, giving me the possibility to purchase something I wished for myself, earlier than it was snapped up.
It’s not that I don’t care about garments however, whereas my mates relish a couple of hours testing the newest assortment in Zara, I can consider a number of hundred issues I’d slightly do as an alternative.
I simply don’t benefit from the act of purchasing, whether or not on the excessive road (rifling by means of countless rails making an attempt to work out if that skirt will go together with that prime) or on-line (the relentless cycle of returns). For me, it’s loads of effort for little reward.
Then there are the environmental advantages of my hand-me-down behavior. I’d be mendacity if I mentioned it was the principle motivator, but it surely’s positively a optimistic by-product understanding that I’m not contributing to the quick vogue disaster.
Ellen mentioned she often solely outlets out of necessity, revealing she prefers to purchase underwear and denims new
In response to recycling charity Wrap, there’s an estimated £30 billion of unused clothes sitting in wardrobes within the UK (with round £140 million value of clothes going into landfill).
It additionally estimates that the British public will eliminate 67 million clothes objects as we emerge from lockdown, with two in 5 individuals having had a clear-out whereas they had been caught at residence.
Not each merchandise of clothes I personal is a hand-me-down. I store sometimes, however often out of necessity. Denims I purchase new, then it’s a case of carrying them till they disintegrate earlier than I’m pressured to buy groceries once more. Then there’s underwear, which might be a bit unusual to inherit from a buddy.
As much as three-quarters of my wardrobe is second-hand
However, over time, I’ve amassed tons of of hand-me-downs and I’d say as much as three-quarters of my present wardrobe is second-hand.
Good, tailor-made jackets and trousers for work, informal hoodies, blouses that may be dressed up or down, glitzy night attire, barely-worn jumpers, even nearly-new health club put on that has lots extra use available out of it. I’ve obtained a complete part of my wardrobe devoted to black attire that had been donated to me.
My family and friends all purchase pretty first rate manufacturers — Nike sportswear, Subsequent attire, tops from White Stuff or Joules — and it’s uncommon that one thing received’t be in nice nick. Some even nonetheless have the labels connected.
Ellen mentioned there’s been the odd event the place she’s come out ‘dressed as Pamela’, nevertheless their companions have gotten used to her carrying Pamela’s hand-me-downs
My greatest spoil is a Guess mac that will have value about £150 new, given to me by Pamela after she determined it didn’t match her fairly proper any extra.
I’ve obtained my eye on her Vivienne Westwood coat, too — a fantastically tailor-made, classic, beige mac, however I’m pretty certain I’d should prise it from her chilly, useless arms.
There was the odd, barely cringey event after I realise I’ve come on an evening out basically ‘dressed as Pamela’.
On a current weekend away along with her and her accomplice, we clocked halfway by means of a pub lunch that I used to be sporting trousers, a prime and a jacket that had been all hers.
Fortunately, our companions have lengthy obtained used to me carrying Pam’s hand-me-downs and her accomplice not does a double-take when he sees me.
In fact, I’m conscious she may discover it unusual to see her pal ‘copying’ her once-favourite seems to be, Single White Feminine-style. However her view is that it’s nice to see somebody — particularly a detailed buddy — getting use out of clothes she as soon as beloved.
Ellen revealed being given her mom’s hand-me-down health club garments evokes her to work out
The identical could be mentioned for my mother-in-law, who just lately complimented me on a beautiful tropical print maxi gown I used to be carrying. I needed to remind her it was one in every of hers. (And no, she will’t have it again, irrespective of how a lot she now likes it.)
I suppose some males may discover it barely unusual to see their spouse dressed up of their mom’s garments, however I’m fortunate my mother-in-law is trendy and fashionable, so it’s not like I’m sporting outfits from the Sixties.
Nearly all of the hand-me-downs from my mum are health club garments — she is among the fittest older women I do know. Should you’d requested me a decade in the past if I’d put on my mum’s garments, I might have laughed in your face however, now, I’m not embarrassed in any respect. The truth is, she evokes me to work out.
I respect not everybody’s a fan of hand-me-downs. Some individuals really feel unusual carrying a buddy’s undesirable clothes, or nonetheless bear the scars of a childhood spent carrying elder siblings’ cast-offs.
However in case you are comfy with the concept, I’ve discovered a few classes. First, if requested the place your garments are from, by no means embarrass the one that gave them to you by publicly asserting it. In the event that they’ve given them to you as a result of they’ve placed on weight, the very last thing they want is you drawing consideration to that reality.
Ellen mentioned ‘in a world the place we’re all making an attempt to be extra sustainable, there’s no disgrace in giving some garments a couple of additional months’ put on’
Plus, I’ve discovered that some ladies don’t inform their different halves after they’ve purchased garments, not to mention after they’ve given them away with the tags nonetheless in.
It’s additionally a good suggestion to be sure to don’t undergo a bag of goodies in entrance of the ‘donor’, in case you wouldn’t be seen useless in any of it. I at all times undergo my hand-me-downs in my own residence, then both move something I don’t need on to different individuals, or donate them to charity. It’s the place they had been heading anyway — I’ve simply saved my buddy a journey.
It would really feel awkward to ask, out of the blue, to take a look at a buddy’s undesirable garments however, in the event that they point out they’re having a Marie Kondo- model filter out, simply ask in the event that they thoughts should you take a fast look — with the sweetener of providing to take something neither of you desires to the charity store for them.
In a world the place we’re all making an attempt to be extra sustainable, there’s no disgrace in giving some garments a couple of additional months’ put on. If somebody’s already eliminating one thing they clearly don’t need it any extra. And, as Pamela has advised me, there’s no higher praise than a buddy admiring your model a lot she desires to take it off your again!
As for me, I get to look as elegant as my very trendy buddy. Everybody’s a winner.
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