How to save with second hand wardrobe additions

midlife blogger twirling in a faux skirt suit with neon yellow top outfit

How to buy high-end fashion on a budget

Many of us love thrifting and conseigning. It’s the hunter in us, the thrill of a great find, saving on expensive clothes, or just the need to stay on a fashion budget, while having to dress for success, who knows. Second hand stores often have perfect, barely worn clothes that we could not afford first hand. And yes, we feel good about shopping there because recycling and reducting waste is also good for the environment. We all have different reasons.

How to look expensive on a budget

When you have no deadline, thrifting and/or conseigning are great options to save on building an awesome functioning wardrobe. Browse shops in upscale neighborhoods. Here you typically find higher end brands or designers than those in other areas of town.

style blogger in neon conseigned yellow top witgh black skirt and designer cape
BCBGMAX studded pumps, Lucky Brand suede top (all second hand), eShakti lace pencil skirt, citrin and carved bone necklace, Hermes collier de chien bangle (all own) and grassroot designer cape hoodie c/o Tricia Tanaka

Don’t fall for a high end brand

It is important to try everything on to see how an item looks on you. Just because you love a Chanel jacket doesn’t mean that it is flattering for you body shape. Recall you don’t want a hem line at the widest part of your body. You can determine your body type with this free quiz.

Know your brands

Make a list of brands and designers that produce pieces in your personal style and look for them. If you are lucky to find a Betsy Johnson, but your style is dramatic or classic, this Bohemian find will just take up real estate in your closet and you will never wear these beautiful clothes. Recall wearing designer does not equal to effortlessly stylish.

If you don't look great in the clothes, it doesn't matter that it is a high-end brand. You look just expensive, not effortlessly stylish. #dress4success Click To Tweet

A key to effortless style is fit

Never buy something that doesn’t fit. Therefore, try everything on. Be aware that the pieces can be from brands that you never had your hands on before (but are on your wish list), or even from other countries, each of which might have their own system of sizing. Do I have to mention that the previous owner may have had the piece altered? And yes, even high-end fashion can shrink when the owner failed to follow the care instructions.

over 50 years old fashion blogger in lace skirt with suede peplum top and hoodie jacket
BCBGMAX studded pumps, eShakti lace pencil skirt, citrin and carved bone necklace, Hermes collier de chien bangle, Lucky Brand suede top (all own) and cape hoodie c/o Tricia Tanaka

Size charts changed over the decades

When you are interested in fashion history, you may already know that even sizing systems in the United States have shifted over time! Also handmade items don’t have size tags. And you never know, whether the piece of your choice had been tailored to fit a tinier women than the size tag pretends.

Use a band measure to save time in the fitting room

In thriftstores, the merchandise often is ordered by price rather than size. Thus, it is easier to find your size in consignment stores because their staff sort clothes by broad sizes – typically S, M, L, and XL. Recall size is just a number.

side view of business casual skirt, top jacket work outfit

Nicole of High Latitude Style in fall office attire in black and yellow
BCBGMAX ankle strap pumps, eShakti above-the-knee skirt, statement necklace, Hermes collier de chien bangle, Lucky Brand peplum top (all own) and caplet c/o Tricia Tanaka

Thus, to save time and avoid frustrations caused by too large or too small items, come prepared. A measure band is a great aid. Lay the item flat and take the measures for shoulder width, breast, waist, upper and lower hip as well as length. Multiply the measures with 2 and you have the circumfence. Compare these numbers with your body measures plus 1-2 inch for ease. If the values of the clothing agree with those of your body try the piece on. If not, there is no point in going thru the hassle of undressing, trying on, undressing and dressing again even when you had dressed for clothes shopping.

back view of work look with long hoodie cape and lace skirt
BCBGMAX pumps, eShakti lace skirt (all own) and cape c/o Tricia Tanaka

Know the value of your fav designers and brands

In my tips on scoring high on eBay, I point out to watch the bidding market prior to start buying or bidding to find out whether your wish wardrobe addition is worth its price. Of course, you can’t do this when shopping in a second hand store. However, you should know what your fav designers and brands cost first hand. With this price tag in mind add the upper most price you are willing to pay for a pre-owned jacket, dress, pair of pants, etc. that looks like new. Stick to it with respect to the upper limit. However, always judge the wear and make up your mind whether the wear and tag are in sync. Even $20 for a Gucci scarf, for instance, are too expensive when the scarf has holes or is ribbed.

Fashion on a budget

Finally, to really save and stay on your budget
When thrifting or consigning buy only name brand items that you have on your wish-list. #saving Click To Tweet

Get a list of brands to look for as a cheat sheet to put into your purse or store on your phone to have it handy next time you are thrifting.

Outfit details of the necklace, top and bangle
Citrin and carved bone statement necklace, Hermes collier de chien bangle, Lucky Brand suede top (all own) and cape hooded jacket c/o Tricia Tanaka

Don’t let the right outfit be a random thing. Wear the right look in every situation by looking up what to wear when in How to Dress for Success in Midlife. Buy my book now.

When you like this summer work outfit, please feel free to pin the photos to your Pinterest board.

BTW, don’t forget to sign up for my free newsletter for posts, how-tos, tips and special style subjects!!

Top of the World Style Linkup party

Welcome to the 216th Top of the World Style linkup party! Great you are here. The awardees are:


Top of the World Style Winner Erika of Rejoice for the Day
Erika of Rejoice for the Day became Top of the World Style Winner. Photo from her post

Erika of Rejoice for the Day is the Top of the World Style Winner. She sew this pretty dress herself. Great job! It’s a head-turner, isn’t it?

Top of the world style winner of the week


Top of the World OOTD Readers' Fav Shelbee in traditional American white summer look
Shelbee of Shelbee on the Edge became Top of the World OOTD Readers’ Fav. Photo from her post

Shelbee of Shelbee on the Edge linked her all white vacation and staycation outfit.  These pants and shirt are a great twist on the wearing white  in  summer American tradition.

Top of the World Style weekly fashion linkup party at High Latitude Style @


Top of the World OOTD My Fav Jill of Doused in Pink
Jill of Doused in Pink became Top of the World OOTD My Fav. Photo from her post

Jill at Doused in Pink wore this beautiful sunflower yellow dress with white flowerdetails. Doesn’t this dress scream summer? The leather espadrilles are the perfect shoes with this chic, feminine summer look.

Top of the World Style weekly fashion linkup party @ High Latitude Style @

Congrats Ladies! Grab your buttons for your awards page or sidebar.

See these awesome outfit ideas at the Top of the World Style #linkup party. #OOTD Click To Tweet

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11 thoughts on “How to save with second hand wardrobe additions

  1. I am all about second hand shopping! Top name brands and textures are the best to buy thrifted on a budget.

  2. I’m all for this way of shopping – I get far superior quality clothing and I’m being thrifty and helping to conserve the resources of the planet!! Beautiful pictures, Nicole!! Donna 🧚🏻‍♀️❤️🙏

  3. I’ve been carrying a tape measure with me for years on my shopping trips. If something doesn’t measure correctly when I’m at a rack, it never makes it to the dressing room! Saves a lot of time. Also, I shop at a lot of flea markets and vintage clothing shows where there often is nowhere to try on. Having a tape measure really helps there as well.

  4. Just adore that lacy hem on your skirt and the pop of yellow. I should try this when I go clothes shopping, it does make sense to measure it before getting undressed, especially if you only find 1 or 2 items you want to quickly try on before hitting the next store.


  5. Great thrifting tips! I’ve been guilty of buying something purely for the brand name and then never wearing it because it just wasn’t my style.
    And thanks for the Top of the World Style feature. Love the link up! <3

  6. I just love preloved clothes and thrift shopping. You ought to join us in the #thriftedchicstylechallenge on Instagram next month, Nicole. You’d be perfect for it. The details are in my highlights right now, and will be posted when it gets closer!!

  7. These are great tips for shopping second hand! I’ve been caught up in buying high end pieces that don’t look good on me just because of the price. Thank you so much for the feature! What a nice surprise this morning!

    Jill – Doused in Pink

  8. Great tip about measuring the clothing! How come I had never thought of that – quite brilliant. I don’t own any high end fashion but I’d sure like to. Second hand would definitely be the way to go for me and my budget!

  9. Such a great post on second hand shopping tips! Ever since I started working in a consignment shop, I am way more inclined to shop second hand these days. The thrill of the hunt is the best part, I think! I love this outfit you are sharing today, too. That slip style skirt is so pretty and your shoes are magnificent! Thanks so much for the feature today. What a lovely surprise!


  10. Some great tips here Nicole, glad you shared them. Love the outfit you look fab. Thanks for hosting. Jacqui Mummabstylish

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