I have a confession to make…. I actually went first-hand shopping! This is something which probably happens a couple of times a year for me. Last year I bought a gorgeous black jumpsuit with my Christmas money and I have not regretted it once.
But the reason for my first-hand shopping this time is because I have a new grown up job!! At the beginning of this month I started working (part-time) as Heritage Publicity Officer for The Roman Baths, Fashion Museum Bath & Victoria Art Gallery!!! I cannot tell you how exciting this is! It has been a long time in the waiting (I originally applied for a similar job a couple of years ago but needed to update my skills. There then followed 22 months of fruitless job applications and interviews, digital marketing courses and voluntary work placements).
Of course a new job means a slightly updated (and smarter) wardrobe. Hence I dipped my toes into the relatively unknown territory of First-Hand Shopping. My knowledge of shopping in Bath is shaped by the location of second-hand shops. I make a beeline for Walcot Street,George Street, Westgate St, the charity shops on Argyle St/Pulteney Bridge and the Dorothy House shop opposite M&S.
But High Street store shopping means following a completely different route – and not one that I am very familiar with. I wrote this post here about how I am only familiar with High Street labels if I have bought them second-hand.
Anyway I had a list of very sensible items of clothing that I needed to buy for my new job and really struggled to find any of them! In the end I picked up these two tops and a pair of black ankle boots (all in the sale as I still like a bargain!)
The black polo neck is from Apricot and a wardrobe ‘classic’. I had to be very disciplined when shopping this time and only purchase wardrobe staples. I also had a sensible white shirt on my shopping list but couldn’t find one I liked anywhere. Instead I opted for the white high collar blouse from Marks & Spencer. Funnily enough one of my first jobs in post is to publicise the Fashion Museum’s ‘Lace in Fashion’ exhibition so the lace detail on the blouse makes it very apt!
The black boots had been on my list for a while and, having failed to find any second-hand, I was fortunate enough to be able to purchase them from Debenhams for just £15.
But that was the extent of my excursion! Having undertaken my First-Hand Shopping expedition I just realised that:
1. When you get to your forties (and I suspect even earlier) you realise that most clothes shops look the same.
2. Second-hand shops aren’t always cheaper (esp when compared to some High Street stores) but the clothes on their racks tend to be longer lasting and even better quality.
3. Second-hand shopping allows you to dress individually.
4. I just prefer second-hand/charity shops, and in cities such as Bath there isn’t always that much to choose between the look and contents of these stores as compared to High Street stores.
5. As long as your clothes are clean and smart you really can dress second-hand for work.
What about you? Do you wear second-hand for work? Do you think it depends on what type of work you do?