Style Guide: Olivia

This Second Hand September, we’re speaking to customers of the Retail Hub about why they choose to shop secondhand. Some people think that shopping preloved means your chances of finding great items or putting together outfits that suit you are limited. However, this is not the case.

This week, we’re speaking to Olivia, who – when she’s not studying Fashion in London – often shops at the Retail Hub for her latest outfits.

How long have you been shopping at the hub?

I’ve been to the hub a few times over the past couple of years, but recently, I’ve been coming every week! I’m studying at University in London, so I’ve been visiting the shop regularly to grab some bargains over the Summer before I go back down.

What is the best item you’ve found at the hub?

I found a great 60s-inspired, Made in England dress. It reminds me a lot of Woodstock fashion, which is an era I love!

Describe your style in three words.

Vibrant, Fluid and Weird.

How long have you been shopping sustainably?

I’d say around three years. Since going to college and being in the town centre, there are lots of charity shops to look at. I’ve always visited charity shops with my Mum and Nan, and it became a routine for us to see what we could find.

Why did you decide to start shopping second hand?

It’s always been a hobby for me, and I like the excitement of not knowing what I will find. There are many positive impacts of it too. You’re helping the environment whilst supporting a local charity. There are also financial benefits, and I think you always get more quality for what you pay for.

What would you say to people who haven’t shopped second hand before?

There’s a stigma most of the time, and people can think it’s cheap or embarrassing to shop second hand. I think more people should be aware of the quality of clothes you can get and the benefits of pre-loved shopping.

What have you found are the benefits of shopping second hand?

You can find your own style at the hub and buy clothing that isn’t currently ‘on trend’. It’s more unique, and you have a wider range of styles to choose from. I like finding weird stuff, and there’s always something unique at the hub.

What do you do with unwanted clothing?

If it’s a special item, I might try to sell it online, or I’ll donate it back to charity shops. I tend to hoard clothes and don’t get rid of them unless I need to. Although it’s something I might not wear now, I might change my mind in the future or find something new it could go with.

What are your tips for finding great items when second hand shopping?

For me, I always look at the sleep section. You can find silk dresses, skirts or corsets that are great for layering. I like the sports sections too; it can be fun wearing things like oversized football shorts.

Do you alter or upcycle any pieces you get from the hub?

If the cut isn’t really me, I’ll unpick it, chop it up and change the style to something I prefer. That way, I can make it into something that suits me better than anything I could buy off the shelf.

Style in 5!

As part of her ‘Style Guide’, we gave Olivia five minutes to put together an outfit using pieces currently on sale at the hub. Here’s what she chose!

Our Retail Hub is based on the Fall Bank industrial estate in Dodworth, just three miles from Barnsley town centre. For SAT NAV use S75 3LS. Open Monday to Saturday, 9 am – 4 pm.

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