an affordable wardrobe with thredup.

July 18, 2017

This post is sponsored by thredUP, a secondhand shopping website selling like-new clothes.

I’ve said it before: When it comes to clothes, I’m mostly a terrible secondhand shopper. Despite knowing the relative environmental and financial benefits to be reaped from buying secondhand, I balk at most traditional secondhand clothes shopping experiences. They bring to mind overcrowded racks, whiffs of cigarette smoke lingering on polyester, the omnipresence of fellow shoppers hoping to swoop in and lay claim to anything truly special hidden among the hangers. I can browse through old linens and homewares all day, but present me with a stuffed rack of clothes and I’m likely to just pass altogether.

Still, on the road to growing an ethical wardrobe, buying secondhand is a very good place to start. It keeps clothes that have already been made on bodies and out of landfills. thredUP is an online secondhand marketplace committed to making that even easier.

Folks who are interested can sign up to gain access to thredUP’s vast inventory where brands are listed for up to 90% off their original retail rate. The best part? thredUP’s inventory is fully searchable from the comfort of home. While there’s a wide range of brands available on thredUP, for me, one of the nicest things about being able to browse their inventory is the chance to look for special pieces from designer brands that might otherwise be a real splurge. I used the company’s search tools to look for brands whose quality or ethos I admire. Being able to also narrow my search by selecting my size and color preferences made quick work of wading through virtual piles of options. (Some fifteen thousand new items are added to the inventory daily!)

For this partnership, I ended up finding four examples of items from designer brands available for small fractions of what I would otherwise have spent. Indeed, on the four items that I selected through thredUP, the combined savings was a whopping $690. Staggering on all fronts.

Everything from thredUP arrived like-new and neatly wrapped in tissue (and shipped in a Sustainable Forestry Initiative box!). thredUP clothes are triple-checked to ensure high quality before shipping out. As for shipping, it’s free on qualified orders and for any items that turn out not to be right, thredUP makes returns easy.

Here’s what I ended up finding:

This (breast-feeding friendly) cotton A.P.C. shirt dress retailed originally for $248, but I found it on thredUP for $48.99. It arrived in beautiful condition and bearing A.P.C.’s signature exemplary construction. (It even includes a 100% cotton removable slip that I’m very excited about).

This pair of gingham shorts was a little bit of an uncharacteristic choice for me, but they’re also beautifully made by A.P.C. from a gorgeous linen and cotton blend. At $36 instead of $165, I felt a lot more comfortable taking the risk to add a little something extra summery to my wardrobe.
100% silk pants from A Piece Apart were the next investment piece that I was able to find at a tremendous discount—$64.99 instead of $295. They’re super soft and comfortable without looking like full-on pajamas.

Finally, like last time, I took the opportunity to see if there were any silk camisoles that could work well in my rotation. This one from Canadian brand Wilfred retails for $179, but I was able to find it for just $36.99.
If you’re interested in giving them a try, thredUP is offering the first 100 people an extra 40% off with the code RMTL40! (Applies to new US customers only. Redeemable online only. Discount up to $50). 

This post was sponsored by thredUP. All opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that support this blog.

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  • Reply Jennifer July 18, 2017 at 9:10 am

    Thanks so much for this! I took my 1-year-old and 2-month-old to the thrift store yesterday in search for a breastfeeding friendly linen dress. Same disenchanting experience, with a side of baby fussiness and toddler meltdowns. This is a great option.

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE July 18, 2017 at 9:13 am

      Ah, solidarity! Hope you find something to love!

  • Reply Kelsey July 18, 2017 at 11:21 am

    Love buying second hand— I’m not sure if it’s just my browser (chrome on OS) but the links aren’t showing up in some spots. Just wanted to let you know!

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE July 18, 2017 at 11:31 am

      Hmm! Thanks for letting me know!

  • Reply Laura July 18, 2017 at 2:32 pm

    Something I’ve always wondered about ThredUP — how do you get the right size/fit? I feel like I wear a different size in every store and it would be hard to guess if it was a brand I didn’t know. What if you get something and it just doesn’t look the way you thought it would?

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE July 18, 2017 at 2:44 pm

      If you get something it just isn’t right, you can always return it! But for me the beauty is actually that you *can* shop by brands that you *do* know. So if you know a great designer jean fits just right, you can search for that specific brand and scoop up a pair a fraction of the usual price. Does that make sense?

  • Reply Amanda K. July 18, 2017 at 6:57 pm

    I really love thredup for all the reasons you mentioned. They’re also INCREDIBLE for children’s clothes. I’ve been able to purchase most of my kids’ wardrobes from ThredUp for the past year or so.

    A bit ago I wrote my review of the company as a SELLER and it became such a controversial post! People have lots of opinions when it comes to selling 🙂 The post, if you’re interested:

    • Reply JPB July 19, 2017 at 5:57 am

      So interesting to read about this! I don’t live in the states, but here in Germany we have a similar controversy about sites which buy everything from books, clothes to electronics.

      Where I live we are fortunate enough to have a small couple who runs a business picking up and selling clothes on ebay, the money that is made is split 50/50. A great option as a seller, though as a buyer there are less options when it comes to returning items.

      There also is a very popular clothing exchange site, where you can buy or trade with individuals. I often feel though, that people are buying more new clothes knowing they can sell them for good money after a while…not sure how sustainable this is.

      • Reply ERIN BOYLE July 19, 2017 at 11:24 am

        Nothing’s without complications, hunh? It is interesting that a lot of folks seem to buy in part with an eye toward resale value. It’d be interesting to see a study about whether that led to more or less waste!

  • Reply Stargirl July 18, 2017 at 7:12 pm

    I got a lot of my maternity clothes from threadUP! It worked out really nicely and it was fairly zerowaste!

  • Reply Amanda July 19, 2017 at 12:51 am

    Love thredup! I have scored two silk blouses from Amour Vert and a lovely organic linen dress by Eileen Fisher. Plus I stocked up on wool base layers by Polarn O. Pyret for my children!! Also, their return policy is great. Free return shipping if you take the credit instead of a refund. I don’t mind doing that at all because I know I will eventually find something that works. Of the last 5 or 6 orders I have made, I have sent items back 3 times.

  • Reply Dana July 19, 2017 at 9:48 am

    I’m apparently that rare bird that revels in the disarray of thrift store shopping. Aisle upon aisle of unappealing mess, and somewhere in there are a few $5 gems that are screaming my name. Finally spotting them sets my heart aflutter for the rest of the day! Ha – my family thinks I’m crazy. But I haven’t had much luck searching for maternity clothes at all, so I’ll give thredup a try!!

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE July 19, 2017 at 11:23 am

      Haha, you’re definitely not alone. I know lots of folks who feel that way!

  • Reply Grace July 19, 2017 at 8:56 pm

    Hmmmm I have always wondered about Thread Up but I never want to take the time to sift through all of their pages. I am in desperate need of new work clothes, however, and I sure do not get paid enough to purchase a brand new wardrobe! Looks like I’ll need to take some time to peruse Thread Up–especially based off of all the lovely clothes you found.

  • Reply Rosie July 20, 2017 at 5:00 am

    This is such a good idea, and they ship to the UK as well! I try to shop secondhand as much as I can, but I struggle to find exactly what I want in the charity shops in my town, so hopefully Thread Up will be able to help when I next need something.

  • Reply Rachel Q July 20, 2017 at 9:22 am

    I’m a big thredup fan and want to point out for anyone reading this post thinking “secondhand clothes are not supposed to cost $50,” there are also tons of options on thredup in the $5-20 range. Fear not. I do love the fact that you can get luxury brands on steep discount but just wanted to make sure people weren’t scared off by the examples here. Whatever your price range, thredup has something for you.

  • Reply Sorcha July 20, 2017 at 9:56 am

    Thanks for this post, I had no idea ThredUp delivered to the UK (and with reasonable rates it seems!) Although I couldn’t take advantage of the great discount fingers-crossed I’ve still got myself a good deal. Just waiting with baited breath for my order to arrive across the pond. 🙂

  • Reply Alexis July 21, 2017 at 3:32 pm

    I’ve used Thredup to sell and to buy clothes for my little guy. It’s a little daunting when shopping for myself!

    Do you have any tips – do you shop by category, brand, size…?

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE July 21, 2017 at 3:47 pm

      All of the above! But I always start by narrowing down by size and colors! Those filters stay on, so it makes browsing super easy and means you don’t have to wade through as much!

  • Reply Charlene July 21, 2017 at 4:48 pm

    I’ve had very little luck finding silk camisoles on thred up. Do you just search often or use special keywords I’m missing?

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE July 23, 2017 at 2:28 pm

      Nothing you’re missing, but the stock does come and go so frequent checking or making a wishlist might be the best trick!

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE July 23, 2017 at 2:28 pm

      Nothing you’re missing, but the stock does come and go so frequent checking or making a wish list might be the best trick!

  • Reply Katie July 21, 2017 at 8:42 pm

    I lOVE Thredup. It was also great for a wardrobe clean-out–I got $40 toward new-to-me clothes from the items that were sellable, and they seem to dispose of what can’t be sold a little more responsibly than your average Goodwill . I am a big secondhand clothes shopper already, though. 🙂

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