For a long time, I simply could.not.be.arsed to sell my unwanted clothes on Depop. Yes, it would have been a little extra pocket money, and yes, it would probably have been a better way of recycling rather than dumping all of my older bits on my Mum, but there were many other ways I wanted to spend my time rather than hanging 33 different items up on my clothing rail and taking endless square pictures for the listing.
Not only that, Depop is notorious for outrageous ONOs (Or Nearest Offers, for you n00bs). Listing a pair of designer, barely worn, box included shoes for £150? You better expect somebody to slide into your DMs with a "£15 including shipping?" offer that befuddles you to the point of nearly deleting the app and burning all of your items in a tribute to the Gods of Gall.
There's also the endless rivalry between Depop and eBay to consider, a bitter duel that has divided second-handers and bloggers alike for many, many a moon. On the one hand, people on eBay will buy literally anything, and they'll also bid above the odds just to knock their competitor off the top spot, even if they don't really want what they're going to end up paying for.
With that being said, I've never listed a series of items on eBay without knowing that at least one person will request a refund for a ridiculous reason. There's much more anonymity to Depop, so you can be the biggest douche you want without fear of reprimand.
And then there's Depop. Super easy to use with a handy in-app messaging system, it seems like the best platform for bloggers wanting to open their unused bits up to new homes, but it's definitely not one for a quick sell. It's so bizarre sometimes as well; I'll pop up a really cute knitwear piece that I love but just don't get to wear, thinking that it will fly off the figurative shelf, only to see that it's still left up 3 weeks later but my scuffed, worn in old boots have been nabbed.
When I committed to full time blogging, however, I didn't have much of an excuse to not start offering my clothes up to a new home. That, and my 'items to sell or giveaway' bag was rapidly expanding as the season turned to Autumn and I decided that I hated everything I owned, and needed to reinvent myself as the latest writer and fashionista in the ManRepeller.com team (still waiting for a response to my application, but I'm hopeful).
So there I want, wandering into my spare room with a tea and laptop in hand, ready to tackle the mountain of items that I'd been casting to the side for weeks and forgetting about moments later.
The process was long-winded, although aided by my third re-run of Peep Show playing in the background. After what felt like an eternity (the hyperbole makes this story flow better, so just roll with it), my items were up and, in a moment of pure adult sensibility, I decided to package everything up there and then so I didn't leave it all until the last minute and end up shipping items seven days after the original purchase.
Day-by-day items were selling, and I even got a little bit addicted to the buzz of seeing my PayPal balance increase and my clothing rails seeming refreshed. Anything I hadn't worn recently suddenly got papped and posted, and for the first time in a while, I finally began to appreciate some of my older items that had previously been hidden between brown jumper and, oh look another brown jumper.
As the unloved items left my wardrobe for a better home, I suddenly came to appreciate the staple items that I couldn't bring myself to part with. Take these wide-legged Topshop trousers, for example, that I've owned since the start of this year but which have sat neglected for months on end. When it came to working through the pieces I was going to keep and let go of, I had to ask myself two questions: 1) Have I worn it recently? and 2) Am I going to wear it again (and none of that "I might do one day" bullshit, either). As soon as I popped these trousers on for a test-drive, I remembered how much I loved them.
It's very easy in this day and age of amplified consumerism and the 'more more more' culture of bloggers and influencers to feel like every week - if not every day - needs to be accompanied by a new purchase. Whether it's a new notebooks for all of your new thoughts, some new shoes for the new season or some new jeans because your old ones aren't quite the right shade of fashionable blue, we're led to believe that new is always better.
But having worked through the numerous trend items that I'd picked up on a whim because I thought they'd be the one (no need to elaborate - you know what I mean), I came to understand that I'd yet again fallen victim to the lure of pleasure buying. Of buying for the sake of having something new, rather than for the sake of having something good.
Decluttering my wardrobe made me appreciate the pieces that I loved, rather than the pieces that were still in stock online and so might bring in some rewardStyle revenue.
It's also really refreshing to know that your second-hand bits and pieces go on to live another life. How will that denim dress be worn again? By itself? Layered over a rollneck? Combined with matching denim or worn as a tunic over a pair of trews? Rather than casting your bits aside to maybe be worn once by your neighbour's moody teenage neice, it's comforting to know that somebody appreciates the value of an item as not rapidly deteriorating the moment that it has been worn.
Second-hand doesn't necessarily mean antiquated or old, and in a way, refreshing my wardrobe of the pieces I no longer needed has injected a similar second-hand lease of life into the items that I did keep. I very much got stuck in a loop of rotating one pair of blue jeans with another pair of blue jeans (although I needn't tell you guys that, because the evidence is plenty), but once I'd shed the clutter and minimised my items down to much fewer key and versatile pieces, I began to feel excited about dressing again.
I don't live a minimalist life by any means, but I do think there's something in culling the unnecessary and focusing in on items that bring some kind of value to your life. Whether that value is the clear-headed clarity that a clean and tidy space allows, or it's the value of creative combinations returning and a passion for dressing reigniting your mornings, cleaning out your wardrobe is as mentally soothing as it is spatially.
Just don't forget to pop your old bits online - you never know what life they might end up leading.
BAG - GUCCI
NECKLACE - MI MONEDA*
PHOTOGRAPHY: MICHAELA TORNARITIS
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