Second Hand Designer Labels

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Once upon a time, I'd buy designer fashion labels. Brand spanking new. Dolce & Gabbana, Jean Paul Gaultier and Versace were my chosen brands. I can't really tell you why I chose to buy such expensive clothes, I suppose I was earning a relatively good salary at the time, and had a higher disposable income, taking aside life's financial priorities that change later in life.

There is the assumption that designer clothes are of better quality, which is certainly the case when compared with poorly made disposable fast fashion that we find in shops today.  Although, as fashion changes so frequently, it does seem ludicrous to spend so much money on just one item of clothing.

I'll be honest with you, I do still buy the occasional designer label, but, only if I happen upon it second hand. Much in the way one might find a gorgeous silk piece in-between the polyester nasty, or an original vs modern replica vintage number, second hand shopping has a certain jackpot element to it, there's an admitted rush to finding a quality garment, particularly when found at a bargain price.

I have recently purchased a blouse with a designer label.  It is not one of the higher end designers, but still usually comes with a price tag I'd otherwise not consider. SABA, an iconic Australian label by Joseph Saba, that has been in existence since 1974.   I'll admit, it was the label that caught my eye before the garment, I'd always admired SABA's designs.

On first feel it became apparent this white blouse was silk, it is beautiful to wear, and a great fit.  At $6 in Salvos, maybe I did hit the recycled fashion jackpot this time.

I know Laura (A Little Boutique Near Home) has an impeccable eye for a designer label, the pieces she finds on her op shop jaunts are amazing, and always suit her style.

Readers, do you look for second hand designer labels for your own wardrobe?  If so, what has been your best luxury label find?



Sally - Charity Shop Chic said...

I recently bought a Burberry Couture suit in powder blue for £17.99. It's custom made, sadly custom made for someone else though!

Unknown said...

Sally - that's a bargain! Will you be able to refit it to your size?

Agy said...

Hmmm... I haven't actually seen any 2nd hand designer garments in my local thrift store, but I have for the shoes!

Pull Your Socks Up! said...

I can imagine the feel of that beautiful silk blouse. I don't look for modern designer brands and if I do see something it's the wrong size or it's been given away for good reason - silly design. Mind you I have a lovely Sacha Drake frock I picked up four years ago for $9 - such a beautiful print, but it slips off my shoulders which is, I guess, why someone gave it up. xo

Be-Have Urban Atelier said...

Here in Florence I find lots of designers pieces as second hand in local markets! I have a Gucci 80's knitted sweater, a Lanvin cardigan, a Jean Paul Gautier jacket, a Yves Saint Laurent Jacket, an Armani jacket , a Vivienne Westwood sweater and many other italian big names that I think are not so well known abroad....everything from 2 to 5 euro!

Laura said...

Thanks for the lovely mention Erica! I was formulating a comment response in my head and you beat me to the punch.

My wardrobe does contain (ahem) a rather high percentage of designer items.

I wanted to say that one of the reasons why it does is because I learned to identify quality fabrics. (It helps that I work with them in a second hand boutique!)

So it makes op shopping for designer clothes a whole lot easier if I can identify something by touch – for example, a pure silk top like your beautiful Saba purchase.

I don't have one particular favourite purchase, but the vintage Burberry bag and Gucci bag would have to be in the top five; along with a Bvlgari necklace I bought for $10 (I was very lucky – a staff member priced it on the spot and there was a queue behind me!).

So anyway, great post Erica and can't wait to see the top!

Patti @ NotDeadYet Style said...

What a gorgeous blouse! I did find a lovely Yves Saint Laurent blouse once for $29 and snatched it up. It was beautifully made.

photosarah said...

I bought a Diane Von Furstenberg plaid shirt for $1.50. I don't think they recognized the label at my local thrift store because they price Old Navy items at $3-5. But it doesn't really work for me some I'm wondering if I should refashion it or sell it or...? I've held onto it for about a year now debating.

Kelly Jackson said...

Your find looks so beautiful; thanks for posting the larger photos so we can see the detailing. I don't look for designer duds per se, but as with Laura, I do look for quality cuts and fabrics - which often are vintage and sometimes designer. In France I'm finding a lot of great French designer labels, from Weill coats to Lancel handbags. My best designer find lately: amazing Thierry Mugler statement jacket, for four Euros. And I want to see Laura's Bvlgari necklace!

Unknown said...

I'm with you on only 2nd hand designer - just as my budget doesn't allow me to go first hand!

Far said...

You hit the jackpot there! Lovely piece.

Charity Shop Chic (Sally) said...

@Erica, not sure yet, but I bought it just in case ;-) Skirt should be no problem. Jacket more tricky - sleeves are way too short - they could become 'bracelet length' I suppose!

Mel-Bee said...

My favorite find was a Michael Kors handbag at Goodwill...for $3! It's a black leather boxy number with a strap long enough to fit over my shoulder. I like the treasures found at Goodwill because I know I will be able to use it in my daily use, instead of saving for special occasions, since it was so inexpensive. I won't feel guilty about lugging it about and I get great use out of a fashionable pece I would normally feel guilty about splurging on.

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