fashion

The wardrobe-changing magic of 'reverse shopping'.

I like to buy clothes. This is not breaking news. Clothes are a form of creative expression for me, and while some people watch The Real Housewives as their form of relaxing self-care, I like to reorganise my closet.

I also like to shop as an outlet for dealing with stress. “I’m eating my feelings,” one of my friends texted me recently about a period of stress-eating she was going through. “I buy clothes for my feelings,” I texted back. “My feelings have an extensive wardrobe.”

Different folks. Different strokes.

The problem, of course, is that watching The Real Housewives is free and clothes are not.  Eating chocolate is relatively inexpensive while shoes are not.

So what to do?

I’m not sentimental about my clothes. I don’t particularly like keeping things for a long time. I have a short concentration span when it comes to what I wear and the words “investment dressing” make me vomit a little bit into my mouth. Like “panties” does for some people (also me).

So I’m constantly purging my wardrobe of stuff. I give away a lot of it, to charity and sometimes to the Mamamia team (I’ve been known to drag several garbage bags of clothes into the office and lay them out on a table and just say ‘go for it’).

Years ago, I flirted with ebay but I found it too time-consuming. Last year a bunch of Mamamia staff got together to do a Mamamia Wardrobe Sale page on Instagram, but that also proved a bit too hard to maintain.

A few months ago, I put out a call on my Facebook page: does anyone know someone who takes your clothes and sells them for you on eBay? I got a few suggestions and the one that sounded like the best fit was a woman I’d never met called Rachel Moor who has an ebay store and an eboutique called AceyAcey.

Rachel used to work in the entertainment industry but she launched this new business for two very good reasons.

Here's what she told me when I asked her about it:

"Fashion has always had a connection with me. I studied textiles and design throughout my schooling, and was a stylist for many years in both music and television in the late 90s, early 2000s. That lead to a 17 year career as an executive producer in music television. This role took me around the world many times, meeting and interviewing some of the most fashion forward and fashion conscious women, all the while I was searching and hunting for great pieces to add to my own wardrobe in my spare time.
I'd been pretty successful with my music TV career but life had changed both in my own personal situation with a growing family to nurture, and the music TV landscape was shrinking from the prime time heyday.  So I decided to go back to what I started out in fashion!
I always played around with eBay as a hobby buying and selling for a little extra cash  to justify my love of fashion & shopping, and thought this was a natural fit to pursue as a proper job.
Even when I was producing  the world's biggest stars, somehow I always ended up having a wine and discussing wardrobe with them. So far on my journey building my business I've met so many fantastic women who love fashion as much as I do, but are either time poor to recycle their wardrobes, or who just don't know what they should be looking for to further develop their own style.
I always loved recycling my wardrobe with a mix of new but especially designer vintage pieces, and am often complimented on my wardrobe choices.  A challenging task for many, just finding the time to search out hidden gems, so I’ve done the legwork by curating a range of excellent pieces to buy online.
The other major factor is of course ethical. The more we can re-use by shopping smart we are going to leave a better world for future generations to enjoy.
It's been less than a year since the launch of aceyacey.com.au and I'm just amazed with how far I've come. Its a labour of love."

(Post continues after audio.)

So now I 'reverse-shop' in my wardrobe, picking out the stuff I don't wear any more (or never really did because it didn't suit my body then or doesn't suit my lifestyle now) and sending it off to Rachel to sell.

I set aside the money I make and 'allow' myself to spend it on new clothes. That's my kind of recycling.

Here is the latest batch I've sent over to Rachel:

(*Can I pre-empt the commenters who are going to demand I should donate it to charity or give my clothes to homeless women? You can never know what someone does with their money or their time and I'm very comfortable about the contributions I make in these areas in case you're wondering).

And here are the shoes I bought with some of the proceeds of the last batch I sent:

Re: the caption, they didn't have a 36 so I had to buy them in 37 and I'm going to make that work, OK?

Tags: mia-freedman , retail , shopping
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