Secondhand doesn’t have to be drab or dusty or “so last year”. The market for secondhand clothing is growing exponentially, and thredUP is a large contributor to that growth. Check out the keepers and returns from my latest thredUP order to get an idea of what you can find for your wardrobe without adding fast fashion to the landfill.
A few weeks ago, I ordered a thredUP Goody Box to update my wardrobe with a few new things for fall. I’ve been quite happy with the Goody Box program after trying it a few times, including this Goody Box I ordered earlier this year.
As I poured through the contents of this recent Goody Box when I received it, I was delighted to find a few things I absolutely loved and never would have picked out for myself. A black jumpsuit?! What?! I LOVED it and wouldn’t have ever thought to check it out for myself.
I really like the GoodyBox program. I get a chance to add a few surprises to my wardrobe from a professional stylist, who has skills I definitely do not have myself. And it’s a bonus that they are all secondhand pieces, which is amazing.
Unfortunately, thredUP recently decided to end its Goody Box program. I’m not sure why they canceled the program, but I assume it wasn’t profitable enough to sustain.
Even though you can’t order a thredUP Goody Box anymore, I still wanted to share with you the things I received and what I ultimately decided to keep. At the very least, I love sharing how many stylish, current, and high-quality pieces you can find secondhand.
thredUP has millions (literally) of on-trend secondhand items. Luckily, they have lots of filters so you can narrow down your search to find just what’s on your wishlist. Here are a few tricks and tips that help me find great pieces from thredUP’s massive inventory.
Let’s start with what I chose to keep. My absolute favorite score from this most recent thredUP order is this black jumpsuit. Due to weight changes in the last few years, combined with stepping away from the corporate world, I no longer own a black dress that fits.
Over the last 12 months, I have attended three funerals for grandparents and had nothing to wear. Luckily, a friend let me borrow one of her black dresses that I wore for all three funerals, but I’m happy to have something now that I can wear to such events. And my little black dress (or little black jumpsuit, as the case may be) is perfectly appropriate for happy and celebratory events as well.
This black jumpsuit is just the right amount of class and comfort. It fits like a charm, and I anticipate wearing it often to everything from celebrations to dinner dates with my husband. The material also makes it easy to dress up or dress down for different seasons and temperatures.
I never in a million years would have chosen this for myself, and I couldn’t be happier that it now lives in my closet.
Yellow Bell Sleeve Sweatshirt
I never thought I was a “yellow person” until I got this golden-colored tank sweater in my last thredUP order. I loved it and realized maybe I could wear yellow. Who knew?
Then I received this bell-sleeved bright yellow sweatshirt (that matches our newly-painted bathroom walls), and I knew yellow was really growing on me. I’ve worn this sweatshirt a few times already since receiving it. Yet another item I never would have chosen for myself but really like.
Blue Short-Sleeved Sweatshirt
Do you see a bit of theme yet? Can you tell I asked the thredUP stylist for casual attire that works for a mom who works from home? Another short-sleeved sweatshirt. It’s simple. It’s stylish. It’s comfortable without feeling sloppy. I’m sold.
Brown and White Striped Sweater
I spend a lot of time working from home. I want to be comfortable but also not feel like I’m in my pajamas. Adding a few simple sweaters that pair well with leggings or jeans has made me feel much more put together than some of the bulkier sweatshirts I might otherwise default to wearing.
This brown and white striped sweater from thredUP will be super versatile, so I can wear it with many different things. It also has enough flexibility and flow that it fits well as my weight shifts here and there throughout the year.
Things I Sent Back to thredUP From My Goody Box
I’m not a fan of buying extra sizes and pieces with the intention of returning. It’s such a waste (especially when done with consistency). But I’m also not opposed to having a little fun a couple of times a year to get some secondhand surprises from thredUP. It’s all about balance, folks.
Here are the things I received in my thredUP Goody Box and decided to return because they didn’t work for me.
Olive Puffy Sleeve Sweater
I hemmed and hawed about this one for a while. I think I tried it on a handful of times before I decided to send it back to the shop. I really like it. It was soft and warm. But it wasn’t quite long enough, so it cut off my waist at an odd spot it seemed.
I also really don’t love when my stomach peeks out above my jeans. Instead of feeling self-conscious that my mid-drift was showing all day, I sent this one packing.
Gray Long-Sleeve Shirt
While I liked this shirt, it was too similar to another shirt I already owned. It didn’t make sense to keep two pieces that are nearly identical (and would definitely serve the same purpose). This went back to thredUP for someone else to enjoy.
Black Open Hoodie
This piece definitely has a cozy mom vibe (is that what I’m going for?). However, it didn’t feel all that flattering on me. And the hood had a whole thing going on.
I spend a lot of time at hockey rinks with my boys, so warm clothes are a priority. Sweaters and shirts like this one that do not close around my torso generally don’t keep me as warm as I’d like. So back to the warehouse this went.
P.S. Never take yourself too seriously in a shopping haul photo shoot.
White Short-Sleeve Wrap Shirt
I wanted to like this shirt so badly. I even sent a picture of it to a very stylish friend and asked her how I might be able to wear it. But, to no avail.
Although it has a snap in the front center to prevent it from falling down, I just couldn’t envision how I would truly wear this. I wasn’t going to actually wear it with bright pink leggings.
I don’t have jeans with a high enough waist to reach the bottom of the shirt. And it was very see-through, so I always had to wear something underneath it. I hope someone else gets this shirt and finds a way to love it!
As I sort through items I order from thredUP, either those I’ve chosen specifically or received as part of a Goody Box, I focus primarily on whether or not items feel good when I wear them. I also make note of how many other items they’ll match that I already own. Buying clothes that fit into my existing wardrobe is so helpful when making sure I will wear and re-wear everything I purchased, even if it is secondhand.
With this order, a few of the things slid into my closet like magic. Some of the other items just didn’t feel right. And if I don’t love it, I don’t feel good about letting it linger in my closet (even if it is secondhand or a great price).
Do you shop at thredUP? If not, I’d love to know what’s holding you back. Let me know in the comments, and maybe I can debunk some myths about secondhand shopping.
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About The Author
Jen Panaro, founder and editor-in-chief of Honestly Modern, is a self-proclaimed composting nerd and an advocate for sustainable living for modern families. In her spare time, she’s a serial library book borrower, a messy gardener, and a mom of two boys who spends a lot of time in hockey rinks and on baseball fields.
You can find more of her work at WasteWell, a company that provides composting resources and local curbside compost collection services, and Raising Global Kidizens, an online space to help parents and caregivers raise the next generation of responsible global citizens.