I first learned the word sustainability during my MBA program in 2012, and I do believe we all need to be more conscious of what we buy, who makes it and where the item will end up after its useful life is over. It might not come across in my many fashion reviews but I do think about sustainability and do my best to lead a minimalist lifestyle. I definitely have had moments in the past year of writing for Hourglassy where I thought “should I be recommending this garment for people to purchase?” Ultimately, the struggle of dressing a full bust means that anytime I find an affordable option I want to share it as I recognize that not everyone has the clothing budget to buy bust friendly brands and that many of the brands marketed as sustainable are not going to fit a full bust.
My version of sustainability is purchasing clothes that I will wear until they are so worn out that it’s no longer appropriate to wear them. At which point I gather them and drop them in the recycling bins at H&M. But the best way to be sustainable? BUY USED. There wasn’t much to do where I grew up or where my best friend in college grew up (we are both from rural communities in Michigan) and throughout high school and college I bought a ton of used clothing and generally viewed my thrifting time as a super fun activity. If you are ever in Ann Arbor, Mi definitely check out the Salvation Army on State Street and the Value World in neighboring Ypsilanti. In my 20s, in Los Angeles, I upgraded my thrifting to Cross Roads for designer jeans and t-shirts. Five years ago, I switched from working in television production to working in a corporate office (still in the entertainment industry) and my work clothing had to switch from jeans & t-shirts to business casual. Trying to find used clothing for a full bust that is also business casual in thrift stores is nearly impossible. Which leads me to my favorite shopping site – eBay (all the pictures are clothing items I have purchased in 2019 on eBay).
I have been an eBay shopper and seller since 1998. Below are my tips for finding bust friendly clothing on eBay:
- Shop brands that you know and are familiar with the sizing.
- Purchase items with stretch. Like sweaters and jersey dresses. For Bravissimo this means buying a size that is CRC (Curvy/Really Curvy) or RSC (Really/Super Curvy).
- Another tip for finding Bravissimo, search under Pepperberry (the former brand name).
- Learn the lingo – NWOT means new without tags – you can buy super expensive full busted bras for half price NWOT. Or NWT – new with tags. NIB is new in box (useful for buying shoes).
- Be aware of the shipping price. Is the Bravissimo item you are bidding on in the UK? Then shipping to America is going to be around $20.
- Look at how many stars sellers have. I have been using eBay for 21 years and have 463 stars. If a seller has over a 1,000 stars then they are most likely a professional seller. My theory with professional sellers is that they are buying name brand goods that they find at thrift stores and re-selling. This is a great side hustle but in my experience items from these sellers tend to be much more worn and pilled than items from sellers with less stars. Another way to check if the clothing is coming from the seller’s personal closet or a thrift store? Look at what else is for sale, if it is similar sizes than it is from their closet and most likely in better condition. If the seller has clothing for sale in all different sizes than they are a professional re-seller.
- Not all sellers except returns be sure to be understand the return policy before you buy.
- Realize that about 25% of what you buy probably won’t work out and either return it, resell it or in my case give it to my sister.
Want to learn more about buying used clothing? Check out one of my favorite fashion (also gluten-free and zero waste) blog, Paris to Go. Ariana buys almost only used clothing and always puts together amazing outfits. She hasn’t posted in over a year but has a ton of content that is worth checking out.
Have any of you had success on eBay buying clothes?