The phrase “hand-me-down” has a bit of a negative connotation, but I have always found my mom’s and my sister’s closets to be some of the best places to find cute clothes. Sometimes I look through old photos of my parents and long for the outfits my mom used to wear. A lot of these pieces are lost to history, but I have still managed to find quite a few gems stuffed in the back of her closet, gathering dust.
This red turtleneck is perfect for layering under anything from graphic tees to dresses. It helps add a point of interest to an otherwise basic outfit. Here, I’m wearing it under a Looney Tunes graphic tee with a matching red print. Layering is also a great way to remain fashionable while transitioning into the cooler months, for those days when you don’t want to wear just a hoodie!
- Cropped Cardigan
Tons of trendy, fast fashion stores are selling little cardigans like this for $50. Instead, check out your mom’s closet for any old, basic cardigans she might have. I like leaning into the dainty look of this top and wearing lighter colors with it, along with a simple necklace to accessorize. I’m just pairing it with a basic pair of light-wash denim jenas, but it also looks good with a skirt.
- Graphic Tee
This Metallica graphic tee is actually my sister’s. No, neither of us listen to Metallica. Especially if you have an older brother, I recommend digging through your siblings’ closet for any old t-shirts they might not wear anymore. I think a good graphic tee stands for itself in an outfit. I usually wear this with a pair of baggy black jeans and a chain necklace to complete the skater boy look.
My mom’s old, yellow corduroy shirt is by far one of my favorite pieces in my wardrobe. It is the perfect shade for fall, and the slight corduroy pattern adds a nice touch of texture. I wear this with warmer, autumnal colors. I matched it with a tube top that has matching yellow detailing and a warm-toned plaid skirt.
These brown loafers are my go-to shoe for a preppier look, and they are just professional enough to get away with them in an internship setting. I don’t own any other brown shoes, so I like wearing these with more earth-toned outfits. Here, I added crew socks to give an extra preppy feel.
Although it is easy to turn to fast fashion stores that imitate the vintage look, try your parents’ or older siblings’ closets to find authentic vintage pieces instead of purchasing brand new, mass produced clothing from a factory. Wearing secondhand clothing is by far the easiest (and cheapest) way to fight against fast fashion and live a little more sustainably.