How to shop smarter New Zealand!

Search our catalogue for books on vintage clothing
Search our catalogue for books on vintage clothing

I remember as a kid being dreadfully ashamed that my mother bought second-hand clothes.  She loved nothing better than a good scramble through other peoples discarded goods and would pounce gleefully on a “perfectly good skirt”  that someone, “obviously well-off”  had chucked, and would bring it home triumphantly. When I became a hard-up student I began to appreciate her eye for a bargain, and so my love affair with everything second-hand began.

Time passes and so do trends.  Secondhand is now referred to as ‘Retro’ or ‘Vintage’.  We no longer slink into secondhand shops under the cover of darkness, and celebrities proudly proclaim that the beaded Dior dress they are wearing is indeed – Vintage.

The Library of course, being at the forefront of all new trends, has a multitude of books on all things vintage, retro and recycled. 

Our webpages also have some really useful guides on this subject.

5 thoughts on “How to shop smarter New Zealand!

  1. Laraine 6 April 2010 / 7:12 am

    My Dad used to buy second-hand furniture and it definitely wasn’t the thing to do to buy ANYTHING second-hand in the fifties. I remember one of those oak sideboards with bowed lead-light doors, a lovely oak coffee table and so many dressing tables I lost count. He stripped them and French polished them. They were, unfortunately, hard work to look after and made me vow that when I grew up and got married I would have furniture that didn’t need polishing! Sadly, the fashion for second-hand goods is likely to make finding a bargain even harder for those who desperately need bargains. My mother didn’t need to buy second-hand clothing because she made all our clothes (and worked full-time as well) and there were always hand-me-downs from older sisters and cousins.

  2. absolutelyobvious 6 April 2010 / 10:01 am

    I grew up in a second-hand household. My Aunt would go to jumble sales and pick up clothing for her kids, and when they were finished with them – they sent them on to our family. I coveted all of my sisters clothes – waiting for the day when they would be passed to me. Our furniture was second hand and so were our carpets and curtains. Mum made things last too. If our bed sheets got worn, she would cut them down the middle, and then sew the outsides (less worn)to the middle and re-hem the worn outsides – in fact, she did something similar with a carpet once! Yep, it was all recycle and re-use! These days, I buy a mixture of new and old, I love trademe, and always try to buy on special.

  3. Laraine 6 April 2010 / 2:44 pm

    My Mum did the same to our sheets. Clothes were mended and patched where possible, too. Socks were darned, though I have to admit not by my mother. I remember Nana Ryan doing that for us. It makes me wonder if our feet were tougher than they are now. I don’t think I could tolerate darned socks! Don’t think I could tolerate a horrible seam down the middle of my sheet either.

  4. keenan.j 13 April 2010 / 5:39 pm

    Good point about finding a bargain being even harder these days as it becomes more fashionalable to buy second hand. Even though we may like second hand it is interesting that darning socks and turning sheets doesn’t seem to be finding quite the same resurgence!

  5. Laraine 13 April 2010 / 5:47 pm

    Keenan, I don’t think I fancy lying on sheets with a bulky seam down the middle. I remember not liking them as a youngster; I’d find them even worse now. I have no idea how my mother managed to find time to do all these chores, and make all our clothes, because she worked full time –even during the school holidays. We were “latch key” kids.

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