Did I mention that I quite like flea markets? I like to think of them as my spiritual home. I’m only half joking.
Much like stepping into a health food shop, once you get over that questionable musty aroma that always comes part and parcel with a visit, they are often a treasure trove of delights.
As someone who loves clothes but can’t always afford to buy new ones, I find these secondhand sanctuaries give me a bargain-hunter (emphasis on hunter, be prepared for clothing chaos) thrill at a fraction of the usual price. Between high street and online purchases, that is.
In no way am I advocating hoarding but what I’ve learned from my mother is as follows:
- Stockpiling useless electrical wires/cables, notes, discarded toys = pointless and hinder-some.
- Saving well-made or timeless items of clothing = absolutely worthwhile.
I tend to be the first port of call for dress-up parties and have chosen to take it as a compliment that my friends now refer to my wardrobe at home as ‘Narnia’. Just call me Mr Tumnus. Not really though.
What I love about flea markets and charity/vintage shops is that you’re guaranteed a bit of originality in what you will be wearing, provided you aren’t fooled into buying something from Primark for the same price it would have been brand new in store.
While it’s easy to fall into a pattern of buying things just because they’re cheap, the virtuous glow of an item that is
gloriously inexpensive is sure to fade once your drawers starts piling up with crap you’ll never wear.
My best advice is to approach those railings with caution. Don’t purchase something just for the sake of it, even if it’s a only euro, because if the quality isn’t good or the fit isn’t right then all it will do is take up space in your room and in your life. Not to mention the fact that those euros add up and it may be worth saving them for that one truly great and slightly pricier item you have your eye on instead. Or food.
Train yourself to look out for special pieces and good brands that you can regard as investments. Like my Italian leather Furla backpack (see top pic and feel free to be jealous). At the end of the day you don’t have to buy anything and it’s perfectly okay, although disappointing, to walk away with nothing from time to time. Also, wash before you wear- these places aren’t called flea markets for nothing people.
So, go forth and relish the moment when you can reply to a compliment with ‘Oh thanks, it was a steal at this little market I know’. One day you might even be lucky enough to discover a(n apparently unisex?) ski suit to provide hours of snow-filled fun for you and all your friends.
Smug won’t even cover it.