Fashion guru says used clothing can be stylish

An Ottawa editor of an online fashion magazine says second-hand clothing is both an affordable and savvy way to dress stylish.
One Ottawa fashion editor shops second-hand for her style. 3:07

An Ottawa editor of an online fashion magazine says second-hand clothing is both an affordable and savvy way to dress stylish.

Ottawa's Malorie Bertrand runs Ef Magazine, which promotes sustainability and affordability when buying fashionable clothing.

Joining the CBC's Judy Trinh, Bertrand was given a goal to buy three high-end outfits for at or under $100. She decided to look for a night outfit, a work outfit and daytime outfit and she chose to avoid retail stores.

Bertrand found her first outfit for $17 at Value Village. ((CBC))

"You look at it and say, "Ugh, if I could only afford that," but that makes you challenge yourself," said Bertrand, whose online magazine promotes sustainable fashion through photo shoots, interviews with designers, shopping guides and street style shots.

Ottawa has about 60 second-hand clothing stores

Bertrand estimated 90 per cent of her wardrobe is second-hand. Her favourite shopping destinations include the approximately 60 thrift, vintage and consignment stores around Ottawa that sell recycled clothing.

"There's such a variety of items. They're all one of a kind. They may not always be from the latest season but it's easy for you to pull a bunch of things together and make your own style," she said.

This outfit, including a jacket, skirt and vest, cost $57. ((CBC))

The search for fashionable outfits can be a scavenger hunt, she admitted, but she showed the CBC she could find her night outfit at Value Village within 30 minutes. She paid the low price of $17.

One of Bertrand's favourite Ottawa stores is a consignment store called AMH Boutique where merchandise is sold at 60 per cent off the retail price.

She found her daytime outfit for $57, including a vest, jacket and skirt. Bertrand also found her work outfit, scoring a black dress for $22. The total of all three wardrobes came to about $96.

"If you're looking for your own style to be unique, this is the way to go," said Bertrand.