For years, the term ‘second hand clothing’ seemed to be a no-go and to be honest: it wasn’t very appealing to me either. When I visualized second hand it were old, worn out, sweaty clothes that somebody else wore for weeks, months or years. They want to get rid of their clothes and I am supposed to welcome those items with open arms? No, thank you.
I believe many people still raise their brows if someone ‘admits’ to buy second hand clothing, but nowadays – actually for years now – you have two types of second hand: the normal stores where you probably feel the above described association and second hand designer clothing. And right there things are looking up, or at least for me. Since I have dedicated a whole page to stories about me, the endless doubter in buying investment pieces and the fact that it often occurs that I can’t find the item anymore. First I thought: ‘Yugh, second hand no, I will not take part in that, I’m not going to parade around in other woman’s clothes’. Until I discovered that Marktplaats (the Dutch Ebay) isn’t all scruffy and ugly. If you filter on ‘New’ or ‘As good as new’ you might find a little something. At least, that happened to me. Of course, nowadays you have all kinds of fabulous fashionable initiatives like The Next Closet, Vestiaire Collective and Designer Vintage, but let’s go into that some other time.
Let’s be honest here. Wouldn’t you rather like to do some offline browsing, as in: entering an actual brownstone and being surrounded by beautiful pieces, feel the fabrics and immediately scoot into a fitting room? That’s what I thought. Good thing is you actually can do that offline and therefore you visit – here it comes – second hand designer stores. If you now visualise some unorganised, scruffy little shop with shelves high dust and an old lady behind the counter, think again. In the year 2015, and even way earlier, there are gorgeous second hand designer stores with fabulous items hanging all around oozing luxury fashion. Think Salon Heleen Hulsmann in Amsterdam, a myth in this branche if I understand it correctly – I have never been there. Unfortunately, during my Amsterdam years I didn’t know it existed in the first place. Second of all I obviously didn’t have the money for it and third, you could only browse the store by appointment. But, now that we have Instagram (Sing Hallelujah!), people all over the world (including yours truly) can see what is entering the Amsterdam salon.
Think second chance
The fact that I have spent six years in Oss (North Brabant, The Netherlands) isn’t quiet relevant, but it does explain why my favourite second hand designer store is located there. May I present to you:Deuxième Chance is the name that you will associate to second hand designer items from now on. Owner Sandra van Zeeland has always been infatuated with fashion and after being part of a large company for years, she decided it was time to immerse herself in her biggest passion: second hand designer fashion. As this hobby became larger than she imagined and she found the shopping space of her dreams (Boterstraat 69), she opened her store, with, like she calls it herself, exclusive second chance designer clothes (and accessories). In this store you’ll find gems like, let’s do a bit of name dropping: but Burberry, See by Chloé, Marc Cain and Max Mara are present as well. In addition, she has some pieces from premium brands (think DEPT, G-Star, SuperTrash). Everything is organised by colour, with a neat little label, of course all the pieces all squeaky clean and without threads or unexpected weirdness. Some of the pieces are even entirely new! As I marked Deuxième Chance as my favourite – I may live in the fabulous city of Berlin, when I am in Oss, I have to go visit Sandra. And I am not the only one, I’ve heard people actually come from all over the province, country even, to visit Sandra’s store and then, then you are doing a good job. I must say it doesn’t surprise me one bit. Not only is Deuxième Chance a great, lively, cosy store with gorgeous brands, Sandra herself is an enormously warm-harted, friendly, involved person- always in for a chat with a cup of coffee or tea. Needless to say, I never manage to visit the store in an hour. She knows exactly what’s in store (not always goes without saying in a store), is able to give you advise whenever you ask for it and most important: she’s always honest and I really appreciate that. I dislike stores where you get a ‘Oooooh, that looks fabulous on you’ when you are looking in the mirror thinking ‘hm I have looked better’. Now, I realise it almost sounds like Sandra is paying me to say all this, but I swear she’s not. The fact is that I just love Deuxième Chance and while I secretly would like to keep all the beauty to myself, Deuxième deserves an article. If you talk (brand)experience and you want to experience a good second hand designer store, Sandra is your go-to address. Of course I bought myself some fabulous items too while visiting:
The right photo below is a wonderful soft linen sweater (Sandro). Unfortunately, it doesn’t show quit well on frame (I never said I was a good photographer).
To cut a long story short
However, I can ramble about Deuxième Chance for another two pages but I would rather have you experience it for yourself. Whenever you are visiting The Netherlands and are in North-Brabant, go straight to Sandra. Then again, what are the chances if you are reading this article in English, so to give you a sneak peek of what the store has to offer at the moment, you click here for an overview.
Editor’s note: please don’t go for the Paul and Joe sister jumpsuit. That has my name written all over it.