How to: Fashion on a Budget - eBay

Updated: Oct 26, 2018

So yes, I bought this outfit on eBay. No, this is not an advert, nor is it sponsored or any of that hoo-haa. Let's not be ridiculous, I do not generate an audience large enough for that, have you seen my Instagram following? But alas, my motives for creating an outfit entirely from the online auction platform that is eBay are more from a financial standing point. This month I did want to whittle down my clothing spend, but perhaps rather than quitting my fashion addiction cold turkey, look for even cheaper alternatives that don't dent the ol' bank account quite as much.

eBay can be an absolute gem for the coin conscious amongst us, only if you haveth patience! It can also be a minefield of low quality images, month-long delivery times and endless pages of search results. Having said this, amongst the rough, diamonds are sat there waiting to be bid on! I'm going to talk you through my look and give you a few eBay tips and tricks for those looking for some fabulous finds.

The satin shirt. This was won on a cheap bid for a couple of pounds. I am indeed pointing out the obvious here by saying I searched 'satin shirt' in womenswear. But a little note to make within this search is to tick the 'used' box on most searches, unless you are specifically looking for something new by eBay super-sellers, you've trebled your page results, thus, tripling your workload. I had a 90's-looking piece in mind so ticking 'used' is your best bet. This is generally where one-off or small personal sellers will be selling their wears, so you are more likely to find things miss-valued (cheaper) or old wardrobe clutter that could just be hiding a gem. When I'm sifting through I generally am keeping an eye out for items placed on mannequins with more than one photo of the garment, it just means you are able to distinguish the rough fit of the piece on a body shape and get a better idea of the quality of the piece. Also if a seller has made the effort to take a decent picture, they will most likely take more of an effort in the package and shipping process!

Now, lets talk about these awesome stirrup leggings. The stirrup trend has been floating around for a little while now, but hasn't necessarily exploded! I had spotted Zara are about to release a rather lovely looking pair of simple black stirrup leggings and it got me wanting them.. just not for £17.99.. for leggings! I thought eBay would be the best place to turn to, I was thinking dance mom vibes. In this instance I did want something new that probably came out of a packet ya know. My prayers were answered with the first page results for 'stirrup leggings', and for only £3.99.

Now, next up these little diamonte slip-on wonders. With shoes, I sometimes do a slightly more generic search to see what's floating out there. My 'go-to' key words are 'kitten heel' and 'mules' and never forget to specify your shoe size too, otherwise there is the risk of falling in love with those perfectly undervalued Miu Miu slip-ons and dreams can be crushed when you realise they are twice your size! I have in the past included particular eras in my searches (e.g 90's boots) but you will find results limited. Please note, a lot of one-off sellers will not realise what they are selling, particularly items made in the 00s. There is still the line between this era not quite qualifying as 'trendy vintage' so you could totally miss out by limiting your searches.

At last, the sunglasses! I was looking through my collection recently and realised how small in size they all were! After lusting for a pair of chunky acetate Gucci frames for a while, I thought I'd test out how well a larger pair suited me before even fathoming the prospect of spending over £200 on the real deal. eBay had my answer, one might consider these a complete knockoff. I consider them a complete winner, and 100% if and when I can afford to get my hands on those Gucci beauties I will be the first in line. For sunnies, there are loads of eBay shops selling super cheap frame-wear, for tuppence! I would certainly advise avoiding the high street premium and heading straight to the eBay stores to save the extra pennies.

Although eBay might be a little more work, it means you're more likely to come away with one-off pieces no one else will have, and that you've worked a little harder to get (endless page-trawling or a last minute bid battle). You might just be doing your bit for the environment too by deciding to choose a pre-loved piece over a brand new one. I will now leave you with this thought, don't be afraid of the 00's, diamonte and questionable fabrics. Stay tuned for more fashion on a budget tips n tricks. You stay sassy now x