Buying tips: weigh and pay sales – the aftermath (!)

I went to a weigh and pay sale on Sunday (another post to follow on the finds) and thought I’d just write a quick few lines on my post-weigh and pay process.

  • Try it all on

First off, I open the bag and try everything on and look at it in a full length mirror.  This way I know that everything fits, and whether I have to remove any shoulder pads.

  • Give everything a good once over

Eyeball patterned fabrics particularly closely, as sometimes holes are hidden in the pattern.  A blouse I bought this weekend had a particularly large hole which was only visible when I tried it on, and I’ll need to figure out how to patch them up.  It’s also worth looking for stains, particularly on the bust and front and back of skirts/dresses.

  • Work out what it’s made of

This isn’t as stupid as it sounds.  A lot of items I’ve picked up at weigh and pay has had labels removed, or is handmade and so has no labels.  Anything wool I would get dry cleaned, especially if it’s got a lining.  Silk I would hand wash, just in case, and anything else I would stick in the machine.

  • Address any stains/marks

For light coloured garments, as long as they aren’t woolen or silk, I soak in a bucket of warm water and vanish powder overnight.  A dress I bought on Sunday had a couple of large stains on the skirt and on the sleeves – but a soak for 15 hours has removed all traces of the marks, brightened up the white edges to the sleeves and mesh front.  It’s also livened up a white dress and a top.

  • Get it in the machine

Wash everything as soon as possible, and don’t let it rest in the machine.  As soon as the load has finished whip it out on to hangers and let it air dry – if you can’t get it outside on the washing line, hang it in a doorway.  I’m a big fan of doing this on the day of the sale as I find that as the stock at the sale has been shoved into large bags and squashed together which gives everything a somewhat fusty smell; hand washing unlined woolen items and silks, and sticking everything in the machine as well as drying in fresh air helps to freshen everything up.  If you really struggle to get a garment freshened up, professional dry cleaning is a sure fire winner – albeit a tad on the expensive side!

  • Get pressing

For anything synthetic, a low iron is best, but you might find that using it on a damp garment yields better results.  Anything cotton you can go for it with a hot iron and steam.

And that’s it!  Then it’s just the tricky decision of working out what to wear next!



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