• Jessica Whelan

Shouldn't These 10 Celebrities Buy New Clothes?

Updated: Feb 4

A woman dressed in trendy jeans, jacket and heels approaches a wall of photographers in the street
Fashion always makes a statement, regardless of style.

What would your closet look like if you had zero constraints? If you had a practically unlimited budget, your healthiest body, tons of opportunities to dress up and dress down, and lots of people around you excited to see what fresh new outfit you put on each day?

Entertainment industry A-listers fit that description. And lots of them have stylists, designer freebies and luxury brand endorsements, making it even easier to look incredibly well-dressed every day. But what you might not know is that many of them are eschewing all that in favour of clothing with history.

Are these a group of crazy people who have no sense of dignity or decorum? Are they wild-eyed eco-fanatics who would dress in a burlap sack if it would save the Amazon?

No. Their reasons are diverse, but I bet you have more in common with some of these celebrated performers than you might think. Really.


  1. Julia Roberts is often spotted at thrift shops getting things both for herself and her kids. Kids' clothes change all the time because both their bodies and their preferences are transforming all the time. So it's just an obvious choice to get something that can be worn by many children rather than just one.

  2. Willow Pinkett-Smith and her mom Jada like to thrift together for fun and a great opportunity for bonding as a family. I do this too! My daughter (7) loves hunting for her next favourite dress with me, and being able to buy it herself with her allowance.

  3. Sarah Jessica Parker saw the documentary The True Cost, saw people who work in garment manufacturing suffer, and then decided to jump into the deep end of thrifting to the extent that she only buys preloved for her son, and even her recent TV wardrobe (for Divorce) is secondhand. Thrifting is a way to live your values.

  4. Angelina and daughter Zahara both wore the same silver gown 20 years apart. It's become a family heirloom and something special they share.

  5. Zooey Deschanel has an outsider, hipster vibe and is known for her quirky, thrifted, vintage style. If something was beautiful 20-40 years ago, why wouldn't it be just as gorgeous today?

  6. Janelle Monae's uniqueness is undeniable. She sure doesn't do it because she wants to save money. Instead, she thrifts because "I like one-of-a-kind pieces. I don't like everybody walking around in stuff that I have on." Thrifting is for folks who don't want to follow the herd or have the herd follow them.

  7. Helen Mirren thinks that when you travel, it just makes sense. Why fill your closet with stuff you rarely use? Just thrift it at your destination and then donate it back at the end of the trip. She also knows that many preloved and new items are of equivalent quality, so you can't even tell the difference.

  8. Joaquin Phoenix wore the same Stella McCartney tux to back-to-back events in 2020. The actor and the designer both eat a plant-based diet, and and their passion for animal rights means they also care about protecting the environment and reducing waste by reusing clothing, even if that's outside the norm in their industry.

  9. Tiffany Haddish is a practical person who cares about value for money, so she wants a good return on her investment. This outfit certainly isn't a thrift find, but it goes against the grain of never repeating an outfit. She has famously worn the same $4K white gown to 8 different events (That makes it $500 per wear, which is starting to come close to what many people might spend to dress for a major event. ) There's also an emotional facet: the dress has been with her for some huge life milestones.

  10. Macklemore got famous talking about spending $20 in a thrift shop. The song was catchy and the topic was off-kilter, but the reason people loved it was his "I don't give a F*&^" attitude.

The thing that he and all the folks above have most in common is confidence. The ability to be themselves and follow their hearts without apology. They know that the person makes the clothes, not the other way around.

Do you wish you had the confidence to put yourself out there and do your own thing, fashion-wise? Dive in with just one thing. If you have an event or occasion coming up, plan ahead and give yourself time to thrift it. If there's an outfit you completely love, see if you can replicate it with thrifted pieces. And if there's a look you see your girl crush sporting on the street, see if you can hunt up a thrifted equivalent.


Remember, each of your finds will still be new -- to you. It's a way to find things with character, that have a meaningful story behind them.

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