My addiction to going into charity shops and emerging with an array of weird and wonderful clothes has featured a lot on this blog. It all stems from me living next door to one in Fulham, meaning I walk past every single day, I challenge anyone to do this and not go in 4 times a week! It’s hard I tell you.
When I first started buying stuff from charity shops, it was mostly quirky little bags or grandad jumpers that I could take to festivals or wear around the house in winter. Then things got a bit more involved and I started buying, erm….everything. A lot of stuff in charity shops is a bit too far out for my liking, but most now feature high street sections (British Heart Foundation is very good at this) and you can get your hands on some true bargains. It’s also a good way of picking up nice little vintage bits like shirts or skirts that you would pay through the roof for on eBay and in vintage shops. You know what I mean- ‘TRUE VINTAGE URBAN RENEWAL ONLY £55!!!!’ No thanks pal. My favourite ever buy, which i’ve written about before, is this gorgeous dress:
Making the most of second hand shopping doesn’t take much skill, but there are a few things worth keeping in mind. It’s easy when you see something nice to just pick it up and think that’ll do, but check the label and look at the brand. Sometimes I’ve seen charity shops pricing up stuff from Primark for probably what it was bought for brand new. That kinda defeats the object, so be sure to check. Also make sure what you’re getting isn’t damaged, most charity shops are good at marking on labels if repairs are needed, but I’ve bought clothes before and got them home to find holes, broken zips or missing buttons. Bit of an issue when you don’t have a sewing machine and are generally inept with a needle and thread.
I generally use charity shops to buy bright, unusual tops or jackets that I can add to my normal wardrobe and won’t see other people wearing, like the shirt below, which cost £2 from Sue Ryder in Fulham. Scouring through the men’s shirt section is always worth five minutes of your time, you never know what delights you might find. Mens 70s shirts are basically high fashion now days, Urban Outfitters stock stuff similar to what you can find in your local Cancer Research shop.
Going into shops in the morning if you can is usually the best time, as newer stuff that’ll get snapped up quickly is put out the night before or before the shop opens. Also if you’re going in with serious intention to buy, take cash, most take card but the ones I frequent mostly have a limit or just prefer to be paid in cash. I love a good charity shop haul and I am long overdue, so that’s my probably my Saturday morning sorted.
Below: White Vero Moda top: £2. Blue and white shirt £2. Lilac cropped shirt £1.
100% pure silk scarf print shirt, probably unsuitable for every occassion ever but I will never part with- £3.