22 March, 2015

Five Tips For Charity Shopping

I don’t claim to be an expert in many things. I was always following students around for help with my Mathematics homework, I double check how to cook the most basic of recipes with my Boyfriend (how can the beans STILL be cold?) and I usually go left when someone instructs me to turn right. But if there is one thing I believe that us 20-something gals on a budget have sussed out – it’s how to bag a bargain. That being said, my favourite place to pick up a unique bargain are in those charity shops. Here are my top tips for to maximise those little charity shopping trips. 

1. Visit Often
I am always popping into my local charity shops for a little browse - whether it be on a lunch break or on my way to meet friends. On occasions, I get lucky. It will be as though a girl my size/age has donated half her wardrobe the previous day and the rails are packed with all things Topshop/Urban Outfitters. Other times, it's the vintage items that surprise me and I wouldn't have thought about wearing them until a bit of lust at first sight. The more frequently you visit the better chance you have of finding that thing you love. The term 'right place, right time' was invented for charity shopping (I'm sure?!) and all it takes is a five minutes stop-off on your journey for a quick rummage to bag a bargain! 

2. Don’t forget the accessories
Although it’s easy to get carried away trawling through the dress rail (always my first stop in charity shops) I always make time for necklace/belt/bag basket.  A few of my most worn thrifted items are accessories. Whilst necklaces on the high-street can now come in around the £15 mark (on a good day), you can often find some real gems in the often abandoned corner of a charity shop for a fraction of it's high-street price.  

3. Separate co-ords

My favourite coat (from the Cancer Research shop) was part of an 80’s style, jacket/skirt suit and is probably not something I would wear together. That being said, I love the coat and pencil skirt equally. The coat has seen my through some icy ol' days this Winter whilst I love teaming the skirt with a scruffy tee to balance out the smartness – I can only wear a certain amount of posh-ness in each outfit! My favourite summer co-ord of 2014 was the vintage blue trouser/t-shirt combo (pictured above) and although I have worn it together I have also worn the trousers a lot as a separate as they are super-duper comfortable. 

Don't be put off by co-rds you wouldn't necessarily wear as a co-ord. Look at it's potential as two separate items and think of it as a great two-for-one deal - it would be rude not too. 

4. Think of its potential with a little DIY

My favourite dress from last year was initially a big ol’ 80’s style prom dress with puffed up sleeves that were almost the size of my head. As much as I love a little fashion nostalgia, I wouldn’t have worn this dress had I not dyed it, hacked off the sleeves and shortened the length. I'm always browsing for DIY ideas on the inter-web and pinning on Pinterest. The High-Street is also a great place to search for those potential fashion DIY ideas. I like to visit the Urban Renewal/Vintage corner of Urban Outfitters which is often packed with DIY’d t-shirts, shirts and dresses which could easily be replicated at home using thrifted items for a fraction of the price. 

5. Wear it how you wanna

Last summer I was really loving silk kimonos and with the designer beauties being a little (a lot) out of my price range I searched the charity shop for a good ol' kimono dupe. Whilst I didn't find any in the jacket rail of my local charity shop, I did find a silk dressing gown which wouldn't look out of place amongst Hugh Hefner's collection. Soon after purchasing I ditched the dressing gown rope and wore it open with a shirt/skirt combination (pictured above). Don't be put off if an item of clothing in a charity shop is in the Men's section or it's not your usual size - if you have tried it on and love it, buy it and wear it how you want too. 

Have you found any great charity shop items lately? Do you have any vintage/charity shopping tips - I would love to hear them :) 

Love, Hannah x


  1. great tips!! keeping an open mind is so important!
    xx nikki

    1. Ah that's a great one - I find that really hard sometimes! I go in thinking 'I want a black dress' - and I never find it :) xx

  2. Some great tips here. I did wonder when you were going to do a post like this, as you always seem to find such incredible pieces x

    1. You're very welcome. That blue coat, with the pink fur, is especially gorgeous x

  3. Good tips! I always wish I could do this more often when I see people like you with all these great finds, but the idea of not knowing who was wearing something before me still kind of weirds me out (especially in nyc haha) xx


    1. Oo I bet there are some great thrift shops in NYC :)! I know what you mean - I use a lot of hand wash before wearing something then it feels pretty new again :) xx


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