The lovely Louise from Pauper to Princess recently wrote an article for the Mirror Online on how to bag a charity shop bargain. Having been a while since I spoke about all things thrift/second-hand I thought it was about time I added a few more of my top tips – mainly so I can discuss my favourite subject once more over on this little corner of the inter-web. Back in March I posted my top five tips on how to get the most out of charity shopping. My number one tip is still to visit as often as possible. Even if it means popping in for a couple of minutes. You never know, Alexa may have just dropped off a bundle after a wardrobe clear out (forever an optimist). However, if Miss Chung hasn’t happened to drop a bag of all things Luella and Chanel, here are a few additional tips to ensure you leave with a full bag having donated a little towards a brilliant cause.
1. GO WITH A FRIEND
Patterned Dress (Worn as a Shirt/Cover Up): Oxfam
For this section I had been looking for a picture with a friend whilst out ‘n’ about shopping but it turns out we’re too busy shopping and nattering to take even the quickest of selfies. Second-hand shopping with a friend is perfect as a second pair of eyes is always a great thing. Often I’ll love something but can’t think of what I could pair it with in my existing wardrobe but my friend will see that item in a different light and will be able to give valuable fashion advice. Mooching around the charity shops with a friend, in my opinion, is a bloomin’ great way to spend a Saturday. Chuck in a coffee and cake and I’ll never want the day to end.
2. DON’T DISMISS THE SALE RAIL
Shirt: Prospect Hospice
When browsing around charity shops it is easy to dismiss the sale rail as left over items, the ones no-one will want. I used to head straight for the dress rail, ignoring the sale rail on the way. That was until I found my favourite shirt tucked away in the discount section of my local charity shop. It has quickly become my most worn shirt for Autumn. I love it so ruddy much. The reason it had been demoted to the sale rail was because it had a small splash of bleach on (which is on the centre front of the shirt) but I really don’t notice this flaw as the pattern is so prominent. Having picked this shirt up for £1 (?!) and having worn it a number of times already, I’m pretty sure the price per wear is almost negative!
My absolute favourite thing about charity shopping is that you never know what you’re going to find. High-street stores are laid out for the consumer which is great but sometimes the element of surprise amongst the second-hand rails is much more exciting. Don’t be put off if sizes/colours aren’t neatly arranged as they would be on the ol’ high-street. Just roll your sleeves back and get digging.
4. BE OPEN MINDED
I should listen to my own advice here. When I see an item of clothing on someone which looks blommin’ amazing and they tell me it’s second-hand, next time I’m in a charity shop I can’t help but look out for that exact piece or a similar item. I know the chances of finding that item or similar are minuscule but I can’t help it. When looking for a specific item in a charity shop I find that I am less open minded – I have an idea and I will stick to it. Going into a charity shop with no plans enables me to see the potential in many different pieces of clothing which I may had previously ignored had I been riffling through the rails looking for that specific thing.
5. LAYERING POTENTIAL?
Dress & Top (Worn Underneath): Oxfam
Whilst I wouldn’t wear some dresses alone, it’s the combination of a slouchy t-shirt with the dress that can make me realise it’s potential. I loved the pattern of the dress above but I’m not a fan of wearing strappy, low-cut dresses so I teamed it with this white, long-sleeved t-shirt and wore it a hell’uva lot over September/October. If you’re after some 90’s layering inspiration just re-watch the first few series of Friends – which I may or may not have done over and over and over again!
There you have it, my next 5 tips to ensure you get the most out of second-hand shopping. If you missed my first five tips you can read them here. Let me know if you have bagged any charity shop bargains lately as I would love to know what you have picked up.