Growing up I just loved to shop. Saturday’s were made for heading out to the shops with my friends. It was on one of these trips that we ventured down the street lined with second-hand shops rather than the road with all the usual high-street shops. I ended up with a bag full to the top of second-hand sartorial greatness and my second-hand eyes were opened to a few alternative ways of shopping.
1. Second-Hand Shopping
Age 13: I ventured into my first Oxfam when on the shopping trip with my friends. After a quick rummage through the rails I was hooked.
Age 15: I found myself in the Topshop on Oxford Street. Rather than rummaging through Topshop own brand, I found myself routing through the vintage section I had never come across before. An hour later I was the proud owner of a pair of vintage, pointed boots which I wore and wore…and wore for bloomin’ years.
Age 18: Off to university I went. I went to Brighton which I quickly discovered was FULL of charity shops and the lanes are lined with vintage greatness. My love for all second-hand shopping grew per-retty rapidly.
Age 23 & Beyond: University done and it was off out into the working world. Although I started earning, I still found myself digging though the rails of the second-hand shops, not only for a bargain, but also for the unique and wonderful dresses/tops/skirts.
Charity & vintage shopping, in my opinion, are the absolute best way to find all things from studded shirts for a few pounds to heavily embellished dresses at a tenth of the price as the high-street equivalent to floaty 70’s dresses for every single occasion. This makes for alternative shopping at its absolute sparkliest – for all ages.
2. Swap Shop
This alternative way of changing up the wardrobe is my favourite – because it involves friends and Prosecco/gin/*insert-beverage-of-choice*. A few weeks ago after a natter, a drink and a few merry hours, I found myself with a new patterned dress, a pair of culottes and a whole bunch of jewellery. I also found that I had a little more space in my wardrobe since I had traded in a few pieces I just never seemed to wear. Love Your Clothes have some wonderful tips on how to organise a successful swishing clothes swap.
Sharing food is something I’m notoriously bad at in my family. Sharing a curry? Not for me, I’ll be ordering my own and sticking with it. Think the scene in Friends where ‘JOEY DOESN’T SHARE FOOD!’ Now just replace ‘JOEY’ with ‘HANNAH’. However, sharing wonderful fashion pieces is something I can get on board with.
Share Our Style is a website from which customers are able to rent a bag for a few days/weeks rather than having to fork out for that Burberry/Chloe/Chanel bag. I asked Sam more about Share Our Style and why it’s important to find an alternative to fast fashion.
So, want that Lulu Guinness Lipstick clutch? Rather than committing on the splurge, you can rent it and get your fix. This kind of alternative shopping is perfect for anybody as indecisive as me!
And that’s it. Three ways to shake up the ol’ wardrobe with a little alternative shopping. If you know of anymore ways to shop a little differently then let me know – and the more that involve Prosecco, the better!