I really think charity shopping should be classed as an art form. And for a charity shop lover like me living in Kenilworth is ideal, every other shop is a charity shop which means i often dedicate an afternoon to looking up and down the high street.
Over the past 5 ish years I’ve become an avid charity shopper. I am addicted to the idea of finding something special or something one of a kind. Ive put together a list of 4 key things to follow if your looking to become a charity shopper or already are one and just haven’t been very successful till now. Ill also include some of my best charity shop finds to give you a look at whats out there. Also to you people who are grossed out by charity shops there is such thing as a washing machine!
1)Feel for quality:
Don’t spend hours looking through every single item on a rail, its just a waste of time. learn what good quality looks and feels like and eventually you will be able to look at a rail and the quality/branded items will just jump out at you. Your looking for thick luxurious fabrics. A trick if your shopping for men or items to sell on is to search through the shirts section. Make this easier for yourself by learning logos of brands and then its as simple as flicking fast through the shirts looking for that one stand out label.
2)Hit specific areas. You don’t need to worry about hitting every single corner of the shops. There a only a few worth while areas to hit and they are: Mens shirts,womens jeans/skirts, mens t shirts and accessories.
3) see it how it could be:I tend to look at an item with imaginary scissor lines, For example: A skirt can be shorneded or taken in , a t shirt can be cropped. A pair of jeans could be frayed. Use your imagination and think of how you could customise the item to suit you or current trends.
4) Understand your not always going to find treasure. Charity Shopping is a hit or miss situation, one trip you could find 5 items and another trip you will find nothing of substance but understand that they are constantly getting new donations and often when you find one item you will find more than one in one go as people tend to make donations of bulk and will have other items of your taste and size.
Now to some of my best Charity Shop finds.
VINTAGE TEDDY-BEAR SILK LINED COAT!
I found this coat a good 4 years ago in a charity shop in kenilworth for £10! it was such a good find as the quality is amazing and I found it right at the beginning of the faux fur/ fluffy coat trend so had been worn year in and year out every Winter since! It has been washed multiple times and always comes out fresh and fluffy and adds interest to any boring outfit. Teddy bear coats have been everywhere on the high street this winter and have cost a good £60 upwards! HERES AND EXAMPLE OF A URBAN OUTFITTERS EQUIVALENT
REAL LEATHER MINI-SKIRT
I found this Leather miniskirt on a recent charity shop trip where I found around 5 items. This fits me like a glove and sits high waisted just how I like skirts to be. The Leather is in amazing condition and i haven’t taken this off every since. It looks amazing with jumpers/turtle necks and ankle boots for the ultimate 60’s vibe which is my astetic. This cost me £4 and has also been all over the highstreet for much more and often only pleather. HERES AN EXAMPLE OF A FAUL LEATHER TOPSHOP EQUIVALENT
METALIC RUFFLE T-SHIRT
I found this top a few weeks ago and although its nothing AMAZING i picked it up for a few reasons. 1) it being a trend piece, ruffles and metallic were both trending this past whole year and this will continue throughout 2018. 2) The quality. The t-shirt is from M&S which tells me it will wash well and not bobble. Its just a plain tee with a facelift, its as easy to style but adds interest and trend substance to your a look.
This is one of two pairs of genuine Levis Jeans I found in the same charity shop as the leather skirt recently. I always make Levis a priority on my list to look for every time i go into a charity shop because they are so well made, expensive to buy new and also hot right now for the 80’s/90’s revival. I particularaly search for Levis because the vintage shape fits my body shape better than jeans you can buy on the high street due to the snug waists and rounded loose fitting hips and leg. With the Two pairs I found on this trip i have frayed the hems to give a more relaxed and modern touch to them. A tip for finding Levis is to know the colours and feel. Levis jeans are distinctly better quality than other jeans and are much higher percentage pure denim than newer style jeans. You can flick through the jeans section very fast when looking for Levis as all you need to do is have all the jeans with their backs to you and flick through looking for that iconic leather label. One pair cost me £3 and one cost me £4. Much cheaper than the exact same thing “vintage” shops are selling for £25 upwards.
VINTAGE VELVET COCKTAIL DRESS
This is a beautiful Vintage cocktail dress I found a month or so ago. Its amazingly well made with darts and seams that make it fit like a glove. This was something I went out looking for but it caught my eye due to the quality of the fabric standing out at me. Its very 80’s party style which I love and this is my version of a body con dress which isn’t something I usual would wear. I think this dress is also trend based for this coming year as it has the velvet slip dress kind of feel too it which can be seen all over the high street at the moment. I haven’t yet worn this because i am going to shorten it to give it a modern twist and then I’m looking forward to having somewhere to wear it to.
This is my favourite recent find. I have been wanting a beret for a few months but didn’t want to pay the high street prices for something i knew i would be able to find in a charity shop if I looked hard enough. I was particularly hoping to find a Kangol one because it is the ultimate hat brand and the best quality. I was rummaging through a basket of hats and the logo jumped out at me. This only cost me £3!
If you found this guide at all useful please leave a comment! Feel free to follow me Here on my instagram to keep up with more finds and to see how I style these items. Thank you 🙂