Charity Shopping Tips & Tricks

So today I thought I’d sit down and write another post for my series about secondhand shopping – I’ve thought up a list of tips and tricks to increase your chances of finding something special while rummaging through the charity shops!

Time:

Charity shops will receive most of their donations on weekends when people have the most free time, this means that their newest stock will be out at the beginning of the week. If you’re looking for first dibs on new stock go on a Monday/Tuesday morning.

Place:

What you’re most likely to find depends on the location of the charity shops. Big cities are most likely to receive designer donations whereas small towns and villages are most likely to have cheaper price tags and this is where you can bag yourself a 50p party dress!

Don’t be afraid to rummage:

Once you’re in the shop, take your time and look at every rail in every section – you never know where you’ll find that hidden gem! It could be a badass vintage band tee in the men’s section , the prettiest slip dress in the underwear section or a fabulous Parisian silk scarf at the bottom of a 20p bargain bin.

Check out every size:

As a lover of all things oversized, I always check out the bigger sizes as well as my own but I have petite friends who’ve managed to grab themselves something magical from the children’s section too! Also, vintage sizing is way different to sizing now and so if something is pretty old always give it a look over or a try on.

Check the label:

Check for good quality at a low price, a lot of it is just high street but you can often find designer farms or true vintage that’s made to last.

Use your imagination:

Something you’re drawn to may not have the right fit, be adorned with ugly buttons or huge frills in the wrong places – get creative, try things on and think how they could be worn differently, turned into something else or what else the piece could be worn with that you already have in your wardrobe.

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I hope this has inspired you to get into charity shopping or encouraged you to be more courageous with your secondhand purchases, whether that be through some D.I.Y or shopping in the men’s section!

Carrie-Anne x

Why shopping secondhand is best and why fast fashion sucks!

I first got into shopping secondhand at around the age of 15 when I was becoming more experimental with my personal style. I discovered vintage and charity shops in Leeds when I started going shopping more with friends, although none of my friends back then were really into it so I mainly did it alone.

It soon became clear that this was the cheapest way to get one-off pieces that nobody else had. I would feel unique when I wore something I was sure none of my peers had, feel good for giving my money to a good cause or independent business rather than to Topshop or Urban Outfitters – which I could only really afford when there were sales on anyway – and it gave me a confidence boost when someone complimented my outfit and were shocked to find out it was from a charity shop.

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One of my favourite dresses ever and slamming charity shop barg, styled with the same belt as above, also another fave!

This was around the time I started immersing myself in the online fashion community of YouTube and Blogger and occasionally I shared what I’d found rummaging through charity shops in a video myself and it seemed to go down pretty well and I now make these kinds of videos regularly – here!

I love the feeling of finding a dreamy dress for £2.99 that I know I can wear out and won’t be wearing the same thing as the girl across the street. It also saves you a lot of money that can be used to be more creative with your style – rather than splurging £30 on a t-shirt from Topshop, you could have bought an entire outfit and accessories. Yeah sure, you won’t always find what you’re looking for but the hunt is part of the experience and the buzz you’ll get with scoring an amazing piece for super cheap makes it all pretty exciting.

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Styling this amazing boho dress from Tigers Eye with some vintage Harley Davidson boots I scored at Cow.

Not only does this way of shopping give you a huge ego boost, it’s also much greener to shop secondhand. In doing this, you’re not part of the harsh reality of underpaid workers in factories but also think of all of the clothes already in the world, being thrown out and ending up in landfill – there really is no need to buy brand new mass produced clothing every time you shop. Discover hidden gems, recycle and reinvent them to build your own personal style that you will then be known for, rather than simply blending into the background.

Vintage is also so much more sustainable than the fast fashion of today. The groovy garments you find in these shops have lived such a long life because they were made to last, unlike that Primark jacket you bought last year that is already wearing away and torn under the arm. This past life of the clothing also gives the piece a sense of history and wonder about it that fast fashion doesn’t have – imagine who was wearing this pair of jeans back in the early 80s…

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Another proud charity shop find was this beautiful Zara dress (AGAIN with my bloomin’ belt from Cow) and a vintage baker boy hat.

I hope these points have inspired you to become a more conscious shopper for the sake of the environment and your inner narcissist in having the most eclectic wardrobe out of your circle of friends. Have fun treasure hunting!

Carrie-Anne x