‘Champagne tastes on a beer budget’ (make that a water budget) would be a very apt saying to describe my taste in fashion. As you may have seen on my blog, I like to review the latest trends and celebrity looks and this usually results in me lusting after various luxury designer pieces. Mulberry clutches, Dior dresses and Burberry trenches all feature in my dream wardrobe.
But the high street is home when it comes to fashion for me, and I love it! Like the majority of girls my age, this is where we pick out our birthday and graduation dresses, our first date frocks and our holiday outfits. Our everyday jeans cost on average £40 compared to a pair of Victoria Beckham skinnies which would set you back £265. Our heels are a steal at £25 in New Look (making it acceptable to RUIN them on a night out), compared to an £800 pair of Louboutins.
Give or take a couple of designer investment pieces and a Mulberry courtesy of my madre, my wardrobe is happily flying the flag for high street. But what about the next level, the humble charity shop piece? How many of us have really given charity shopping a chance? Do we instantly dimiss charity shop clothes as old and dowdy? I’m sure we all have that friend who manages to scout out utter bargains in Primark and look a million dollars in them. The same can definitely apply for charity shop pieces too.
When I went on a daytrip to Bristol this week with my best friend and fellow blogger Jamie (www.allthingsmenswear.com), we of course did the rounds in Cabot Circus but then ventured to Park Street in the Clifton area where we stumbled across a couple of unassuming charity shops. And it was a VERY worthwhile trip! A vintage lilac handbag and some jewellery including a very on-trend monochrome bangle set me back at mere £7. Amazing!
The common cliché of a charity shop which smells distinctly musty with piles of unwanted clothing all over the floor or hung on broken hangers is but a thing of the past! It’s not only the song ‘Thrift Shop’ that has made second handclothing cool. Oxfam have done wonders for the image of charity shop- shopping too, launching their Oxfam Boutique stores with an emphasis on selling the more designer based donations, but still at charity prices. Making charity shopping acceptable for the mass-market if you will. I’ve been lucky enough to find vintage blouses and brand new and current Topshop knitwear in the Cardiff branch! After visiting Oxfam Boutique, you’re then more likely to check out more and more charity shops. And the charity shop cycle begins!
Of course it is a case of luck in many circumstances. Some days all you’ll find is a lonely leather glove, other days you may stumble across an amazing vintage frock and a handbag to match (charity shops are amazing for vintage handbags!!) But one thing is for sure- its really fun! And if you persevere and really hunt around, when you do find your perfect charity shop piece, chances are you‘ll receive more compliments than if you’d just chosen a generic dress from Topshop. And you’re not likely to experience the embarrassing ‘same dress fiasco’ that can occur on nights out. Never is there a more apt moment for a dirty look than there is when two girls see each other in a club in the same dress!
And let’s not forget the very important fact that you’ll really be helping out a charity with your purchases. Proceeds from your investments will go to amazing causes- definitely guilt-free shopping! That’s what we like to hear. So It’s time to turn to charity for salvation!