Charity shops/ thrift stores can be a gold mine for forgotten things, the adorable unloved, neglected needs and inexpensive wardrobe extras- as they say
”One man’s trash is another man’s treasure”
and I’m becoming a most experienced huntress.
I spend many a day wandering these shops in search of affordable fabrics and anything at all that I can add to my Smaug’s cave of junk, and I’m here to share my findings with you!
Those few of you who’ve been to my house you’ll know it’s full of all things begged, borrowed and found ( …And stolen…?!) 😉
My Great Great grandmother’s cabinet filled with dozens of charity shop tea cups, and inherited ornaments. The shelf of books, a mix of mine and my partners who both took creative courses at University, and the Mantelpiece covered in wind-up clocks and skull ornaments.
Our house is filled with spare blankets, cushions, mugs, teapots, books, films, and most importantly- Clothes.
Many many items of clothing and hardly room to fit them all into the places we provide, but the thing is- almost all of my wardrobe, and the wardrobe of my partner is foraged goodies from Charity Shops!
Anything that you’re truly looking for might be hard to find in a charity shop, and they’re not really places to go to get something specific, but dig a little and you can come up with some real treasures.
I won’t go into any of the objects that I found, teacups and teapots can wait their turn, but I will focus more on the fashion or clothes you can sometime garner from these underrated places- There’s STILL a stigma, although thankfully a diminishing one, when it comes to buying clothes second hand- people don’t seem to like the idea of wearing clothes that someone else has worn before them, BUT…
Didn’t you have hand-me-downs from other kids/ siblings/ cousins when you were young? If you tried on clothes in a store, it’s probable that someone else has done the same. We’re all people and only a bit too grown up for cooties- there’s nothing wrong with second hand clothes!
If it really bothers you (It’s alright if it does!) then wash them before you wear them, but the money you save from places such as these is worth the extra spent on washing powder 🙂
This pure wool pencil skirt was around £4.00- It fits perfectly, doesn’t ride up when I walk like so many other pencil skirts do, and it’s lovely and warm in winter! The colour is beautiful and doesn’t run or fade, and its simple style ensures that it matches so many things in my wardrobe already. The scarf was also a charity shop find, and the Iron Fist killer heels were half price (Not from a charity shop though)!
This is one of my favourite pieces of head-wear, and used to belong to the grandmother of an acquaintance. It was donated to a small antique/ collectables store near me where it was saved for me by the owner and I was able to snap it up for £5! Not too shabby for an antique red velvet fascinator!
I don’t get the chance to wear the hat shown above too often, which is a shame because it’s so very ”Audrey Hepburn”! Again, this is velvet (the best material!) but with a contrasting white silk interior. You can’t really see the black flowers that decorate the top of the hat, but it’s perfect for summer. Not clammy or stifling like the shaped felt hats seen so often, and not so floppy that it stops you from seeing the gorgeous picnic you went to! It was a grand total of £5 from Hope house, we all know the beautiful and difficult work they do, so even more worth it!! The belt I’m wearing here was home made, and the pencil skirt was £1.90 from the Salvation Army!
Excuse the faraway look on this photograph! I have seen so many Blog posts suggesting what to wear as a ‘Corporate Goth’, and this is my contribution! I found this awesome fitted jacket with emerald green piped trip in Bernardo’s for around £4. It’s silhouette hugging (Eeek! ❤ ) but not restrictive like other fitted clothes, and goes wonderfully with other green gothy accessories. The New Rock shoes here were ones that I bought when I was 18. I fell in love when I saw them, and paid half price to own them (But still not cheap!!).
All of these photos seem to involve tea in one way or another! This image shows a dress that I bought not even a week ago, again from Bernardo’s, and for around £4.99. It makes a wonderfully loose fitting summer dress and adds a splash of colour to all of the blacks I like to wear! For extra warmth it still looks sweet with cardigans!
I had to include this image because of the skirt I’m wearing in it. I usually have quite the strong aversion to short clothes, not particularly for any other reason that I don’t really like showing skin in public- This however really caught my eye, and after trying it on, I honestly couldn’t care less about the length. It seems to be an official Gothic item of clothing but there’s no label in it anywhere to suggest a brand or maker- a little disappointing, but still, this skirt! It has buckles on the front, it has POCKETS unlike usual women’s clothing, and red and pinstripe braces that attach from the front to the back. If anyone recognises it, or knows of the make of this skirt, I’d be so happy to hear! It was a criminal £1.99 from my favourite place, The Salvation Army! God bless them and their bargains!
Pyjamas now! Yes, I usually wear this jumper to bed in the winter months, It’s just so cosy! I think it’s from a brand called ‘pop culture’ but when I unpack it in Norway I’ll let you know, but it was £3.00 from Age UK- I think I’ll start wearing it with slim fitting jeans and boots!
Lastly! Apologies for the kooky picture! Picnics indoors are a pass time of me and my friends! First of all the stockings are Halloween tights that I trimmed and now wear all year round. Who doesn’t love Halloween things? It’s the time of year when they sell clothes that I’d wear all year through! I think they were meant for children, but then so were the cartoons I still watch… I know that sometimes you can still find these tights in charity shops in the middle of the year, having been bought in October and never worn! The shoes are ones that I was quite lucky with- they’re Clarke’s, a notoriously expensive brand, but I nabbed these purple ones on Ebay for £25! (I’ll do a post on Ebay thrifting soon!). The purple dress itself was a learning curve. When I bought it, it was a horrible insipid pale purple colour- I took it home and popped it in the washing machine with a bag of purple Dylon, and this beautiful deep purple dress was what I was left with! I will always warn to be cautious with Dylon dyes, and I’ve ruined countless unworn clothes trying to dye them black so I love them more- to no avail! Dylon does not always work and I’ve had more failures than successes, but this gamble turned out fantastically!
There you have it! So many outfits for under £20, and not loved any less by me for being pre-loved. I’m by no means assuming that you don’t love thrifting as much as I do, but if you’re still hovering at the doorstep of your local stores, please just go in and wander about! You might be amazed!
What is your favourite Charity shop find? I’d love to know!
(My brother found a pair of vintage Dr Martin Boots once!)