How to be a Charity Shopping Queen and snap yourself up a bargain!
There is something very satisfying about finding a diamond in a pile of rubbish. Finding a beautiful vintage dress sandwiched between some old chinos and a matted faux fur coat has the same appeal to me. Some people go to the gym to exercise, I go Charity Shopping. It is a real art though, so don't just jump into it thinking you are going home with a brand new wardrobe, but if you follow this simple guide, you will soon become a Charity shop queen, jump through to read my tips!
- Before leaving the house, assess your wardrobe to figure out the general styles that suit you best, and make sure you know your measurements, that will make your life easier.
- Keep an open mind. If you go charity shopping with a specific item in mind, you will end up being disappointed.
- Bring a spare canvas tote in your bag (as often Charity shops don't have many plastic bags), make sure you have enough change and bring some wipes for your hands- going through old clothes for hours gets quite messy.
- Be patient! You are not taking a lunchtime trip to Topshop, so you will actually need to dig a little to find a gem. And maybe you won't find anything at all.
- Wear something that allows you to try things on without a fitting room. I like to wear leggings and a skirt with a vest. This way I can just take the skirt off and try on stuff without ending up naked in the middle of a shop. It is important to try things on. They can't be returned, and even though they are cheap, it is not a reason to let them pile up in your house once you realise they don't suit you.
- Try to plan your trip ahead by doing some internet research. For example, if you decide to go charity shopping in Chelsea, find the addresses of all the shops in this area. Most of them normally are on or around the local high street, but the best ones will be hidden.
- Generally it is better to go to wealthy areas, as people tend to give away more stuff to charity... and not shop there. In London, it is a good idea to try Marylebone, Chelsea, Kensington or Belgravia for example.
- Always look at the labels. I often find amazing vintage couture items in Charity shops. Even if it doesn't suit you, buy it, it will make one of your friends happy.
- Try and look mostly for great basics, like a blazer, a great denim jacket, a high-waisted skirt or a leather jacket.
- Last but not least: budget in your dry cleaning!
Print this guide out! Next time you go charity shopping, it might come in handy. If you are in the UK, locate charity shops using the association of Charity Shops website and Google Maps can be pretty good at locating the hidden stores. My best find has to be my black blazer, I wear it all the time and it only cost me £3. What was your best ever find in a Charity shop?