Seasoned charity shoppers love to share their thrifted finds but are often met with comments from people who say they can never find anything. No doubting there are days when you feel the charity shop gods are smiling on you but you can also do some things to improve your chances of grabbing a bargain. As Secondhand September gets underway, our resident blogger Bethany Clark shares her top charity shopping tips – feel free to share them with your non-charity shopping friends!
I’ve known plenty of friends and family who love the idea of charity shopping but they say that they never find anything good. So, this one’s for anyone who needs a little help getting started shopping at charity shops!
- Take an item from your wardrobe and get pieces to go with it
- Build and create outfits around this piece. This can give you a clear idea of what you to look for if you get overwhelmed by the variety of pieces.
- Know the neighbourhood
- Most charity shops will have items donated to that specific store on the rails, bare this in mind!
- In student areas I find more fast fashion brands in stores, so if you love the current trends but don’t want to financially support these fast fashion brands this is a great way to keep up to date in a more ethical way and supporting a good cause.
- Alternatively, in my experience in areas with more of an elderly population brands like M&S and Debenhams are more common. I love an M&S find because you know it’s going to be good quality!
- Enjoy the process
- Charity shopping is different to shopping in regular high street shops. You never know what you’re going to find, sometimes the joy is in the ridiculous things you find, like the giant apple shaped tea pot from the 70s
- Go in with an open mind
- Pick up pieces you’re attracted to, even if it isn’t your style, you can hold onto it while you look around. Don’t be afraid to take it home with you and try it out with the rest of your wardrobe!
- Don’t expect to find a perfect piece every time
- This one has taken me a while to learn! My first few years in charity shops were hugely lucrative but as I got older and my style developed, I couldn’t find quite as many pieces. I thought charity shops might not be for me anymore, but this certainly wasn’t the case, in fact I’ve just got better at finding pieces I love and don’t just like.
- Don’t feel like you have to buy something everytime
- This one goes hand-in-hand with the last point. Don’t buy something you’re pretty certain isn’t going to fit just because you like the piece. Don’t buy a good brand name, just because of the label if you don’t actually like the piece. The chase is half the fun, as they say. I like to pick up the pieces I like as I browse and at the end rethink each piece, is this “me”, will I actually wear this, what am I going to wear this with? And don’t feel bad about putting something back, it’s better all round to leave the piece for someone else who’ll wear it more and save your money (or gift card!) for a piece you love even more!
- Just buy something you like if you’re only going to wear it once!
Written By guest writer, Bethany Clark