Yesterday, I posted a picture of myself on Instagram wearing a jumper I bought from a charity shop. The picture has proved very popular and I’ve been ‘chatting’ to lots of new people who are, like me, really into charity shop shopping.
I’ve been buying stuff from charity shops for years (long before it was a fashionable thing to do) and have therefore had varied reactions from people when I tell them about my passion for second-hand. My favourite conversation was with one lady who, whilst regularly donating her unwanted (and freshly laundered) clothes, wouldn’t dream of buying anything from charity shops because ‘the clothes are dirty and smelly’…erm, what?! I do think charity shops have a far better reputation these days and some are so well laid out and the windows are so well dressed, they have almost a ’boutiquey’ feel to them. In the town where I live there are more charity shops than anything else, so there’s never a shortage of bargains to be had.
Having been thoroughly disappointed by the sales in the high street stores, I decided to have a ‘charity shop mooch’. This differs from a ‘charity shop hunt’, as with a hunt you have specific items in mind, a mooch is more open to inspiration! There are a few bits that if I’m lucky enough to spot, I will always buy and that’s vintage teacups and saucers and 1980s clothing.
As it was the Sunday between Christmas and New Year, there were only a couple of charity shops open but I did get some excellent bargains.
The first item I found was in the Air Ambulance shop and it was the jumper mentioned above, which cost £4.25. I think it’s a late 1980s/early 1990’s jumper and it has European sizing – I did a bit of research and I think the brand is German. Size-wise it’s a 42, which I think equates to a UK 14. I like oversized jumpers with skinny jeans so it’s perfect. I’ll mention here that it is worth being open to trying different sizes on when charity shopping. I’ve got sizes ranging from 10 to 18 as some things do lend themselves to being worn a bit baggier or more fitted. If you like the item, try it on – you might be pleasantly surprised!
From this charity shop, I also picked up two bath towels at £1 each, which I use under fleece in the guinea pig cages. For those of you who do use fleece/towels combinations in your piggy cages, charity shops often tuck these bits away at the back of the store. I always wash anything I use for the guinea pigs in fragrance-free non-bio powder and never use fabric conditioner. I didn’t take any pics of the towels I’m afraid but hey, you all know what one looks like! (The piggies usually get a present or treat of some kind when I go shopping – spoilt piggies!)
The second shop I went in was the British Heart Foundation where I found this gorgeous vintage cup and saucer for £3.25. I have a similar patterned set in pink, although the cup is larger. I love the pastoral scene and the combination of blue and white is both traditional and elegant.
The second item I bought from the BHF is this pair of almost-new Clarks pixie boots. I LOVE Clarks’ shoes (I got a lovely new pair of black boots for Christmas) and as these were in my size (I have a 6.5 in Clarks) it was clearly fate! I had a pair almost exactly the same back in the 80s when I was little, so these are a real piece of nostalgia. I paid £8.99 for these but as they are leather and brand new would probably have cost around £60, I think they were a great find.
If you’re interested in seeing posts of my charity shop finds (amongst other things!), come and follow me on Instagram. I love to see and hear about other people’s charity shopping too.