Although the vast majority of my wardrobe is me-made, I do go hunting in charity shops for second hand gems to supplement my self-created wearables. When I visit charity shops (AKA thrift stores, op shops) I look for things that I can't make myself, in particular knitwear (especially fine knits that I'll never be able to recreate even if I learn to knit), footwear and some other manufactured things like belts and purses. It may sound mental, but I probably wouldn't ever by a second hand skirt or t-shirt, no matter how nice they were, because I can make those types of garments and I dislike wearing things I didn't make myself. However, when I'm in the charity shop, I do scout about for fabric, textiles (curtains, bedding, etc.) or garments that have remaking/refashioning potential.
Seeing as I was pretty disdainful recently about the 'gentrification' or 'bland-ification' of lots of charity shops round my way, I felt I should balance things out a bit by sharing some major charity shop hauls I had recently.
First up, I want to show you the scores I acquired when visiting York (in the North) over the Christmas break. I have to say that, from the few I went in anyway, most of them had the boring appearance of the Southern ones I was previously moaning about, and they seemed to favour newish things in the same manner, but there seemed to be a bit more variety generally, and they were definitely cheaper. A cardigan in the British Heart Foundation in Brighton will set you back about £5. In the British Heart Foundation in York? £3.50. Perversely, the lower price tag meant I went mental and bought loads of stuff when usually I'd hold myself back and buy only one or two items. So, what did I buy?
Red 1950's style cardigan. This is super soft and my preferred shape of cardigan! The buttons need changing though, but I kind of like it more because I need to alter it in some way.
Emerald cardigan/shrug. This was originally from a fairly pricey shop, which would usually mean the shop assistants would hike the price up, but in the shops in York the garment's brand didn't seem to effect the second hand price at all. This is a blend of all kinds of soft stuff like Angora. The kind of fibres I could never justify buying new. Not that I buy anything new.
Big black cardigan. This is super soft and cosy and is going to keep me warm at my desk space, which can get mighty chilly. It's made by (or more specifically, for) one of those cheap supermarket brands which I'd normally steer clear of, but this is virtually unworn and not at all bobbley from laundering.
Stripey Anchor jumper. Say what?! Yep that anchor is gold. Yep it now belongs to me.
Snake print ballet flats. These look like they've been worn twice, tops. Not amazingly comfy just yet because they are synthetic, but I'm hoping I can break them in. Or they can break my feet in. Either way.
Leather bow detail purse/wallet. This is just the kind of purse I've been looking for as it's got lots of those compartments for your bank cards and coffee shop loyalty cards inside. Plus it's brand new (there's a sales sticker from the previous shop still on the inside), my favourite colour, real leather, has a cute bow detail AND Patty offered to pay for it for me. Aww!
So all the above happened in York in just two shops within a space of about 20 mins. I was basically high afterwards! My faith in charity shops for still containing stuff I want at a price that doesn't almost match the original price when it was new has been restored. I'm just going to stop going in the ones in Brighton.
But that isn't everything I've scored of late. Here are some beauts I got when I was back visiting in the Motherland (Essex) before Christmas. I hooked up with charity shop deviant (yeah, she's that good!) Miss P and we blitzed Leigh on Sea, my old stomping ground.
Navy cardigan with white scallop edging. This has definitely seen better days but it's a lovely shape, perfect colour for my wardrobe and I love the scallop detail so I'm hoping I can get whatever-I-paid-for-it's worth of wear before it properly dies.
Mustard linen table cloth with white pattern. This is just big enough to hopefully squeeze a summer top out of. I think its slinky, drapey linen texture will best suit something tunicy and loose-ish fitting. I don't really wear things like that too much these days, but I'll make an exception for this lovely colour that will look ace with navy jeggings (that I haven't made yet) or denim sailor shorts (that I also haven't made yet). So that's two potential outfits created by combining three garments, none of which currently exist!
1980's faux-leather navy and white clutch. Umm, how great is this?! I have a thing for perforated leather (or faux-leather in this case). Not sure how much use it'll see, but I can always re-donate it back to charity if it doesn't see the light of day much.
The one that got away:
I know. In hindsight I fu&%ed up.
How about you? Have you had any excellent charity shop/thift store/op shop scores recently?