Monday, 16 December 2013

Charity Shop Chic

Ladies, it is time to leave your snobbery at the door and embrace "charity shop chic."
I am a long time charity shop enthusiast. I think it is fantastic, being able to buy great quality, hardly worn items of clothing, books or bags at knock down prices. Most of all, the money goes to charity so without even going out of your way, you are automatically giving back.
Nowadays the high streets are awash with charity shops and some are indeed better than others. Some charity shops take no pride in their stock whatsoever and others display their stock fabulously. The best window display of a charity shop I have seen is in Enable Ireland, in Navan, whoever dresses their window does a fantastic job.
I have a problem with so called "vintage" shops. Will people just drop the hipster pretence and admit it is just a hyped up over priced version of a charity shop?
I am not by any means a label whore or a brand junkie but some great quality brands can be found in charity shops. Only recently I was perusing the St. Vincent de Pauls shop on Maynooth main street and I came across two brand new with tags attached Coast dresses. The dresses would be fantastic for a bridesmaid or a debs. The dresses were five euro each. I also found a Karen Millen dress and a French Connection top, pity both were a size eight!
My favourite charity shop bargains are a red trench coat for ten euro which I'll admit I thought was a bit steep for a charity shop, but which suits my figure perfectly and some brand new studded heeled ankle boots for two euro fifty!
I have seen designer handbags, and bought Hollister, Aeropostale and American Eagle tshirts and hoodies.
The book sections aren't too be dismissed either. Brand new biographies, college books, leaving certificate revision books, driver theory test books are all among the one euro selection, save yourself a bomb!
I know people who have gotten their wedding dresses through Barnardos Bridal, and also debs dresses are usually floating about from spring onwards. A lot of styles will be outdated but you just never know when you will find that gem, like a John Rocha dress for fifteen euro.
I am telling you, once you go thrift shopping, you never look back!
My top tips:
1. Go early on in the week, most people donate at weekends.
2. The more affluent the area, the better the brands that are donated.
3. Try everything on! It might have been altered, and you cant return to charity shops although some may offer a swap system
4. Don't buy anything ripped, stained or that doesn't fit perfectly. Don't buy anything from Dunnes or Penneys, the reason you are there is for better quality brands at knockdown prices.
5. Prepare to dig through rails as some charity shops aren't as organised as others.
Happy shopping!

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