Many people are wary of charity shops, thinking they are full of old tat and 'old lady' clothes. These people are wrong! Charity shops are a place to find amazing bargains ranging from hardly worn clothes from the high street shops you love to designer shoes and bags (you have to be quick to snap these up) to vintage beauties.
As you will see, I LOVE charity shopping so this is a bit of a rant.. (if you don't want to read it, feel free to skip to the pictures.. yes I even have pictures to illustrate my rant!)
Most charity shops keep their prices low, the majority of items under £10 with many under £5, most of the time regardless of the make. This makes them, in my eyes, preferable to vintage shops, who tend to be incredibly over-priced (don't get me wrong, I love a good rifle through a vintage shop, I just don't see the point in buying an 80s jumper for £40 when you can get one for £5.. some of the best vintage pieces, however, will probably be found in vintage shops because they can source them from all over the place). Also, you don't have to feel guilty spending the money because it will be going to a good cause.
I am not going to lie to you, you will not find something good every time you walk into a charity shop, it can be pretty hit-and-miss, you need to (like I do) call into your local one every time you pass it because they have a high turn-over of stock.
Rather than being scared by the fact someone has worn it before, love the fact it has had a life before you discovered it, love its history, love its story.
Personally I have found amazing things in the charity shops close to where I live in Belfast, ranging from Topshop to Zara to vintage to just some old man's jumper.
If you find something you love in a charity shop and it isn't the right size or fit or length, don't be upset, you can always take it to a seamstress and get them to alter it for a fee, or even better, alter it yourself for free (I have an amazing granny for this sort of thing).
Charity shops provide a good opportunity to find 'one-off', unique pieces to vamp up your style or to find things you can customise yourself without having to worry about ruining something you've spent a lot of money on.
Here is a tiny (and I mean teeny weeny..) selection of things I have found in charity shops over the years. (another incredible thing I found was a Monsoon formal dress for £10 but I have lent it to a friend so don't have a picture)
Vintage 60s dress £4.99
Ralf Lauren Shirt 1 Euro
(size XXL so I wear it as a dress with a belt or with leggings)
Vintage Bomber Jacket £3
(my MJ jacket.)
Topshop Blazer £7
The best £2 I have ever spent
(I live in this jumper around the house.. although my mum hates it..)
Next heels £4.99
Zara dress £6.99
One final note, once you discover the wonderment that is charity shopping, you will never go back. So why not do something different this week and pop into your local one and see what beauties you discover!