The hunt begins…

The beginning

Welcome

I’m yet to get really stuck in to trawling the charity shops of London. I live in Hackney and don’t know where the good ones are. So, that’s my challenge: to find them and hunt out the gems within. Of course, if you know where these bad boys lurk, let me know, it would make my day.

That’s not to say I am new at this game. It’s an entirely different story back in my home town, Northampton. I have been frequenting the best of their Oxfams, Salvation Armys and British Red Crosses for many years and, needless to say, have found some absolute beautaaays.

My wardrobe is not solely made up of charity shop purchases, and please don’t think I dress in tat or smell of rotting bodies or urine. The things I find are really rather lovely. It’s all about taking a deep breath (please take this advice seriously) and getting stuck in there.

Here, I shall document some of my best, most outrageous and treasured finds. And please, let me know of any of yours.

Ciao.

Your trash, my treasure

Charity shops are no longer a hoarding site for unwanted, old and unfashionable wares, but a treasure chest of cheap, chic and unique finds.

Ok, so it isn’t as easy as fingering the rails of your usual high street stores, but it’s a lot more fun, rewarding and purse-friendly.

My tips of the trawl:

  • Keep an open mind and keep rummaging: the diamonds are hidden amid the rough.
  • Shopping in more affluent areas generally means the items in store are of a better quality.
  • Alteration, alteration, alteration – If it doesn’t fit or it’s too long, adjust it.
  • Find what you like in the main high street stores beforehand and then hunt out its (better) twin in the charity shops.
  • Be daring.  It’s cheap so you can afford to buy things you wouldn’t normally buy, which usually means taking home more eccentric and original statement-pieces.

Everything you buy holds a story, so you’ll love what you find even more. Many of my favourite clothes and accessories are charity shop finds.  From on-trend cream lace cropped tops, blanket check shirts and boyfriend blazers, to classic and sophisticated Italian leather handbags, leather boots and jewellery.

You’ll find the difference in quality exceptional: solid bling, real leather and a wealth of brand names; it’s surprising but wonderful. And the best part is that my friends and I won’t be wearing the same outfit, and nor will anyone else.

This really is shopping for today’s consumer: the bargain hunter who wants to look great.

Now, don’t be fooled, this isn’t a brand new sport.  Charity shop shopping has been a popular pastime for many of my generation for quite some time.  The challenge and excitement of the hunt and the contentment and glee of the find makes this style of shopping simply darling, darling.

So, get rummaging and find those gems.  One-offs to show off!