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A Guide to Thrift Shopping

By February 16, 2016

Today's post is all about my tips for thrift shopping. I get asked a lot how I find great bargains in charity shops and vintage stores, but a lot of it is due to perseverance. Quite often, I'll do a loop of all of the charity shops in  town and find nothing, but then go back a week or so later and find 2-3 items that I like! Don't get too disheartened if there isn't anything good in your size, the stock rotation is quick so you will find something you like if you keep an eye out. It may just be down to luck sometimes too, I walked past a Children's Hospice shop once and saw a pair of unworn Dr Martens in the window for £30, and they'd only been there 20 minutes.
Anyway, here is my advice for shopping for pre-loved clothes, I hope you enjoy it~

1. Wear comfortable clothes that are easy to take off and put on! If you're going on a round of all of the charity and vintage shops in your area, make sure you wear comfy shoes so your feet don't ache. Loose clothes or a simple jumper and jeans are a lot easier than taking off lots of layers when you want to try something on and you'll stay calm in the changing rooms- although sometimes I just can't be bothered to take off skinny jeans and unlace then lace back up my boots so I'll just try on a dress over the top!! 
2. Keep an open mind. If you go into a charity shop looking for something specific, it's likely you won't find it! Instead have a look and see if you can customise things, for example if there's a maxi dress with a badly fitting bodice but pretty fabric, it can be altered easily to make a skirt. Be creative- denim jackets and plain t-shirts are great to dye, embroider or sew to make your own custom designs.
3. Ask about bargains. Be prepared to haggle on price in vintage shops, and check which days charity shops may have a sale or mark down items. One RSPCA shop in my town marks down clothes after 3 weeks of being out on the rail, but only does a round once a month with the red pen. Quite often you'll find a bargain or £1 rail as well so have a sift through.
4. Ask which days new stock is put out on the shop floor. This way you'll get all of the best pieces first ;)
5. Don't be put off by smell or stains! Okay, use your own judgement on this one, but quite often clothes clean up easily after a good soak or machine wash. Bad smells are easily treated, and sometimes a light stain can be removed. Some items you may be able to get at a reduced price because of stains, but also something to bear in mind is that stains on vintage items are unlikely to come out- if it's been there for 20+ years, or is oil based, it's not going to budge! However, if you really love the garment then see if you can sew an embroidery patch over the top or cover with lace to hide it.
6. Volunteer. If you have a few spare hours a week, offer to use them volunteering in a charity shop. That way, you'll get to see all of the donations as they arrive and you'll get first pick, as well as helping out a good cause!
7. Have fun!
Emma xo

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2 comments

  1. I really loved this post as a good portion of my wardrobe is from charity shops! I've never thought of the benefits on volunteering there but it does seem a great thing to do, for yourself and for a good cause!

    Infinity of fashion// Lucy Jane

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Lucy Jane! Hope my tips help :)

      Emma xo

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