Thank you so much for all those lovely comments wishing me well going on the cruise and then saying you were pleased I was back. You’re all lovely and I appreciate you lots.
In that first post written after I got back I kind of hinted that I‘d brought the wrong clothes. Again! (I did. I’d forgotten how hot it is in the Caribbean). One person, noting this, wrote why not splash the cash and buy in the High Street before the cruise instead of in local markets and, of course, UK charity shops.
Ah, indeed, and why not? Well, the answer is I simply don’t have the cash to do that. And yes, I do go on the occasional cruise (from a savings pot, actually). But, OMG, my pension situation – not good. Anyone younger than me reading this, I’m telling you now, sort your pension out. Anyway, primarily, I go to charity shops because the clothes are cheaper than the High Street, but there are so many other reasons to shop in a charity shop. And I have some good tips for you as well.
Here they are:
Do your research. Yes, not every town has good charity shops. Nowadays charity shops in the UK are predominantly run by big well-known charities and under some kind of quality control from HQ and aspire to look like boutiques. Even so, the town you live in can determine the type of clothing that ends up in your local charity shop. Some towns have charity shops with very poor quality clothing. It’s not that they’re worn out or moth-eaten, it’s more that they’re tired and old-fashioned, and that’s why they’re in the charity shop – they’re not the look of the week! But a bus or car ride away you might find the charity shops are little gold mines of quality high-end, hardly worn High Street clothes. So, the charity shops are not good in your area? Go find them, they are there.
This brings me to one of the most important rules. Never, ever, drop your standards. Why would you buy something that is worn, unfashionable and not to your taste? You wouldn’t in the High Street – you don’t in a charity shop. I look for and buy the very best clothes in these shops. The ones that are hardly worn and are made by, for example M&S Per Una, Monsoon and Next. And I’m always on the lookout for designer wear, and especially outfits by Karen Millen, which I do find from time to time.
But understand pricing. Some of these charities are upping their prices big-time and I don’t like it one bit. These clothes are second-hand after all! A skirt should be under £5, a dress under £10 and a coat under £15. I’ve had to give myself a good talking to, as I really must avoid that charity shop in London near Victoria Station where prices seem to start at £75!
Here’s what I mean. This quality, hardly worn Boden skirt cost £3.99 and the top, a little short cardi, cost all of £2.99.
This lovely outfit illustrates my next two tips. Always aim to supplement your wardrobe and the outfits within it. I love the colour green and have lots of green bits and pieces. The skirt and short cardi will complement other articles of clothing I’ve got already.
And last of all – experiment and have fun. I’m moving to Brighton at some point this year (more about that soon) and there’s a Brighton ‘look’. It’s a shorter skirt (usually a bit straighter than this one) over leggings or jeans. I shall be experimenting with that look and I can do that at that price. If it doesn’t work £3.99 won’t break the bank, but a £30 or £40 skirt, oh no, I’d be stuck with it.
And isn’t that skirt fun – I love it.
It’s such a good colour to wear during these cold, grey days.
That’s all for now, but back soon with more posts on de-cluttering and moving and hats!
With love, Penny, the frugalfashionshopper