So I started shopping in charity/thrift shops about a year and a half ago now, and I feel as though I’ve got a few good tips for getting the most out of the process.
I want to start out by saying that if you’ve never done it before, just go and try it, you’ll probably be surprised. For me I had a lot of reservations, I thought that it would be full of clothes that are only for grandma’s and that it was gross to wear clothes that are second hand. But the reality is that charity shops are full of a variety of clothing, and I’ve even found new stuff from high street shops. And to be honest, once you are wearing the clothes, you don’t really even think about the being second hand.
So here are my tips, enjoy!
1) Ignore sizes: Some of the best things I have found in charity shops have not been my size. Surprisingly things that aren’t always your size can actually fit really well. I tend to be a size 6/8, but I have bought size 14 items that have fit me well. Also, with sizing up you can often get a nice oversized look with some pieces. Honestly, ignoring size will open up a whole load of new, awesome clothes to you.
2) Have an open mind: Maybe this is a really cliché tip, but honestly, when I go into a charity shop I really go outside of the box and try anything that catches my eye. Sometimes you would be surprised by what actually looks nice. I feel like charity shops really give you the opportunity to find your own true style, as opposed to normal high street shops where your only option is what’s on trend.
3) Ignore gender: Similarly to my tip about size, you can find really great stuff in all sections of charity shops. I have found some of my favourite comfortable tops from the men’s sections, so definitely don’t ignore it. Also, slight side note, kids stuff can work too if you’re short like me.
4) Think customisation: So, most of the time charity shops are cheap, like really cheap, so that makes it much easier to experiment with the clothing when you get home. One of the easiest things you can do is crop an oversized tee, but really it can stretch as far as your imagination. You can customise things to fit you better, you can add embellishments, more fabric, it’s endless what you can do. 5) Have no expectations: When you go into a charity shop, you don’t really know what you’re going to find. It goes without saying that it can be really difficult to find specific items in a charity shop, so when I go into one I like to go and allow myself to be surprised with what I find and just have fun with the process. If I go in looking for a specific item I’m probably going to be disappointed. Second-hand shopping apps like depop are better for when you are looking for a specific item.
Soon I will write a post about why I go charity shopping, but for now I hope these tips help out!