DO’s and DON’T’s of Charity Shopping

Hello fellow readers of ‘The-Thrift’!

I’m Jade Palmer, a sixteen year old girl who made a decision to start living the lifestyle of an obsessive charity shopper.

Currently in sixth form, I like to try and spend my money as wisely as I can, meaning charity shopping is the best option for me.

The main reason for my love of charity shopping is that you have complete freedom in the fashion choices you make – in particular, finding pieces of clothing from various eras, at bargain prices! This allows me to completely differ the styles of fashion I follow every day.

Today I’m going to run through some of my dos and don’ts of charity shopping, which I have learnt through my experiences in the thrifting world.


  • DO try and visit the charity shops in the earlier periods of the week, every so often, as this is when many people choose to donate any items they may have been sorting through over the weekend. This allows you to have complete reign over any new stock!
  • However, DO try and venture out on Saturdays, as I have noticed this is when many charity shops decide to have promotional offers, such as; BOGOF, or even a half-price sale. Having the ability to bag top quality items for a lower price – a BIG yes in my book!
  • If you are a lady, like me, DO look in the men’s section, as this is where I have found many an oversized shirt, which are akin to ones on the high-street at the moment (at extremely silly prices, might I add!). I have also found cosy jumpers or unique t-shirts, which are perfect for tucking into a skirt, or even a pair of jeans for more casual attire.
  • DO have a nosey at the many bath and body products that may be in any of your local charity shops. Most of the time the products are brand new which is perfect if you like to rotate your body products round depending on the time of year.
  • DO ask volunteers in the shop if they have any particular items you are looking for, such as household items, or even clothing pieces; vintage items or fancy dress options. Volunteers are almost always willing to help you out with your purchases, so don’t be afraid to ask!
  • DO try clothing items on if you wish to buy them, particularly if you are thinking of buying bigger sized pieces, to achieve an oversized look. Trying the pieces on ensures that the look you are going for can be achieved.
  • DO try and look out for particular materials or patterns that correlate with your sense of style, or accumulation of styles. I try to look out for; corduroy, denim, velvet, or funky 60’s-80’s prints which I like to incorporate into my outfits as a statement piece. I’m also prone to eyeing up an ugly granddad jumper; and styling it to fit in with my grunge/vintage/retro vibe.


  • DON’T be afraid to look through sizes that are bigger than your average size, as I have found gorgeous coats or jumpers that look and fit better that tiny bit oversized. Also, if you are looking for a sturdy pair of ‘mom’ jeans, look in a size up from your average, as sizes have changed since mom jeans were the main rage. Remember, if they are that tiny bit too big you can always cinch them in with a thick belt – I adore the look this gives.
  • DON’T feel disheartened if you come back empty handed on some of your charity shop trips, as it all depends on what donations have been brought in, or your own personal preferences. On the very rare occasion, I have come back with nothing at all, whereas at other times I have practically bought the contents of the whole shop. It really is the luck of the draw. Stick with it, and remember something exciting and unique may be coming home with you next time you visit!

I really hope you have learnt something from the above tips, and I also hope you manage to bag lots of treasures on your next charity shop trip. Be sure to hashtag #mybarnardosfind or tag @BarnardosRetail so we can all jealously look at your finds. I post all my charity shops finds on my Instagram account, @charitysh0pqueen

Keep thrifting!

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