The Art Of Charity Shopping

Not so long ago I read a post on my friend India’s blog about charity shopping, and essentially how to be the best at ‘thrifting’. After giving it a good read, I realised that over the years I’ve picked up some absolutely amazing pre-loved bargains so I thought I’d share a few as well as giving a few tips on how to find the best stuff!

The reason I started to thrift/charity shop was mainly that I had very little money at the time! I was so surprised to see the kind of clothes people would give to charity.  On pretty much every trip I’d find goodies such as Ralph Lauren shirts, Levis jeans, and the occasional band t shirt. As I started to earn more money I’d shop more on the high street but I found that the quality was lacking and my thrifted items would last longer in my wardrobe than my high street pick-ups.

As well as charity shops, I’ve found car boot sales, pop up vintage stalls and eBay to be just as nifty! Over the years I’ve managed to pick up a Levis denim jacket for £5, a faux suede bomber jacket for £1.75, countless Ben Sherman shirts and a fair few Fred Perry polos!

Ryan 1

In recent months I picked up a fair few items so I put the outfit above together. Let’s start with that Mariah Carey tee! I bought it for £2.50, mainly because I like the colours. The faux fur-lined denim jacket cost me £15 which seems quite pricey compared to the rest of my buys but the quality is sublime! The Levis jeans cost me £6 from Urban Renewal at Urban Outfitters and they’re glorious, aren’t they? I even got the Dr. Martens from a charity shop and that was probably my favourite charity shop buy of all time as they were only £25! The whole outfit is branded and cost me less than £50 which isn’t too shabby at all is it?

There are quite a few things to watch out for when charity shopping though. First of all, everything is sold as seen so I tend to intensely check every garment that I pick up. Does it have stains on it? Are there any holes? Once you’ve bought it, you’re pretty much stuck with it and nobody wants a t-shirt with a wine stain on the neckline do they?

Ryan 2

Another tip is doing some research! If you find something you like then I’d recommend doing a quick Google search on the brand name because a lot of the stuff you find in charity shops is just stuff from the high street which generally means the quality isn’t too great. A few high street brands that crop up regularly in my area are Blue Harbour (M&S own brand), Cedarwood State (Primark) and the obvious ones like Topman and Next. I tend to steer clear of these as I think there’s so much more quality knocking about!

If you’re looking to add some staples to your wardrobe or just looking for a bargain I’d highly recommend hitting your local Barnardo’s. If you find anything I’d love to see it!

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Photography by Mike Sutton 

Want to share your top Barnardo’s looks with us and feature on The-Thrift? Comment below and we’ll get in touch!

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