For The Love Of Coats


When Barnardo’s got in touch about guest blogging for The Thrift, I immediately said yes! I couldn’t wait for an excuse to have a browse through the racks of pre-loved clothes at my local Barnardo’s in Tunbridge Wells.

One of the things I love about Barnado’s is that they colour co-ordinate their rails. It allows you to look at things in other sizes that you might not usually choose, or give a second thought to. You just never know what you will find. I’ve picked up some real gems over the years.

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When the coat you didn’t know you wanted, finds you – that’s the beauty of thrifting

It was that awful point in January when it feels like payday will never come around again. All you want to do is go for a huge January sales splurge, but your bank account says a very firm no!

This is the perfect time to hit the charity shops. Not only can you scratch your wardrobe update-itch, but you can keep your bank account healthy, do brilliant things for the planet (save clothes going to landfill, reduce demand on the super-polluting garment-making industry and more!), and the people on it while you shop. How can all that not tempt you out of the house for a good poke around and maybe your next ‘This? It’s designer, but I picked it up for a fiver’ buy?

I set off with only £20 in my purse, so there was a whiff of a challenge in the air. Could I come back with a whole outfit within budget? Well, it was either that or spend the next couple of weeks eating those mystery label-less meals that get stuck at the bottom of the freezer.

I headed to my local Barnardo’s in Whitley Bay, a brilliant treasure trove with a great homeware section too, but that was for another day. Today was all about me!

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My Evening Wear by Holly

As someone who is happy to live in pinafore dresses and blouses, I am not one for ‘dressing up’ to go out. I also don’t go out very often, if I do then it is usually just for a meal where a dress and leather jacket works but I struggle with what to wear for a slightly classier occasion.

As soon as I saw this top in my local Barnardo’s, I knew I had to buy it! It’s such a gorgeous purple shade, features stunning beading and was only £3.50. The colour will also work really well for A/W, and I can imagine this top looking really pretty with jeans, heeled boots, and a faux fur coat- although I am a Geordie, I cannot go coatless in Winter!

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April’s Charity Shopping Tips.

It’ April here and I’m, back with another monthly guest blog! In this entry I’ll be sharing my ideas on how to end the stigma around charity shop shopping and sharing some more smashing Barnardo’s finds.

When you hear the words charity shop, what immediately pops into your mind? For me it’s a treasure trove of amazing fashion finds! I’ve had people compliment me on my outfits, followed by the classic question “where is that from?” – I have always proudly answered: “Barnardo’s”. Cue the shocked expression! I was once your stereotypical charity shop doubter but my first trip to Barnardo’s immediately changed my mind.

April Feb 4

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April’s Favourite Barnardo’s Finds

April’s the name and charity shopping is my game. I’m a self-confessed charity shopping shopaholic!

I’m so excited to been given the opportunity to guest blog monthly on The-Thrift, courtesy of the fabulous Barnardo’s Retail.
I will be blogging at the end of every month, sharing my Barnardo’s hauls, outfit finds for under £10’s, Q&A’s, seasonal outfits, customising charity shop wear and much more!!

All outfits you will see and read about have been purchased by me from different Barnardo’s shops. I’m kicking off my first blog with one my favourite January buys, keep scrolling to see how I style it.

First off we have one of my current favourite outfits! Everything I am wearing (apart from the distressed tights) I purchased from my local Barnardo’s!

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Volunteering at Cheadle

Hey guys! I hope you have all had a brilliant start to the New Year? Speaking of New Years, did you guys make any resolutions for 2017? Ever thought about volunteering? Here I give you an insight into why volunteering for Barnardo’s is amazing and how I got involved myself!

Last year, after I started blogging, one of the lovely ladies from Barnardo’s Retail contacted me, asking if I would be interested in writing for their blog ‘The-Thrift’.

I jumped at the opportunity and set off to my local Barnardo’s. I hadn’t previously shopped at charity shops, but when I did I was amazed, most of the clothes are brand new or in immaculate condition, the staff are friendly, and the stores look amazing – clothes colour blocked and in size order which makes it easy to view.

I had certaintly caught the charity shopping bug, and this in-turn encouraged me to sign up to volunteer at my local Barnardo’s.

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Future Fashion

Still in that post-Christmas slumber? Got a case of the January blues? This is nothing a little retail therapy can’t fix. Create your fashion future to fast track you into the New Year!

Keep scrolling to see what trends and key pieces we are trying RIGHT .


We couldn’t be more excited about this trend making a comeback. Break your loungewear out of your bedroom with the coolest and comfiest fits.

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Breakfast at The BBC with Gemma

I was recently very lucky to receive a phone call from Pav the producer of BBC Radio Manchester. She invited me to the studio to talk about vintage and collectables and advise callers on what to hang onto for value in the future.

I arrived at the studio bright and early and was met at reception by the lovely Libby, who briefed me on the schedule for the morning. I can talk about vintage forever which was perfect as they asked me to stay for the whole breakfast show rather than my expected 45 minutes. It was really exciting to see the behind the scenes operations and all the people who run the production of the radio show.

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New Year’s Eve Sparkle

It’s nearly time to wave goodbye to 2016 and kick start the New Year in style.

Make sure this New Year’s Eve goes off with a bang in perfect party attire. So whether you’re glamming it up for a girls night out, staying in or something in-between, we’ve got you covered. Let the outfit planning commence!

Keep scrolling for our favourite party fashion trends and set the stage for a very chic year ahead!

The Dress.

New Year’s Eve is the perfect excuse to embrace your love for all things glittery. Kick off the festivities with a sparkling sequin dress that will make an impact and light up the dance floor.

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Your Festive Fashion Look Book – Sorted.

Party season is mid flow and you’re inundated with invitations to parties and Christmas catch up drinks with old friends. If you’re lacking in inspiration for your festive looks this week – we’ve got you covered!

With the help of Barnardo’s fashion and Love Your Clothes London we’ve pulled together a Christmas season look book to give you some pointers. No matter what the scenario, we’ve got the perfect look!

Meeting the girls for after work Christmas drinks?

Christmas is round the corner and we don’t know about you but we are ready to dial the seasonal vibes right up. Why not try running a festive red theme through your look?


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