Pupiline Charity Shopping Spree
Suppose I said the word's "charity" and "shop" to you - what would immediately spring to mind? Chances are, you'd think of old ladies, smelly out-dated clothes and bin bags full of grotty old tat.
I'm going to stick my neck out though and say: "No! charity shops can be cool places to go." Yup, you can laugh if you want to, but I reckon that you'd be really surprised at what you might find.
(If, that is, you're prepared to have a root around amongst the bobbly, faded sweaters and the beige y-fronts)
So, in order to prove my theory that Charity Shops can be veritable fashion treasure chests; I assembled two eager fashion volunteers - Chris M and Sarah N, and one afternoon we set to the high street in search of some bargains. Here’s how we got on . . . .
(Well yeah, alright - it is mostly old ladies who usually work in these shops, but then I'd rather have a nice friendly old-dear help me than a wise-cracking hip youngster any day. Bless 'em.)
To be honest, you will be hard pushed to find any of this season's fashions in your local Oxfam, becuase charity shops rely on those kind souls who donate clothes and who would donate something that they've only just bought?
We did manage to find some cool labels on our charitable fashion adventure though, and chances are you'll also be able to. . . . just keep your eyes open!
T-Shirt by Kookai - Oxfam - £1.49
Polo-Neck by Firetrap - Age Concern -£3.25
Sandals by Red or Dead - Oxfam - £3.99
This is where charity shopping really comes into it's own, being able to pick up those items that you just can't get any more.
"Ironic" obscure t-shirts are really popular amongst alternative dressers, and if you're willing to venture out amongst the racks of tasteless shell-suits you just might get lucky.
T-Shirt by Champion - Oxfam - £1.49
NFL Top - Salvation Army Shop - £1.99
Polo Shirt by Adidas - £2.99
I wouldn't recommend that you dress completely in retro clothing (you don’t want to look like some kind of 80's throwback do you?), but you can quite easily get that indie/student look so beloved of indie bands like Blur and Coldplay, and the cast of Hollyoaks if you try!
70's and 80's…
Another area in which Charity Shopping can be really handy, is when you need some gear for a 70's or 80's-themed party.
You see, rather than go to your local fancy dress shop and hiring something out (usually rather expensive!) why not try a Charity Shop; they'll be loads of funky flowery clothes on offer - and they'll be really cheap!
Have a snigger at what we found on our trip…Austin Powers eat your heart out!
Suede Coat - Age Concern - £14.95
Starry Shirt - Age Concern - £2
Flowery Skirt - Age Concern - £1
Green High-Heeled Shoes - Age Concern - £2.75
One of the problems we did find on our jaunt though, was how much more difficult it was to find things for girls compared to boys.
We only found this on our shopping trip, so maybe it will be different for the shops in your area. It's probably 'cos boys can get away with wearing more retro/older clothes than girls, so perhaps it just seems like there isn't as much for females - oh well!
So anyway; have I convinced you yet? I hope so - because Charity Shops ARE cool and I'm sure, like us, you'll have great fun if you spend an afternoon seeing what you can find.
And even if you don't find anything you like, I guarantee you'll have loads of laughs at some of the costumes you will come across - Did anyone ever really wear mustard coloured 3/4 length waistcoats through choice!!?!?!!