This year along with my two style besties as Style In The City I put on a fashion event for St Peter's Hospice. As it is ten years since my Dad spent his final weeks at St Peter's Hospice where he received incredible care and support I wanted to raise money for the charity and raise awareness for the fabulous charity shops they have scattered all over Bristol. The event involved a catwalk show and a pop up shop with everything available to buy to our guests all of which were sourced by us Stylists from the charity shops.
I have always donated my old clothes to charity and encourage my clients to do the same during Wardrobe Consultations but before our event I had rarely taken the time to rummage amongst the rails. I am now a total convert! I love a bargain, get a thrill from finding something unique but still on trend, my style plus I'm supporting my favourite charity at the same time!
If you are new to charity shopping or haven't been successful in the past then take a read of my top tips -
1. Have a wardrobe detox before you go. It’ll make space for new clothes and remind you of what you already have. Donating clothes you don’t wear could refresh someone else’s wardrobe as well as raising money. One woman’s trash is another woman’s treasure and all that!
2. Take your mates and go as a group or a pair. Charity shopping is more fun and less stressful than shopping on the high street. It’s always good to have a second opinion and you can come up with ways to wear items together.
3. Take a carrier bag with you or be prepared to buy a charity shop bag.
4. Look out for classic essentials. You can find great quality winter coats, leather jackets and cashmere.
5. Be open minded to trying new colours and styles. It’s a great way to experiment without spending lots of money.
6. Don’t limit yourself to the current season. Think ahead to what you wear throughout the year and upcoming trends to buy now and keep in your wardrobe.
7. Don’t stick to your size rail. We are different sizes with different brands and if it’s a vintage piece the fit will vary to the sizes we use now. If you see something you love that isn’t your size then you can alter it to fit you. Paying less in a charity shop means you have more money to tailor it to you.
8. Check out the men’s section. There could be vintage tshirts, jumpers, leather belts, jackets, baseball caps and unisex tops on the men’s rails that could work for you especially if you like an oversized look.
9. Try before you buy. Lots of charity shops have changing rooms. Keep your receipt if you aren’t sure as lots of charity shops have a refund/exchange policy.
10. Don’t be disheartened if you come away empty handed. Keep popping in to check out the new donations or check out other charity shops. Each have their own vibe so if your local shop isn’t quite your thing check out the others. Some charity shops are more boutique, some have a premium brands rail, some a vintage section and some specialise in upcycling. I've noticed by going to different shops in Bristol there are different styles of donations from different areas too.
Happy Shopping and let me know what bargains you find!