Most of you know I’m big on thrifting. Charity shop shopping is definitely one of my favourite kinds of thrifting. I love not knowing what I might fine and spending my weekends heading to different places to check out what their charity shops have to offer! It’s been a couple of years now and I’d like to think I’ve picked up a few tips along the way so I thought I’d share them with you lovely lot! If you’re interested, keep reading my guide to charity shop shopping in the UK!
Towns are WAY better than cities for Charity shops. I’ve found that most cities will only have one or two charity shops and they’re usually spread massively apart. Towns however will usually have a significantly higher amount of charity shops within a smaller area.
Don’t go straight for your usual size!! Generally speaking, I’ll always check out the sections for 2 sizes smaller and two sizes larger than my usual size. Skirts with elasticated waists will fit several sizes bigger and dresses that are a size or two bigger can be worn oversized with a belt! I’m a UK size 22/24 and I even have midi skirts in a size 14 that are perfect and dresses in a size 32 that look incredible oversized with a belt.
Following on from the above, the vast majority of charity shops have changing rooms. Take advantage of that and try on your items! If you like the look of something whether it’s in your usual size or not, try it because you might surprise yourself!
When getting ready for a day of charity shop shopping, make sure you wear something easy to take on and off for trying on items. You don’t want to be wearing 4 layers of clothing when attempting to try on that dress you just found! Same goes for shoes. You never know when you might find that perfect pair of shoes you never knew you were looking for, so wear something easy to slip on and off.
Always check the condition of an item as best as you can for any holes or stains that don’t look like they can be removed. Deep, dark stains are usually a no-no for me as I can’t be sure they will wash out. Same goes for anything that looks like a grease stain as it likely won’t come out! If it’s cheap enough, a missing button or a small hole in a seam can be repaired if you’re nifty with a needle and thread.
Although many larger charity shops do now tend to pre-wash items before selling them and a lot of people pre-wash before donating – many don’t. Take a little bottle of hand sanitiser in your bag and you’re good to go. Pop your purchases straight in the wash when you get home and they’ll be good as new!
Always check the price tag. A lot of charity shops are extremely reasonable with their pricing. Sometimes you’ll even find brand new items still with tags attached for a fraction of the price! However, some shops do massively overprice things. It’s all down to personal preference. If it’s a high street brand who’s clothing is usually between £10-£15 new and it’s priced at £6 upwards second-hand, I’d usually give it a miss.
Take a bag! Oversized handbag, tote bag, reuseable plastic bag, suitcase (if you’re planning on going hard)… anything! Charity shops often rely on keeping plastic bags from donations for customers to use and you can’t always guarentee they will have any. Always remember to take your own.
Carry cash. I know, I know… cash. In the current world of contactless card payments cash is unheard of nowadays. You will often find certain smaller charity shops are unable to take card payments. That or their minimum spend if £5 and you’ve found a bargain for way less than that. I would always recommend carrying at least a little bit of cash incase it’s needed.