Worried you’ll bring fleas home when buying in a charity shop? Nah! My golden rules!

Perhaps you are new to buying in charity shops or you assume everything smells? You could be worried you’ll bring fleas home? Maybe you’ve dismissed it because you can afford to hit Selfridges so why bother? Well, I hope I can make you think again.

I have jotted down a few golden rules and bits of advice to calm your fears if this is unknown territory for you. There are some bargains to be had out there!

These golden rules apply when shopping in charity shops (as well as the High Street or when you’re drooling over that Temperley dress you have seen costing more than a months salary)

  • Dress for your shape.

Trinny & Susanah have said it. Gok has said it. Dressing for your shape is the single most important factor when buying clothes. It doesn’t matter what shape or size you are…. I firmly believe that everyone can turn heads whether you are a size 8, 12, 16 or 20. Size is irrelevant. Know your shape, accept it and work with it.
Want to know more?
How To Look Good Naked – take this quick & illustrated survey to work out in seconds what shape you are.
Once you know your shape – swot up on the How To Dress For Your Shape expert tips also from Auntie Gok.

  • Choose clothes which are the right colour for you.

The second most important thing is buy clothes in the right colour to suit your skin tone.  When people compliment you on what you are wearing, it’s 99% of the time because the colour suits you. You could be wearing an amazing top but if it’s not the right colour for you, it won’t look good. I can’t stress how important this is! If you wear the right colours, your skin glows. It’s simple.
Not everyone knows this but we each have a unique colouring pigment in our skin and we can all be categorised into just four categories or seasons; winter, spring, summer and autumn. It’s not just what colour hair or eyes you have, it’s your skin tone. So, when trying to work out what ‘season’ you are at home, cover your hair completely if it’s dyed, highlighted or coloured at all and focus solely on your skin. I am going to cover colour matching in detail in a future blog coming soon so watch this space but for expert advice check out ColourMeBeautiful. Take the online survey and stick to the results – trust me!

  • Try things on!

Armed with the facts on what suits you personally, hit the shops. Lots of charity shops now have dressing rooms, it only takes 5 minutes so try it on before you buy to avoid disappointment at home when your bagain doesn’t fit or work with your body shape.

  • Remember to check the quality of what you are buying.

Don’t just buy things because they are cheap. This is not the point of charity shops or vintage clothes sales.
Unless you think you can fix something, don’t buy anything which is damaged or ripped.
If something is visibly worn, faded, bobbled or stretched – don’t bother. It isn’t going to do you any favours when you put it on.

  • Don’t be disheartened if you don’t find what you are looking for immediately.

I have a mental check-list of the things I am looking for. Persistence pays off! A lot of what I am going to feature on this blog was sourced after hunting around for ages. You aren’t going to find a bumper bit of loot every time you hit the charity shop trail. I can go for weeks without seeing something. Other weeks, I find something every day. Be patient.

  • Customise!

You can make bring something back to life very easily in very little time if you use your imagination. Try to picture things with new buttons, a new belt, a lace trim sewed on or even a new colour. I do a lot of this and will be showing you how in future blogs.

  • Wash, press and hang!

Sometimes all things need to bring them into the 21st century, is a good wash followed by a proper press and a hang.  When you look at something in the shop or on a stall, try to identify when it was last dry cleaned or ironed. You could actually transform what you are looking at. I have bought things, washed them and to my amazement they look even more brilliant than they did in the shop.

Have I missed anything? Has this been useful? Share your advice as I certainly DON’T know it all!