27/02/2011

How To: Charity Shop Finds

I was a bit naughty this week. I popped into one of my favourite charity shops - PDSA on the Royal Mile (bit pricey because of the prime location, but not a Primark cast-off in sight) - and bought FOUR new tops. Oops. NO MORE CLOTHES SHOPPING!

Silk-mix top £4.99 - Loved the contrasting green details, but is unfortunately dry-clean only (I'm going to risk it at a gentle cycle and see what happens)

Silk peter-pan collar blouse £3.99 - The previous owner must have been a bit more endowed in the chest area than me, but I'm pretty sure a good steam in the bathroom will reshape it (wishing I had done this before I took the picture). Otherwise, it wouldn't be a big job to re-dart the chest to pull it in a bit.

Lulu Castagnette cotton-mix cardigan £3.99 - What a find! I used to wear LC clothes when I was a kid, but I hadn't realised they made womens-wear too. It's a tad baggy around the hips so if it doesn't reshape in the wash I'll have to keep belting it (luckily I have one in an almost identical colour)

Cotton wrap-over blouse £2.99 - This one is by H&M. Normally, I don't buy high street brands in charity shops (they're usually not great quality) but I'd been looking for a wrap-over shirt for ages, and usually they're cut for someone with bigger shoulders than me. It's more d├ęcolletage than I care to show during the day, so I'll wear a camisole to keep it modest.

Quick Guide to Charity Shop Clothes:
  • Most clothes can be taken in, even if it's just a couple of stitches at the waist to tailor it a bit. However, clothes that are a bit small need to have ample material inside the seam to be let out (which is unlikely).
  • Silk and cotton (including mixes) are the best materials to buy. Polyester and other man-made materials generally don't last, so if they're not already a bit blooby, they will be soon after you give them a couple of washes. 
  • Like I said above, best to avoid high street brands unless it's something really special (and made of good quality material).
  • If you're terrified of the rails of disorganised clothes, do what I do and just let your eye find colours you like. Then you can look at material/price/size. In that order.
  • Check for marks and tears. Don't buy anything you aren't positive you can fix easily (well, duh).
  • Dyeing is always an option, but I think that the cost of the dye will probably be more than you paid for the item in the first place, and isn't really worth the effort. Maybe if it's really, really special and perfect in every other way. Maybe.
  • Don't be a hoarder (I could write a whole post about this, maybe I will...). Donate it back to charity if you only wear it once. I totally understand wanting to hold onto things you buy on the high-street or beyond that took a bigger chunk out of your wallet, although I bet I could still coax you to part ways with it...
  • Wash everything before you wear it. For this reason, avoid dry-clean only clothes unless it's something special,  you can afford the dry-cleaning bill, or you can live with the consequences of attempting a hand-wash/gentle cycle.
C x

1 comment:

  1. Love this blog cat, makes my procrastination fun! :) I've never been one for charity shops, like you said above, i can't cope with the disorganised rails (the reason i avoid january and summer sales like the plague!) But after reading this i may give it a go! You'll be pleased to hear i go through my wardrobe once every 2 months and bag stuff away for charity shops. Anyway, hope your portfolio/diss are going well! :) Ashley x

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