We’ve all got a ridiculously stylish mate whose wardrobe know no bounds when it comes to quirky pieces, re-imagined vintage chic, and where-the-fuck-did-you-get-that prowess. “This old thing? Oh, just the British Heart Foundation in Penge.”
While many of her amazing finds might come down to luck (who knows when any of us are going to unearth a perfectly-fitting jacket that once belonged to Jimi Hendrix) she sure as hell knows how to charity shop like a boss. In fact, she’s got it down to a fine art, and here’s how:
1. She goes in with an open mind
Don’t look for specifics. If you go into Shelter expecting to find a beige Burberry trench, size 10, you might as well go and buy a Euromillions lucky dip. You will find your Holy Grail, but it’ll unexpectedly present itself to you if you remain open to suggestion. (And guess what? It won’t be that Burberry trench).
2. She knows how to look, properly
Think about your usual shopping habits, and break them. Apparently we all walk ‘round the same way in a shop, looking at the same things like flippin’ lemmings – and subsequently, we miss those little gems. Go wild and take a left turn when you usually go right, and you’ll see it all with fresh eyes.
3. She’s prepared to strip
Easier in the summer months, admittedly, but you’re more likely to make the effort and actually try those potentially amazing garbs on if you’re wearing loose clothing you can whip off in an instant. So many pieces look better on you, than on a hanger. If you’ve got an inkling about that vintage houndstooth pencil skirt, go for it.
4. She values tailoring over labels
An ill-fitting Miu Miu blazer won’t look good on you no matter how much you tell yourself it does. Yes, there’s the thrill of spotting that Prada tag in a sea of Primark, but unless it fits you properly, resist. Little-known boutiques your granny might have visited in the ‘70s often come up trumps.
5. She’s on neighbourhood watch
And while you might find sweet charity on your local high street, it’s worth looking further afield, too. Wealthier areas are more likely to have higher-end pieces on their Red Cross rails. Fitzrovia, for example, is always a good bet for fancy fashion finds.