I was reading a thread on Instagram the other day and I was amazed to see how many comments there were about not knowing how to shop for preloved clothing. Whilst there's a whole load of us out there who know how to find preloved treasures, there's also a lot of people who might find the thought of rummaging around for second hand clothing a bit off putting. So I thought I'd share a couple of tips for finding those elusive gems in a charity shop.
Charity shops. Lots of people don't like them, but I think it's important to go into them with an open mind and keep popping in little and often because the stock changes continuously so try and find out when your local shop puts out their new stock. Through years of browsing, I know for a fact that many of the things I see and like on the high street, end up in charity shops. I've bought a few things one or two seasons later from Toast, Cos & Whistles, all in great condition. I'm always really happy to see them and give them a place in my wardrobe because I tend to buy things which are ageless and which will last. I buy for less and then repurpose a perfectly good garment. Remember though, don't buy something just because it's in good condition and it's cheap. Anything you buy should be a valuable addition to your wardrobe and you still need to love it. You don't want to end up over consuming from charity shops.
Don't be overwhelmed by the jumble. Many charity shops group clothes by colour so this works really well if you know what colours you tend towards. For me this means I look mostly at the neutral colours and miss out the brights because I don't really wear them and so I keep it focused and swift.
I'm aware of trends and the shapes coming through because dressing and styling for me is a creative outlet as well as a practicality, but I'm also aware that clothes which are a few seasons old are still going to be looking good and things which are vintage (let's say 20 years old) are often going to be looking just right. For instance, right now, I'm loving the shape of the dresses from the 1980's and I've found a couple recently which sit just right with the current aesthetic.
So those are just a few tips to bear in mind when you go into a charity shop. I hope it's encouraged you to take the plunge to start finding your own preloved gems.