Sunday, 6 July 2014

Charity Shop Haul #1

Yellow dress- £4
White dress- £8.99
Lilac bag- £2.50
Pink bag- £1
Bead choker- £0.99
Compact mirror- £0.99

So attuned have I become to the art of charity shopping, that I can usually sense before the spree begins whether or not it will be successful. Call me the Mystic Meg of Oxfam. I had that tingling feeling as Mum and I drove to Newport yesterday, and I wasn't disappointed.

I've been trawling through every clothes website in the last month, leaving no stone in cyberspace unturned, in search of the perfect graduation dress. I had my heart set on a white dress because the colour is classy, summery, and won't clash with whatever hues the sash on my grossly overpriced graduation robes turns out to be. Although there is currently an influx of white dresses on the high street, I kept facing the same conundrum: each garment either revealed too much leg or too much cleavage. As graduation ceremonies are all about celebrating your academic achievements and looking forward to your future as a successful professional, I didn't think constantly pulling down the skirt, or a stray boob as I go to collect my scroll would give off quite the right vibes.

I was almost giving up hope when I strolled into the first charity shop and picked out this dress within seconds. It's just what I had in mind: it looks well-made; the fabric isn't that cheap, stretchy stuff that is so often offered by the high street; and the hemline finishes just above the knee. I'll be doing a post on my graduation outfit, so I'll refrain from discussing it further to leave an element of surprise.

The other dress makes me a terrible hypocrite. Whenever my boyfriend wears his bright yellow Arsenal shirt, I always go into fashion police mode and declare to him that 'blondes shouldn't wear yellow'. I couldn't not buy the dress, though. It's so bright and summery, and it's the kind of colour that makes you feel instantly happier for wearing it.

The bead choker is great because it's something a bit different from tattoo chokers, which everyone and their goldfish now seems to wear. I was drawn to the pink bag due to the fringing detail; a big trend this summer. Lilac is currently my favourite colour, and  pastel hues are a big trend this season, so the other bag was a natural choice for me. Although I have plenty of reflective surfaces in which to wince at my face, the compact mirror with hieroglyph detail is a welcome addition to my make up bag.

Alice's Top Charity Shopping Tips

Quite often I get asked how I can find so much in charity shops. There's no big secret to a successful chazza shop spree; it's all in the way that you approach it.

1. Be prepared to rummage. In high street stores the clothes get laid out for you on a plate: you see the ideal outfit combination on a mannequin, and the corresponding clothes are easily found on the rails. In charity shops you've got to work for it. Scour your way through each rail, even when your arm starts aching. Forage in every basket of bits and bobs. It's more time consuming, but once you embrace this technique, you'll realise it's part of the fun.

2. Stay open minded. If you enter a Barnado's store with a strict list of criteria (i.e. a size 10 leather jacket with a studded collar), chances are you're going to leave empty handed. If you approach each item with a focus on its good points, and an attempt to imagine it as part of an outfit, you're more likely to find something. It's a bit long, but wouldn't this tee look great tucked into my skirt? I don't usually wear blue, but I love the sequins on this top. If I changed the buttons on this jacket, it would be perfect. You get the idea.

3. But not too open minded. By this I mean it's useful to have a vague list of trends, details and colours that you'd like to add to your wardrobe. For example, during my recent charity shop spree, I had in the back of my mind to look out for fringing, lilac, a white dress, Chinese prints and off-the-shoulder tops. You're less likely to accidentally skip passed something great if you have a general idea of what it is you're looking for.

On the topic of shopping hauls, my blog sister Georgie (who you should be well acquainted with now if you're a regular reader), has recently set up her own Youtube channel. Georgie's already done a video on her every day make up and her favourite purchases in June. I promise watching her videos will brigten up your day, so subscribe for a weekly dose of fashion and sunshine.


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  1. I loovveee the dresses! I need to start charity shopping again, you really can find some gems!

    The Velvet Black // UK Style, Beauty and Lifestyle Blog

    1. Thanks, Alice! I demand that you resume charity shopping at once!

  2. Having a trawl is so worth it because of the fabulous things you find! I also recommend charity shops in posh areas because posh people = posh clothes!! xx

    1. I totally agree, Anna! Stumbled up an Armani jacket yesterday (alas it was hideous). xx

  3. Love you <3! And the grad dress is gorgeous. I haven't even thought about mine yet! Jelly xo

    1. Love you moooore <3 Thank you! It's a few sizes too big at the mo, but shouldn't be too tricky to adjust. You'll find a beautiful dress, I have total faith in you! I definitely recommend checking the charity shops first. What kinda thing are you looking for? xx

  4. just something really simple, cream or white. if needs be i'll settle for my grad ball dress because it's simple too! x

  5. charity shops are the best! I always seem to find the bits I want and can't find on the high street. The yellow dress looks perfect for summer!


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