My name is Rosie and it’s lovely to meet you! I love to write about my charity shop adventures and vintage finds. Here’s a little bit of history to explain why…
Once upon a time I worked in a high street fashion store, and it really wasn’t until then that I even contemplated a sale purchase, let alone a vintage find or a charity shop excursion. I learned about mark-downs and mark-ups and couldn’t believe the margin that stores applied to their products.
Very soon, I just couldn’t bring myself to buy clothes full-price; it seemed like such a waste to spend £100 on a beautiful coat when weeks later, and by mere virtue of the season moving on, that it could end up at least a quarter of its price.
I suppose I should also confess now that I’m not exactly a slave to fashion. I know what suits me and I love good tailoring and timeless style, hence my admiration of vintage, but I do love trends that suit my overall look. I won’t buy a leopard print shift dress because the fashion mags tell me to, but if there’s a catwalk lens on leopard print peep-toe platforms that I know will look the part with the black pencil skirt in my wardrobe, then yes, I’ll keep an eye out for a bargain pair.
I became a charity shop junkie once I realised that I loved a more vintage look than I could find on the high street. My first ever bargain was a stunning Coast black satin pencil skirt (brand new) that I wanted for a 40s evening – it was £3 with tags still on. The charity shop’s grip on all things vintage has weakened now for loads of reasons: Dita, Mad Men’s Joan, even the Desperate Housewives themselves have had a hand in making the high street a bit more vintage friendly. But even when the high street stores started pushing the look that I loved, the price of that look was something I just couldn’t justify and I knew I could continue to find more quality for less money in vintage stores and charity shops.
Not only that, I’m not a fan of seeing 20 other people in town wearing what I’m wearing. The charity shop supports you to think a bit more and experiment a bit more with your clothes, shoes and accessories.
I don’t wear charity shop chic from head-to-toe every day. I’m a big fan of TK Maxx and if there is a good sale in M&S, Hobbs or Oasis I’ll be there, with bells on. But, most days when someone compliments something I’m wearing there will be a vintage or charity shop element to it, and that usually takes the form of a vintage bag or brooch!
So, to the reason for my blog! I know a lot of people who love the pieces that I pick up in charity shops across Belfast. Sometimes I find brand-new items with their tags still in place; sometimes it’s a stunning dress or jacket that’s hardly been worn; and more often that not, it’s a handbag or brooch that has lasted 40 years and probably has another 140 years to go before it’s ready for the landfill. Charity shops are full of inspiration and the potential for great finds, but you have to be bothered to look. That’s what I love most, really – the challenge of the rummage and the joy of finding something older, fabulous, quality and unique.
Through this blog, I’d like to showcase my latest finds and show people just how much of a treat a trip to the charity shops can be. Not only that, but many of us are finding money a bit tight at the moment – a charity shop is the right place to indulge a shopaholic whim, find something special, support a good cause and still feel thrifty!
I hope that my posts will be entertaining, interesting and most of all, will encourage your first or second steps into a charity shop near you.