5 top tips to help you find the very best items for your wardrobe or home when shopping at the Charity Shop or Thrift Store.


It's no secret that I am total thrifting junkie. One of my favourite things in the world to do is hit the charity & thrift shops for forgotten and unwanted fashion gems. I'd take an all expenses paid shopping trip in these shops over a high street store any day. I would estimate at least 75% of my entire wardrobe is thrifted and I am truly attached to each my beautiful vintage finds. 

I have been treasure hunting through the rails of these stores for years and years and have even managed to convert Mr B, who now gets equally as excited. Quite a feat for a man who was once a teeny bit of a clothing snob ;)

With that in mind, I thought I would share my top tips and maybe preach to the as-yet unconverted a little... Here are my top 5 tips for charity shop/thrift store shopping.



1. BE OPEN MINDED – DON’T GO LOOKING FOR SOMETHING IN PARTICULAR...

Some of my best thrift store finds have been completely random. I just popped in for a browse and came out with something amazing!

If you go with a specific piece in mind, eg. “I want to find an awesome vintage leather jacket” or “I want some brown battered chunky boots”,  most often than not you just won’t find them or miss the ‘wow’ factor and settle for something similar to what you were after. Worst case scenario, you end up traipsing round the shops getting hot, grumpy & frustrated.

Nothing is worse than that dissatisfied feeling when you go shopping! So, just go see what the vintage gods have in store for you.




2. ONLY BUY WHAT MAKES YOUR HEART SKIP A BEAT...

You know that awesome feeling you get when you see something you absolutely NEED in your life. It’s like a little spike of adrenaline mixed with joy, elation and a few butterflies. Reserve your purchases for those items. 

It’s easy to run away with yourself looking at bargain prices but before you buy stop and think 'How much do I love this?', 'Is it one in a million?'. I don’t really consider practicalities to be honest… If you love it, you love it.

I bought a beautiful true vintage 1950s royal blue metallic wiggle cocktail dress for a mere £5.50 about 4 years ago and did not wear it until a formal function last year  as the occasion was just never right, but as soon as I saw it I just knew I needed to have it. It gave me that feeling.

Maybe it’s being an only child but the way I deem my totally must-buy purchases is if I get the overwhelming urge that I don’t want anyone else to have it *blush*



3.THRIFTING IS NOT FOR THE FAINT-HEARTED...

Mama D compares me to a ferret when shopping and ignoring the similarities in my stature to that of a small ferret, I actually enjoy this likeness. To find the best pieces in a sale, or when thrifting, you need to rummage. Properly. This. Is. Fact. It is not for the shy or self-conscious. Many a time I have been on all fours on the floor rummaging through a bargain bin of scarves, hats, purses… and 9 times out of ten it pays off.

You have to get down and dirty and check for hidden gems!

Also, don’t just stop at the women’s section… So many amazing jumpers I have found hidden in amongst a stack of men’s clothing and don’t forget, guy’s t-shirts are the BEST! In fact they are one of the first sections of the store I hit up. You can wear them oversized or refashion them into cute baggy crops.




4. LET YOUR EYES GUIDE YOU ( Yeah I know... d'oh... that sounds obvious, but bear with me)

In addition to being ferret-like I have also been told watching me shop is like watching a pinball ricochet around the store… Mr B finds it hilarious and would like to install a GPS tracker on me. Why am I like this? Because I let me eyes guide me – well d’oh I hear you say …but hear me out...

When I look around the rails I am instantly drawn to just fabrics, textures, patterns and prints. Usually these are metallic, sequined, garishly printed and so on. I just follow what I see. I don’t care what the garment will turn out to be, I just need to see the pretties and more often than not it’s an awesome piece that comes home with me.





5.       SIZE DOESN’T MATTER...

This is one of the most important tips… don’t go thrifting with your dress size in mind.

Be open-minded – the fabulous and super soft angora sweater you just found is 4 sizes up from your size…so what?! You love it right? Wear it super-slouchy. That tee has some stretch in it but is a  12 year olds? Get your curves on show and wear it tight and cropped under a cardi.

I have an amazing pink all-over-sequin top which is a size 18-20, I’m an 8 but I love it soooo much and relish the oversized, clotheshorse look – it gives it a new twist and you can guarantee no one else is going to be rocking your look even if they did have the same piece.

Don’t forget you can easily alter garments to fit or add belts and darts and that true vintage sizing is very different to modern day sizing. This applies to shoes too so try them on, boots you can easily go up at least 1 size and with the right open toe gain a size in the front and the back. Just go with what you like, are comfortable in and your imagination.





I hope you enjoyed my top 5 tips for thrifting for clothes and I would love to hear any of yours!