Thrifting Tips - Charity Shops

Shopping second hand has been a favourite way to shop for me for quite some time now. I love that when you shop second hand you can find something unique. I love the excitement of finding something AMAZING that fits you just right. Thrifting can be time consuming but for me that is actually part of the fun, it feels good to know that I worked to find some of the beautiful pieces in my wardrobe. 

For me, years ago, thrifting used to fit in side by side with my fast fashion shopping habits. If you go back through my old posts or my YouTube videos, I loved an ASOS haul but would also do Charity shop finds videos too. Overtime I really found that some of my best quality pieces were vintage jeans and dresses from when clothes were made with more care and from better fabrics. I still love a little browse of the high-street, I'm not exclusively 2nd hand but I definitely found over the years of mixing thrifting with high-street that I preferred thrifting. 

So I thought I would share with you some of my tips and ways that I like to shop second hand!

Chelsea Jade shopping in an Isabel Hospice charity shop, looking at a pink silk shirt.

Image Credit: Isabel Hospice

First of all, of course we have Charity Shops! I have found so many of my wardrobe staples in charity shops, they are one of my go tos for thrifting. So some of my tips are below but you can read more of these in an older post I wrote on Charity Shopping Tips

1) Keep an open mind, when you are browsing and find something that captures your eye try to use your imagination. Picture it with some of the pieces you already have at home, think about how you would style it. Highstreet shops are great at placing items near others to create outfits, they have team members doing visual merchandising. Charity shops rely on volunteers, who may not be as interested in fashion, they may not have an eye for merchandising and are limited by the stock they have. You need to do this bit and think about how to style something. 

2) Generally speaking, charity shop thrifting can take time, you need patience and be able to visit several shops fairly regularly. However, never let this put you off popping into a one off charity shop when you have 5 minutes! You never know what gem might be lurking in that shop you passed on your lunch break or on your way to meet a friend!

3) Check rails you wouldn't usually browse, check different sizes, check the menswear rails. People may have already taken in a pair of trousers, an item may be labelled incorrectly and something amazing might have been put back in the wrong area

4) Know which charity shops to check, look at the Instagram accounts of the charity shops and research areas. Are they curated well? There are some shops that are curated and merchandised so well that they are really easy to shop, these might be a good place to start if you are new to thrifting. For London, I suggest Crisis and Traid as two shops and then I also find that Mind do really well and tend to have some vintage clothing. 

Be sure to take a look at my older post on charity shop shopping tips for more inspo.

Chelsea Jade Charity Shop Shopping - Isabel Hospice 1

Charity shops also tend to have an online place to shop so if you can't get out as easily then there is the option for online shopping. It may be easier to browse on your phone than visit several shops in a day. Oxfam have had an online shop for quite a while now, lots of places joined eBay to sell things and then I feel like there has been an increase in the number of shops that now have an eBay or Depop shop. Lots of local charity shops set up an instagram account to help share some of the goodies that they get in store too! Often the eBay shops are the space in which charity shops will sell their designer items so the are worth a browse for a designer steal. 

Here are a little list of places to shop charity shops online, save this page for later so you can have a browsing session :)

Do you have any faves to add to this list?

Chelsea Jade x