21 October 2016

The season of killer coats and cosy knits is upon us, but that doesn't mean you need to break the bank to trial the latest trends. This week we're breaking down the top 10 reasons you should head to the charity shops this season instead of your usual go-to stores.

Take to the charity shops, save some ££ and find some gems this Autumn

1. Autumn pieces endure
Summer trends in general are more fleeting than those of autumn, which means that great autumn pieces that were donated last year, will still be 'in' now. Tartan always comes back, as do the mustards, the teals, the burgundies, all the gorgeous jewel tones endure- so there's less risk of unearthing tired trend pieces you're sick of seeing. Autumn classics live on, and in turn are donated, so there are always both vintage and newer pieces just waiting for you to give them a new life beyond the charity shop. Keep your eyes peeled for autumnal classics, and they shall appear!

2. Get the 'OG', not the 'effect'
The high street do great chunky knits, but sometimes a good, high quality vintage knit is just even better. Instead of investing in a 'vintage look' item, try and find an original version in the charity shop for a lot less. The charity shops are teeming with unloved amazing chunky knits to keep the example, more authentic than the copies you'll find on the high street. Don't pay a premium for an oversized 'look', just spend some time in the men's section for the same effect. Why spend money looking for the perfect 'vintage look', when you could just buy the real thing!

3. Save the money for your PSL
Autumn can be a pricey time of year especially when you're getting your 'new coat', 'new season updates', saving for Christmas and downing PSLs like no body's business. But shopping in thrift stores means you can still get that wardrobe updated and inject some new (to you) pieces, but not sacrifice going out and spending time with friends and being spendy in other areas, like Starbucks. We all know you're doing it.

4. Avoid 'I have that too'
Everyone knows that as soon as the big trends roll in, if you've gone to Zara or one of the big high street stores for your statement winter staples, you're likely to see someone else in them- especially if you're a blogger. Thrifting means you really can do 'you' and put together looks that you know no one else will have. The best street style looks are always made up of a mix of things, so look out for statement pieces that look more luxe than their price-tag to mix with what you already have.

5. Sales are your friend
This time of year is when the already super-affordable charity shops have huge sales, usually to counter-act the influx of donations as everyone has their end of season clear out. There's no better time to bag a bargain, and the prices are slashed right down. Keep an eye out for the four letters we all love most in the world, coming soon to a window near you; S-A-L-E.

6. Try the one in, one out rule
Talking of clear outs- autumn means getting out your beloved autumn/winter clothes, and if you're like me and have a small wardrobe- packing up and waving goodbye to your summer pieces for a while. This clear out is a perfect time to identify things you'd like to donate also- so when you're off to the charity shops- you can take a bag of things with you that will make you loads more room for the new! You can also think about pieces you feel like you're 'missing' in your wardrobe, so it'll give you more ideas of things to look out for on your next thrifting trip.

7.  Make a day of it
If you and your friends love a day at the shops, trying out outfits, and planning your new season wardrobes- this doesn't need to stop if you're feeling a little less than flush. Spending a day going around the charity shops is the most fun with friends, and because the prices are so low, you can afford to experiment and try on things you wouldn't normally. You can even try styling each other up- my sister and I always have fun doing this, and often pick out things for the other that they end up really loving and would never normally have considered. 

8. Try a tricky trend
This point perfectly compliments my previous one, in that you can dare to try trends that you wouldn't normally when you're shopping in the charity shops. If you're not too sure on this season's micro trend, e.g camo, pick up a piece from the charity shops to try. If you end up really loving the trend, you can then invest in it from the high street, but it's a good way of saving money while feeling like you're still in the loop and giving new trends a spin.

9. Get customising
This season it's all about patching, pinning, slashing, distressing and making your clothes really you. Of course, there's no point in buying a pricey pair of jeans when you're getting experimental with the scissors, so the charity shop is a great place to pick up pieces to give your own twist. If you've never distressed before for example, you could even pick up a cheap, 'practice' pair of jeans to have a go on before ripping into the jeans you intend to wear. It's trial and error, without the financial investment! You can also start from scratch and patch up your own piece- so it's exactly how you want it, instead of settling for a hig-street pieces that's almost right.

10. Keep your space cosy
Finally, autumn/winter nights are made for cuddling up at home in your cosy space, and the charity shops have a wealth of cute knick-knacks and everything inbetween for adding quirky touches to your home. You don't have to spend a fortune on your place to make it look and feel like you, and there's nothing like updating your room to make it feel more homely and inviting for the winter months. As they say, one person's trash is another person's treasuresomeone could be donating your dream trinkets as we speak, so get rummaging!

We'd love to know...
What are you best tips for charity shopping, and what are your most proud thrift finds? 
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Written by Camilla Delacoe
for Daily Focal

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