Saturday, 26 January 2013

Charity Shop Tales

Yesterday, whilst out and about getting a tag for our new puppy,  I paid an impromptu visit to one of my favourite charity shops, which is not far from my home.  I'm quite a regular visitor to some of the charity shops in my area but this shop I like because it often has some really nice things for sale in it.  I've bought many clothes from here in the past, including a DKNY wool skirt for £6, a Top Shop khaki jacket which I wear all the time, for £6 and various other lovely things both vintage and sometimes new, which I have worn numerous times.

In addition, I have often bought lots of small sewing items from this particular shop, such as vintage wooden reels of thread, unused cards of vintage buttons, zips, vintage sewing patterns and vintage plastic knitting needles.  I love to have a good rummage and the shop is old fashioned in it's layout and facilitates this wonderfully well.  It is always very busy in this shop, so it is obviously a well known haunt of regular charity shop shoppers.

On this occasion, I spent a grand total of £8, which might seem a lot but with it I bought a merino wool vintage sleeveless black cardigan which will look great over a stripy top with a belt fastened around it, for £4, 3 pairs of colourful vintage plastic knitting needles, which I collect, for £1 per pair, a guide book to being a Goddess which I've borrowed from the library before and enjoyed reading, but am happy to own for the princely sum of 70p because it has a lovely flocked cover, and finally, a vintage sewing pattern for a dress which I'm hoping to make a skirt from when I get the chance.  Below is a photo of some of these items:

There's something so fabulously random about charity shops, in that you just never know what you might come across on any visit.  Sometimes, it seems that something was just sitting there waiting for you personally to walk in and buy it.  Maybe that's going a bit far, but many times I've been thinking to myself that I want or need something and that exact thing has been there in the charity shop when I've walked in and it has saved me scouring high street shops to find it. 

Many people, I realise, would never dream of buying anything from a charity shop, for whatever reason, or perhaps would not want to be seen in one, whilst not passing judgement in any way, I do find this attitude quite puzzling.  In fact, in recent years, it has almost become more acceptable to shop in them than on the high street, so I have no qualms about it at all.  I actually find it quite a liberating experience, as if you are selective, quite often what you buy can be of much better quality than the clothes now offered for sale in high street stores, and there is little chance of ever seeing anyone wearing the same thing in the same way. Even if something needs washing or mending in some small way, if I like it, and think it is worth the money, I am more than happy to buy it with the added knowledge that the money I'm spending is in some small way helping someone else.

What do you think about shopping in charity shops?  Do you enjoy it or do you prefer to buy things new elsewhere?  Do you think they are a good place to visit, if only to take all those things you no longer want?

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