10 tips to charity shop chic

We set one fashion writer the challenge of finding two charity shop outfits for £10. Bex White’s top 10 tips for achieving charity shop chic:

Look at the labels on the clothes

What might seem an amazing top, could be one previously from Primark, which already worn isn’t going to last much longer. Look for brands and labels which were worth a bit more brand new so they last.

Don’t judge each item from first look

It may look out of style, but think about it, maybe combined with something you already own it will look bang on trend.

Be creative

It’s not like buying something brand new from a high street store; you won’t feel bad about cutting off those sleeves or sticking some gems onto that old shirt. The smallest bit of customising can give an item new life.

Don’t just go for the obvious shops

We all know about Oxfam and British Heart Foundation, but try a local hospice one or a smaller charity. Not only is it likely to be cheaper but you can know your money is making a big difference locally.

Take a friend

This applies to any shopping but a friend’s advice can go a long way. What you believe to be a cool vintage top may in fact make you look ten years older. Plus you can have great fun dressing up in ridiculous outfits.

Think fancy dress

A lot of charity shops become second home to those once worn, sometimes brand new, Halloween costumes instead of heading straight to Primark for a plain white T-shirt try looking in charity shops where your money will probably find you something much better quality.

Search through the racks

It may seem obvious but take the time to really go through the rails. Just like high street sales the best items are often found at the back.

Don’t stop at the clothes

Charity shops are just as good for shoes and jewellery. The shoes are often barely worn (if they’re in a poor condition they don’t try and resell them) and as for jewellery, it’s often a minefield of unique items you could never find elsewhere.

Get to know the staff

The staff will be more than happy to help you find something if you want something specific and if you get to know them well enough over several visits then they may start putting things aside they may think would be right for you.


Volunteering for your local charity is both fantastic for your CV and your wardrobe, it also means that you’re more likely to find the bargains before they hit the shelves!

Words: Bex White
Model and stylist: Catty Incisa
Photographer: Chloe Hashemi
Location: Campus


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September 2021
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