Thursday, 6 March 2014

March Charity Challenge Part 1 - Fab Jeans

The Style Challenge for March is all about those charity shop finds that are worth sharing. I've worked in charity shops for long enough to know that there's ALOT of tat in most of them. So it's a bit like TK Maxx - you've got to hoke to find the good stuff. But if you follow a few rules, charity shops can be a great source of useful, inexpensive items for your wardrobe:
  1. Look for colours and styles you like before looking at labels. Buying just for a label in a charity shop is a recipe for a wardrobe full of unworn clothing & footwear.
  2. Equally, don't buy a well worn/bobbled/faded item just because of the label. Worn out clothes will never look good on you.
  3. Only ever buy items that fit you well...sounds obvious but I've witnessed so many people buy things that are too big or small.
  4. The best rails to head for first in a charity shop are jeans, jackets/coats and dresses, (esp. occasion wear). Most knitwear, tops, t-shirts will have had too much wear already.
  5. To find gems, be prepared to visit a shop weekly and to walk out at least every other time with nothing.
  6. Make friends with the staff - we love to chat to people coming in and believe me - ALL sorts of people come into charity shop, so don't be shy.
  7. Volunteer - definitely the best way to get the great stuff before it even hits the rails
For today's post, Rule 5 applies - I found nothing when searching today for this post but last week was more successful as I found these Autograph at M&S skinny jeans in a size 12 for £4.50. They've had very little wear and fitted me perfectly - they even came to London with me!
Here they are worn today with my Boden Fair Isle cardigan (limited sizes in clearance) & Seven Boot Lane Boots. The jeans are a bit long for these ankle boots so I've turned them up but the length will be perfect for pumps.
I do love this cardigan - it's such an antidote to the wet weather with the neon pink and orange...I'm wearing it over a simple Gap long-sleeved tee in a putty colour. A great neutral basic to have - they're in store at the moment.
Fair Isle Cardigan - Boden (AW13)
Long Sleeve Top - Gap
Jeans - Autograph at M&S (thrifted)

Suede Ankle Boots - Seven Boot Lane
(10% off with SGSSS14)
Over all this - for the morning at least, I wore my BHS navy Pea Coat and one of the new scarves that has just arrived in my shop. It was a no brainer 'keep one for me' as I adore the colours in it. A proper dark navy with pinks, orange & blue/greens..
Scarf - SGS Shop
Navy Pea Coat - BHS
But come 3pm, the suede boots and wool coat were replaced by Sorel boots and my Target Dry Parka as the rain was torrential. I do love an excuse to wear these boots though..
Conquest Carly Boot - c/o Sorel Footwear
Georgia Parka - c/o Target Dry
Jeans - as before
So now it's over to you - have you had an amazing charity shop find? If so, share it in the comments or if you've blogged about it, join the linky below. I've had to change linky providers once again so if you've any problems linking up, just tweet or comment. In any case, I'll be doing a post each week in March so you will get more chances to link up then.
Hope you have a fab Friday,
Ax
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26 comments

  1. Well given my dismal attempt at Frugal February, I think I had better give this challenge a miss. But, I'm really looking forward to your updates. Those jeans were a bargain x

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    1. Haha Donna! Ok then....till April's challenge...no excuses! Xx

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  2. Hi!
    you look great, I've just recently started looking in charity shops but I have managed to get some animal print Dune shoes for £3 and a camel coloured Zara coat for £10!
    Xx

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    1. Wow...score!! I rarely find shoes I have to say so that's brilliant. Will see if I can have as much luck this month-here's hoping x

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  4. I REALLY need to charity shop for budget reasons and plus it's been a while since I last went - might just do that today!

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  5. Liking this challenge, I will try to join in as much as I can. Those jeans are perfect for you and a real find.

    You can't beat a bit of colour when the weather is well... pants! Bright colours make you smile and lift you mood I always think.

    X x

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  6. Adore those boots AND that scarf and who can beat Autograph jeans at £4.50! Will be suss ing out that Linky website too, so thanks Honey!

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  7. I have never bought anything to wear from a charity shop, my local ones look rubbish, I think I would have to go to a posh area but I am interested in the challenge, it could change the way I shop! x

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  8. It's true, go to a upmarket area, and you won't believe what people give away! In Bath a few months ago I found a beautiful cashmere coat......It wasn't a label I knew, but you could tell it was a very good quality coat, and hey it fitted, £8.99 well spent,although I did have to get it dry cleaned as I am a bit OTT, so in all about £20....Bargain!! xx

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  9. Not been to a charity shop for a while as i've been walking out with nothing new ( need to go again now) will pop back and link up my bargain jacket and have a few other gems to link up next week too :) thanks for reminding me x

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    1. Thanks for hosting, all linked up now off to hop :)

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  10. Love Charity shops. Go almost weekly and have found some amazing bargains - Miu Miu and Sergio Rossi shoes, Marc Jacobs bag, Sonia Rykiel bag which everyone loves - bargains are there if you look for them.
    Love this post - just linked up.x

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  11. Stunning Avril - what a find! You know I went past so many charity stores while I was there and I wish I had ventured in - I always think I am wasting my time - but Natalie has found 3 Chanel bags with her perseverance!!

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  12. Fab jeans, love the cardi too. I'm going to my local ones tomorrow so that I can join in the challenge
    A x

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  13. I was a charity shop junky in my youth but must confess to not going in them a lot nowadays. I will say that when I had my 'clear out' a couple of months ago the shop that received my items ( Cancer Charity in our local village) had a lot of great stuff. I had to resist, at the time, or it would have defeated the whole reason for being there in the first place. Those jeans are a fabulous find. Hxx

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  14. I'm inspired Avril as your jeans were such a great find!! I am definately up for taking part in this challenge especially as Net-A-Dresser in a previous comment mentioned she found such an amazing coat in Bath.....that's my stomping ground too! xx

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  15. They look great Avril. The fit is perfect in you and the cardigan is so cheerful. I like looking for china and glass in charity shops. I once saw a pair of Jimmy Choos ( not in my size) although they were still £200 and had been out in a glass display cabinet!! Worth keeping a lookout! Love Liz xxx

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  16. Hi Avril!! Your thrift tips are spot on and as a lover of jeans myself there are definitely quality finds out there for the taking! Your pair are a fab find and my current jean label of choice are River Island-I've thrifted about 4 pairs of their skinny jeans and love the fit and different colours too. I've just linked up my new post and will be adding some more from previous months finds- I've busted my clothes budget this week but I'll certainly still keep my eyes peeled for any gems all the same, hehe!! xx

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  17. Hi Avril, love your blog, been reading since Xmas, this is first comment! I love this outfit. Can you tell me which white Gap top it is exactly and how did you find sizing. I find Gap tops very big fitting so I'm not sure on sizing for an online purchase(currently 30% off Gap special) thanks

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  18. Hi there and thanks for your comment-the first of many I hope! This is called the lovely crew neck and it is very generous! I'm wearing the size M and it's just lovely and long, not too clingy, soft & stretchy cotton. It's a kind of putty colour but they had it in other shades too - just couldn't find the same one online for some reason. Hope this helps, oh and it was £12.95 I think and I got the 30% off too! Xx

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  19. I'm blessed to live where there are some amazing charity shops & I've found some amazing bits in the past! Its been a while since I went out for a good old rummage & will definitely have a look this week! Your shopping tips are just perfect & its only a bargain if you're going to use it/wear it! Ax

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  20. Some great tips, thanks for sharing Avril. What a buy those jeans were! I need to devote some more time to charity shops. I randomly visit some but I'm not that consistent. x

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  21. Just wanted to say thanks for the inspiration and the tips. I did a little bit of charity shop trawling today (and submitted a blog link!) and really enjoyed it. It was something I used to but haven't in a while. I wouldn't have thought of it without you blogging about it!

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  22. I've been in a few charity shops in the past few weeks and am determined to pick up some hidden gems- but alas it's not to be. Although I did get he wee man an unworn JCB t-shirt for £1, so at least someone is happy!

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I love reading your comments and will reply as soon as I can if you have a specific question. If for any reason, you are unable to leave a comment, just drop me an email at avril@alifetostyle.com or leave a comment on the A Life to Style Facebook Page! Thank you xx

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