IF you've read my FAQ which is in my about page, you may see that my favourite shop is the charity shop! You could take me to Topshop or Cancer Research, and I know which one I'll pick. Not only because I'm a young student and don't have a limitless wallet, but because you can pick up unique pieces which 99% of the high-street won't have. You can find anything and everything in a charity shop, and everything is so cheap! Another bonus, all the money goes to charity: what more do you want?
Vintage shops are also great, but can be pricey sometimes, though the majority of the clothes are old, antique, and most likely good quality. Dump shops, junk stores, and car boots are also great. You can find real gems like an old felt coat, or a lavish pair of Loakes.
Despite my love for all things vintage, I have made a couple of howling mistakes when feeling overwhelmed by the price. So, here are my top 5 tips about vintage shopping in general, and you may surprised when I say it doesn't just apply to clothes.
1. Check everything Thoroughly
Whether it be a vase, or a dress, scan every nook and cranny of your desired purchase. There could be a hidden agenda. A moth hole, a missing button, or a tomato stain - all instantly give the effect of second hand clothes. A chip of crack on a ceramic item, and your pot or vase could break within a couple of uses. Always check for unraveled hems and holes in pockets; not all issues are visible with a quick glance.
2. Don't ignore the Cosmetics
A lot of people don't like charity shops as it is, let alone the cosmetics! But a shop can't sell opened bottles, so all the stuff is brand new and sealed. I once found a basket of Sally Hansen nail varnish, and even found some Dior perfume. All of it is unwanted but unused, so there is no reason you should use something from Boots, and not from your local Oxfam.
3. Always Try On
Always, always, always try your clothes on. Most charity shops won't accept items back, so you can't simply bring it back if it doesn't fit. If I'm honest, you should try clothes on whether your in a charity shop or not, it will save you lots of time and money in the long run. Also, if you're picking older items, most likely the sizes will be slightly different.
4. Look at Everything
If you are going to go vintage clothe shopping, you obviously have to time too. Check everything. Go in the boxes, look high upon the shelves. If you are going to search half-heartily, you probably find nothing but tat.
5. Let it become Habit
You won't fine anything nice if you don't let them become a regular stop on your way around town. Chances are, you can walk into one a second hand shop, and find nothing. But three or four shops down, you could find something great. You must give them time, and effort if you want to find a new classic for your home.