That lime green sack for 25p
Does not a bargain be!
However cheap that it might seem
It's still a mon-stro-sity!
If that wouldn't make Byron green with envy then I am a big fat purple chicken.
But enough of this frivolity on a weekday! The point that I'm trying to make it that something isn't cheap even if it's been bought with the change that's been cluttering up the bottom of your purse. In fact it's a bad buy if you never ever end up wearing it. So, learning from the mistakes I've made in the past, here's the Lovelygrey guide to charity shopping for clothes that will be worn so much that they'll represent real bargains.
- Yes, the changing room may be less glamorous than in 'normal' stores. Still, muster up the courage to risk showing you bum to the unsuspecting hords in the shop, fight that undersized curtain (yes, I'm talking about you Scope in Totnes!) and try things on! The majority of misguided buys are made when skipping this simple step.
- Buy stuff that fits now. Don't optimistically pounce upon something three sizes too small. Saving the shopping trip until after you've lost weight means that your wardrobe isn't cluttered up with beautiful things that only serve to depress you because they don't fit
- And talking of the wardrobe...consider what's in there already. If your 'absolute steal' goes with nothing else that you own, then its likely to be a no-no.
- That slinky one-shouldered cocktail dress may look fabulous and the dinky little price tag may make it seem all the more attractive. But if you're a jeans and T-shirt kind of girl, think very carefully before going out of your usual styling comfort zone...unless of course, there's an imminent occasion where you'll be sipping gin slings.
- Be realistic about how much of a makeover you're going to do on garments that aren't quite right. Will you change those buttons, put darts in a bodice or alter a seam? If it's not going to happen leave those worthy project for someone else.
- If something feels scratchy, shiny or unpleasant pass it by. It isn't going to grow on you at home.
- Likewise, stains, bobbles, tears and funny ingrained smells won't induce warm fuzzy feelings as you're choosing what to wear.
- Get real about what you'll pay for something that you really do take a shine to. Charity shops are there to make money for the cause that they serve, and quite rightly, have been raising their prices in recent years as their popularity as retail venues have increased. But some kind of weird switch in my head operates as I enter and I think that an almost new quality skirt is expensive when, in reality, it's half the price of something in Primark.
Hopefully, this 'anti-frittering' guide will be useful to someone, somewhere out there. Feel free to add your own handy hints in the comments.