Vintage shopping is one of those ordeals that you come out of feeling either extremely happy or extremely disappointed. I have a very distinct love for vintage shopping, walking into a vintage shop, for me is like walking into a treasure box where you can either find a gem or a rock. Buying vintage is not only a more ethical way to shop, it is also a fun experience. I often find myself rummaging through vintage store rails but with many vintage shops getting a little repetitive and uninspiring, people are slowly moving away from vintage shopping and searching for inspiration elsewhere. I had never previously considered charity shops as a place to look for inspiration but I recently attended the British Red Cross Portobello road shop opening and as a charity shop novice, I was pleasantly surprised. From vintage Chanel pieces to barely worn Charlotte Olympia shoes, the store is a dream for anyone looking for one off pieces. It was really nicely organised in sections: Vintage, high street and designer to make the shopping experience easier and I fell in love with the vintage section.
So, here are my top tips for vintage shopping or second-hand shopping
- Don’t play it safe. Vintage shops are not for basics! they are full of amazingly bizarre, and unmentionable hideousness so go wild. Try to find hidden gems, things that have history to them, character and express your personality.
- Be patient. you’re not going to find a gem every single try so don’t feel discouraged if you don’t find that hidden gem, go in with an open mind and take your time when you’re in there.
- Don’t go overboard. Yes, everything is discounted and affordable but don’t buy something just because you think its a bargain. I have ended up with piles of clothes that looked edgy in the store but just didn’t fit in with my style or wardrobe.
So if you are looking for your dream ensemble at a price you can afford, I recommend the British Red Cross Portobello road shop.
British Red Cross has responded to disasters including the Ebola crisis, the devastating Nepal earthquake, the on-going conflict in Syria and Yemen and more recently the Europe Refugee Crisis appeal. The Red Cross has also been hard at work closer to home – for instance, teaching first aid, providing ambulance support and helping people get back on their feet after a stay in hospital. The British Red Cross has over 340 retail outlets around the country, all working to raise money for people in crisis both in the UK and overseas.