Sunday, 22 March 2015

Charity Shop Tips

I really need to stop running of for weeks on end.
However, since the last time we caught up some things have been happening:

- I'm learning the ukulele
- I'm learning the guitar (two birds with one stone and all that I guess)
- I have a fringe

No, really: I HAVE A FRINGE! I was genuinely rather worried about getting one as they are renowned for often being badly cut, and a pain to style. Maybe there is a certain amount of truth to the second point, but the cut itself has really impressed me. Top tip: go to the nearest hairdressers that trains students and see what they charge. My experience was better than what I've had with at least 90% of professional hairdressers, and I'm lucky enough to live near somewhere where I could get it completely free. Another discovery about Fringes- the whole thing about getting the right cut for your face is rubbish! I have a heart(-ish?) shaped face, which according to multiple 'beauty' journals means a side fringe would be ideal for me. If you have seen me just over a year ago, you will know that is not the case. As over-the-top as this may sound, I'm so much more comfortable with myself after getting a fringe in, and feel that how I look in the mirror corresponds to how I feel I look like. Before there was a big disconnect for whatever reason.
TLDR; get a fringe and you will be a happy ray of sun even if you're a miserable twit like myself.

The inspiration for this is when I've gotten asked where I managed to get certain things from, and probably haven't been able to give the best answer: charity shops. I know the feeling of seeing someone where the most gorgeous jacket/ shirt etc. and knowing you'll never be able to find it. On the other hand, it's a fantastic thing as most of the time the clothes are much more unique than what you can often find in shops. Don't take me wrong- I'm not one of those boring people who hates everything popular, what with being love with American Apparell and ASOS as much as the next person. But sometimes it's nice to have that particular jacket that only you have. Well, you and some 60 year old woman who lives miles away. But that doesn't count.

On the other hand, I see no point in lying to ourselves here: despite the skewed reality indie blogs try to sell us, roughly 95% of clothing and other bric-a-brac in charity shops are trash. Therefore, I thought I could try typing up some rough guidelines on what to head for, and what to avoid (heyyy sweat patches on shirts). This is all based on my own experiences of course, and I can by no means claim to offer infaillible advice.

JUMPERS: You cannot go wrong here. Literally. Buy every jumper in sight. Next!
In seriousness- jumpers are fabulous to get at these places, on the whole you'll be able to afford a much nicer knit and quality for the same price you would pay for some flimsy, lightweight number from New Look. My friends will tell you I am completely biased with this advice, as I am a girl with an obsession, but on the whole going for larger sizes will ramp the coziness of any given sweater up to 11. Another advantage is that as they are ?kinda? outerwear the risk for them being gross is lowered. I'll throw cardigans under this heading as well: (I will sound like a terrible vegan for saying this, but twas discovered in the past, and the damage is done) cashmere - it is possible to get what was originally bought for maybe £80 for a fraction of the place. They're wonderful wardrobe staples, especially if you're actually an old woman trapped in an adolescent's body.

SHOES: No. Unless you are my cousin who somehow manages to find an unused pair of gorgeous cat creepers that we'd both been drooling over online for weeks... I still do not understand that blip. Generally you'll find that charity shop shoes are worn in at odd angles, due to everybody having an individual walk, and have slight sweat residue. Of course, this is a completely separate issue from vintage store shoes, which tend to be real gems- but, what can I say, it's always worth having a look in case you get lucky.

TOPS/ SHIRTS: Not gonna lie, I feel that I am unable to give a full explanation on these, as the variety is so large. As to what to look out for: plain coloured tops (without stains), or in my case multiple cuts of black/ grey/ dark blue tops; band shirts- it's possible to find some real snatches, especially for popular or iconic designs (think nirvana, the Ramones etc.); oversized flannels for all you pop-punkers (or 5sos fans). Even ugly t-shirts can be rather awesome- if you go along the lines of weird 90s graphics, I'm sure many of you could work it. What to look out for here is mainly stains, sweat patches, and general signs of wear and tear as these are obviously more susceptible than most to this kind of damage.

JEANS / SHORTS: This is one that is purely down whether you can find something that will fit. I find with most other clothing there's more leeway, however jeans and the like need to sit right on you. I'd recommend looking for the waist measurement as opposed to length as that is easier to sort out (either via hemming, or simply rolling up. If you're tall- I'm so sorry but I quite clearly have no experience in that area- I'm sure that there's some kind of magical Pinterest tip that'll work). This works especially well if you manage to find some things from expensive companies- even if that means spending more than would be expected at a charity shop, it still means getting an impressive quality of jeans without splashing out massively. It's also worth pointing out that durability is much more important in clothing like this as they are expected to last much longer.

JACKETS / COATS: Charity shops are gold mines for items like this. Much like jeans, it is an item of clothing that is traditionally rather expensive, yet relatively easy to find for an incredibly decent price. Make sure that you check the lining for any rips and tears: small ones may be able to be sewn up, but it could be a sign that the coat is on it's last legs. If you are comfortable wearing them I find that this is a great way to snag authentic leather jackets, as they're a piece of clothing where it works to your advantage to look slightly worn. Again, although they may cost slightly more than one is used to spending in charity shops, they are a solid investment, as long as you pick well.

fairly local // twenty one pilots
As you may know, twenty one pilots are one of my favourite bands, I even went to a concert of theirs last November! In May they will be releasing a new album "Blurryface" and this is the lead single. It's a slight change in style- really it just seems like a natural progression. I hope you like it as much as I do:

Till next time,
Flo xx