A beautiful, vintage, rhinestone encrusted treat

  I don’t often spend more than ten pounds on a single item in the charity shop, especially something I don’t really need.

But sometimes it’s just nice to treat yourself – and giving £12.99 to charity in the process, so it can’t be a bad thing.

Especially when that something is a beautiful, vintage, rhinestone encrusted treat!007

I can’t tell you how old it is, but an educated guess is that it’s from somewhere between 1935 – 1965.006

I can’t wait to wear it!015



This pretty little oval photo frame cost me £2 from a charity shop in Eton (I forget which).

It has a ‘made in Taiwan’ sticker on the back, so I’m guessing it’s not that old. Even so, it has that vintage feel that makes me like it so much.011010

It looks wonderful filled with a scrap of vintage map, which I also bought from a charity shop. Old maps are great for scrap-booking and card making, decoupage or as wrapping paper, and you will find plenty begging for a new sense of purpose in any charity shop.

Retro Spice

Age Concern in Slough – always worth taking a look, as I have discovered from years of ‘just popping in’ on my way to other places. 003

This time I found these classic Hornsea herb jars – with wooden lids, in a lovely bottle green colour.008006

004Only 25p each! I am too charmed with these to stash them away in a cupboard.

These are readily available on eBay, so if they have taken your fancy it is worth taking a look!

Heirloom Denim

As a recent graduate, I have been filling the gap between uni and employment with all those projects I’ve been meaning to do, but haven’t found the time.

The denim jacket – a classic, perpetually flowing in and out of fashion. The jacket to fling over anything – dresses, shirts, jumpers, even with denim jeans if you’re brave enough to go for double-denim!

My denim jacket has served me for two years – a thrift shop find (one pound. ONE POUND! you cant even get a drink for that money), but originally from Debenhams, this jacket is already well worn-in, but with plenty of life in it yet.

With the realization that with all likelihood I will keep (and regularly wear) my jacket for years, decades even, I have started to customize it. I will keep adding to it, eventually filling up every scrap of space, but for now I will leave it as is.003

Anything goes with denim, it is super-easy to customize even if sewing isn’t your forte. Here are some suggestions based on what I’ve done to mine:

– Pin badges, brooches, interesting trinkets sewn on to the front. Most of mine are from my Grandad, so they have great sentimental value. But they are also the sort of thing found in charity shops and car boot sales, or eBay007

– patches and fabric badges sewn on (or ironed on with bondaweb), from my Girl Guides days and travels, and army patches from Grandad.005006

– Embroidery and sewing beads onto the collar and shoulders.002

How to get a Ralph Lauren sweater for £3

ImageThree pounds barely gets you a naff sweater in Primark these days! So when we discovered a sweater in a charity shop in Beaconsfield for three pounds, we couldn’t resist…

This jumper, with its teeny price tag, is in fact a Polo Ralph Lauren, in wool and cashmere! The reason for the price being so low? (This particular charity shop had rails of beautiful clothes, much of which was designer or brand new, so other such garments were more like ten pounds). There is a small hole in the front of the sweater, about three inches up from the bottom hem – enough to put many potential buyers off, but easily fixed if you have the know-how. I haven’t fixed it yet, but when I come to it, it will take a matter of minutes.

iasley 005

In bygone years, no-one thought twice about fixing a hole in a knitted garment, and most knew how to darn. Even socks were darned when they wore through! So many clothes with plenty of life in them get thrown away because of a small fixable defect. I’m not suggesting we start sewing up our holey socks, no one has time for that! But bigger garments such as jumpers are surely worth salvaging.

This Ralph Lauren sweater is beautiful, it’s soft and warm, and Its new owner looks forward to many winters wearing it.Image

Cool Collars

1st march 097One of the biggest accessories of the moment is a collar – on a top or shirt, attached to a jumper or a dress, or a detached piece worn like a necklace.
A detached collar is the perfect way to change your look – a great thing to wear with a jumper without needing a whole shirt under it.
If you keep a look out, you can find old pieces of crochet in charity shops. These are a wonderful place to start if you fancy making your own lacy collar. I found this piece, which in fact looks like it was made to be a collar. It looks lovely worn with a dress!

Back to the future

One large source of inspiration to fashion designers is the past – a repertoire of bygone styles. It is no wonder that we see elements of old fashion in today’s! This one reason why it is so great to visit charity shops.

There has been a return to 1980s/1990s styles in the last few years. I love to find crazy old 80s/90s jumpers second-hand and there are many (which is probably why I own so many! I just can’t bear to leave the shop without them!).

I recently bought two jumpers – one which is a fluffy and supersoft lambswool and Angora mix, with big sleeves and mad floral embellishment. Perhaps it’s a little out there, but I love it!paisley 006

The other is actually a men’s jumper, and was a big large for me so I tumble dried it to shrink it down to size. It is has a slightly odd pattern of skyscrapers, clouds and a kissing couple.

I can’t imagine I’ll ever see anybody else with identical jumpers to these two, which adds to their appeal.1st march 078

A recent purchase…

I’ve been fortunate enough to find this wonderful jug and glasses with colourful birds on them. They are very Cath Kidston esque! However unlike real Cath Kidston, they only cost me a fiver. They are so nice I’m a little scared to use them in case I break them – perhaps they are something to save for when my uni days have passed!Image

Cream Knit and Navy Stripes

Cream knitted cardigans and stripy tops are wardrobe staples. They go with anything and the nautical theme never goes out of fashion. These two pieces also look great together, as these fashion bloggers and online shops all testify:




Spinning Threads

Gary Pepper (check the multi-coloured cardigan too!)

So I was pleased when I found these in a charity shop in Bexleyheath on Saturday, for a combined price of £4.75. The cardigan had a button missing, but shortly after taking these photos I found it in the pocket!


Charity Shop Favourites

If you are looking for some charity shop inspiration this year, here are three of my favourite charity shop finds. I can guarantee that almost any charity shop in the UK will have at least one of these items on its rails!

The Knitted Jumper


I can’t take credit for this find as it was a present from my sister (she has assured me though that it is genuine charity shop). It brightens up any outfit and is really warm – it’s also a good fit which is unusual for a charity shop find. These jumpers are always popular around Christmas (Topshop would sell one like this for at least £30) but I wear it throughout winter as the pattern isn’t too Christmassy.






The Retro Suitcase

20130108-215800.jpgI found this little antler suitcase  in the Uxbridge RSPCA shop last year, and I’ve used it loads. There’s enough space for a few changes of clothes and a pair of shoes, so I use it when I’m going home to see my parents for the weekend. These suitcases are a nice alternative to a weekender bag, but not so practical for flying as they’ve got no wheels!



The Checked Shirt


I’m not sure whether this is supposed to be a mens or womens shirt but it fits me pretty well, so I’m hoping womens! It doesn’t really matter with shirts like this though – if they are a bit big you can just wear them with leggings or use them as an extra layer. There’s also the option of altering them slightly to  fit better – you can find out how in Becky’s blog post Ways With Old Shirts.







If you have any charity shop favourites we’d love to hear about them! Send us a picture and we’ll include it in our next post 🙂