Just yesterday I found the most beautiful bag I’ve ever laid eyes upon. I saw it out of the corner of my eye, searching the rails in a local charity shop for a new snuggly jumper for the winter months. I was in a lovely little place in Stroud, which has lots of nice retro and vintage clothing. I saw the little emerald lovely and was completely enraptured. I wanted to propose marriage to it. We’re going to spend every day together from now on. My boyfriend wasn’t best pleased. “You’ve bought another bag”, he sighed, dispassionately. I didn’t care. That moment got me thinking about all of the treasures I’ve found in the charity shops over the years.
The Aforementioned Bag
It was so beautiful. I couldn’t help myself. I have so many bags, but…who cares? The money is going to help refugees, and it cost me £6, which is hardly going to blow the bank account. It has a few little signs of wear, which is hardly surprising, because it looks very ‘60s/’70s…although I can’t see a label, so there’s no way of knowing for sure.
Plenty of vintage charity shops have popped up all over the U.K., and some ship internationally, too. Oxfam Vintage do a range of beautiful items for half the price tag of a “proper” vintage shop…and your money is going to help fight poverty in the U.K. and abroad. Yay!
The Vintage Cape
It’s versatile. It’s beautiful. It makes you feel like a posh Victorian woman, even though the coat isn’t even Victorian. It’s the cape aspect. I fell in love with this beautiful item of clothing in a little charity shop in the posh bit of Bristol, called Clifton. It was in an Oxfam. A lady stopped me in the street and asked where the cape I was wearing was from. I had bought it on Depop, but I was a little disappointed, because I was told it was vintage…and it wasn’t. She told me about a lovely, true vintage cape in the Oxfam down the road. It’s made in a heavy wool fabric and it keeps you so warm. It feels luxurious. It’s so lovely I want to cry.
The Summer Dress
This summer dress is just beautiful. It’s from the lovely brand Samsøe Samsøe, who exude a Scandinavian-style simplicity. Their promo pictures have a load of beautiful male models with a lot of facial hair and moody expressions standing on an island, rocks crashing against the waves. Beautiful. If only I had the £150+ needed to buy a dress from there, which I certainly don’t have…oh wait, I don’t need that. I bought it from an Oxfam for £5.99. Brilliant.
The Owl Bag
I have no idea why I bought this, it’s very strange. It is, however, very cute, even though I think it is probably aimed at four-year-olds. I bought this one from a charity shop called The Door, in central Stroud (U.K.) — they work to help young people. I have recently had a clear-out of all my old stuff, and I’ve sent the vast majority of it there (apart from one or two pieces that I’ve sold online). Don’t forget about your clothes at the end of their life-cycle, too! It might seem tempting to throw it all in the trash, but as over 235 million items of clothing end up in landfill in the U.K. each year, try donating the old things you no longer want. One (wo)man’s trash is another’s treasure!
The Autumnal Jumper
Snuggly soft knits are perfect for the autumn in the U.K., where it’s pretty much cold all of the time…here’s my snuggly forest-green jumper, that I bought for something like £2 from a charity shop. I am so excited to wear it this autumn, I actually wish the warm weather would go away…so I can get wrapped up in some cosy knits.
Head to your nearest charity shop/thrift store, and get rummaging for your own little treasures! Who said vintage couldn’t be fashionable, right? Probably everyone reading this article, looking at the ridiculous things I’ve bought…
Previously published on Medium.com.
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