Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Shopping New vs Shopping Thrift

So on Sunday, having realised that my wardrobe is really not prepared for this good weather, I spent the evening cutting the bottom off a particularly hideous large floral-print Primark tunic, and turning it into a top. Without the sack-style bottom half it is actually a fairly nice t-shirt-it has one of those empire line above the boobs, so that my paltry B-cup actually seems a little bigger than it is, and it looks pretty paired with the American Apparel high waisted skirt. If I had a functioning camera I would post a picture, but I fear I will have to wait till my birthday until I have the ability to do that.

Anyway, the next day, buoyed up by success with the scissors I decided to have a root through our old dressing up box. Once before I found a really lovely square scarf in there, with silver embroidered on purple, which I wear a lot. This time round I found a bright blue cropped jacket, without any buttons etc, with a fine plaited rope running down from the shoulders to the bottom. My Mum said it was made to go with one of her May Ball dresses from University! They say what goes around comes around, and this seems right on trend for all the cropped tops popping up in Topshop et al.

So wearing my new find I floated out in search of face wash, and while I was there I stopped in one of the 4 charity shops that grace my local high street. I've made a few half-hearted sorties into them before, encouraged by friends' tales of perfectly fitting Levis for a fiver, but I've never had success. To be honest I usually get frustrated by people who wax lyrical about their 'vintage clothes' and how they 'mix thrift-store finds with classic designer looks'. It usually means they're wearing some old tat inherited from a distant cousin along with plentiful high-street or indeed designer clothes. Perhaps in America it's different (one thing I regretted about New York was not having had the time to go downtown and look at all the cool, quirky vintage shops I heard about from my exchange) but in England thrift stores-or charity shops, to call them by their proper names-usually contain mounds of cashmere, old office-wear and no-brand jeans, and not much else.

But yesterday I came across a lovely blazer, in a small style (it comes down to the top of my hip bones, and the sleeves are 3/4-length) with blue and white stripes. It fit perfectly and is thin enough to wear as a light outer layer in the summer. I recognised it as old H and M, but I got it for £8, and of course there's the bonus that all the money goes to a good cause (British Heart Foundation in this case).

Today I went to Westfield, the biggest shopping centre in Europe, to look for a light summer dress and denim shorts and came away empty handed (annoyingly I found a pair of shorts in Topshop but didn't put them on hold while I went to search in Gap for my mum. When I came back they were gone). What with shops such as Oxfam stepping up their act to offer good, high-quality fashion clothes for less, it seems that maybe charity-shopping is on the way up. At the end of my holiday, at any rate, the score certainly stands at

Shopping New-0 Shopping Thrift-1.

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