Saturday, 17 September 2011

Charity Shop Shopping > a Myriad of the eclectic, colourful and bizarre.

So today I went on what one could call a Charity Shop crawl. Charity Shop Shopping has long been an interest of mine. I suppose it is the thrill of the thought that one might find a hidden treasure for a fraction of its original price... and buying it will help a charity for a worthwhile cause.
My French Mother has often said that in Britain, Charity Shop Shopping (I think from now on I shall call it CSS) is something of a national sport. My English Grandmother buys a large amount of her clothing from charity shops. Indeed, I have seen very little to disprove this claim, especially if the amount of charity Shops around is anything to go by. It also seems to me that no other country in Europe, at least, has Charity Shops in the way we have. Perhaps I do not pay enough attention, but I do not recall ever having seen a Charity Shop on the continent.


The Location of the Charity Shop in Question is often important - it makes the difference between second hand Designer and second hand Primark... Where I live, it is not always as bad as could be expected. Although the place itself is not a prime location and the area itself is not always picturesque and charming *cough* the villages are mostly relatively well off areas. So, you get a wonderful blend.

I have always liked CSS. I do not care how many times I repeat it, and if those of you out there who have never done it before could only take the iniative to do so, you will find that it is worth it. From the point of view of someone who edits clothes, and creates some of my own clothes, Charity Shops are also excellent for finding the base for creation. Currently, I am working on a concept for a Patchwork Coat. When I do eventually start creating it, the local charity shop will be one of my first stops to pick up cheap, and varied, materials.

 I love Shoes. Anyone who knows me well can tell you that I am the owner of many pairs of wacky heels. I found some brilliant pairs too while I was out and about. Just look at the beading on the shoe on the top - and the boot I am holding in my hand above this inscription would currently be in my possession had the pair been size 6 instead of Size 4.

The Shoes on the left here also screamed out at me 'Wizard of Oz!; and let's face it, who does not want their own pair of ruby slippers? Oh, and remember that iconic brands such as Dr. Martens can be found in charity shops too. Though obviously worn and perhaps, much loved, I think there is something most charming and characterful about this pair. Sort of like the old, holey Barbour Coat I went out in today. :)

 Of course Charity Shops do not only sell Clothes and Shoes - they sell a wide range of kitsch, even quaint, objects - bejewelled Buddhas and China Cats with big blue eyes and baby pink tongues hanging out (licking the air?)

Although these are generally objects I would never let anywhere near my house, in large quantities they do have a sort of charm. Anyway, they are always great fun to look at - and among the shelves full of china figurines, the odd treasure can sometimes be found. For example, today I came very close to buying a thimble with the picture of an owl  engraved on it. Then again, I have always had
 a weakness for items with depictions of owls engraved or painted on them.

<<< This was a Velvetine Black Jacket. It had an absolutely beautiful Texture - an excellent purchase... but it was also a size 18, and though I do sometimes wear large clothing, it did not strike me as something that could easily be made more fitted by adding a coloured belt, the material did not seem very flexible.

Delightful Trinkets can also be found of course. Button Bracelets, silver charms and the like. >>>
Myself in a most Charming Hat. Oh, how I adore hats...

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