Style After Nine Charity Shop Style Challenge

Style After Nine Charity Shop Style Challenge

Style After Nine Charity Shop Style Challenge

Style After Nine Charity Shop Style Challenge

Style After Nine Charity Shop Style Challenge

Style After Nine Charity Shop Style Challenge

Style After Nine Charity Shop Style Challenge

Earlier this month, I set myself a charity shop style challenge. I would spend five days wearing fabulous looks created by other people’s cast offs.  Why?
1. I love a good bargain and have been shopping in charity shops, boot sales, thrift stores, flea markets and vintage shops since I was a teenager
2. One woman’s rubbish is another woman’s treasure
3. I’m aware of how much we consume and throw away, this is a very ethical way to shop
4. I know what it’s like to count pennies on maternity leave or as a stay at home mum. Second-hand shopping is how you can make your budget stretch!

So, armed with £50 I hit the streets of Crystal Palace, my local charity shop hub and purchased a capsule wardrobe from the Shelter, Cancer Research and Mind stores. Rifling through the rails filled me with a nostalgic retail adrenaline rush. You see, let’s be honest, there’s a lot of toot in charity shops. As you pass through each hanger, your shopping brain goes into overdrive. Who’s the brand? What’s the size? The fabric ok? Any damage? What about the print, the fabric, the colour? Then time slows down as “Hurrah” you find something magical and “hurrah” it’s your size.

I don’t bother to try things on in charity shop fitting rooms. The cubicles tend to be a tiny corner somewhere with a curtain far to small to hide this goodness behind and certainly too small for a buggy. Now tops you can easily try out in the mirror, but for the bottoms, I have a clever trick. Wrap the waistband around your neck and if it goes all the way around without squeezing, it’s the perfect fit.

Style After Nine charity Shop style.challenge
My £4.50 outfit for a night out at the luxurious Mondrian Hotel

It’s not as easy shopping in charity shops now I’m bigger. There’s definitely a smaller pool to choose from and it was so much easier when I could start with the smallest sizes at the beginning of the rack. The saddest part of the shop, was putting the stunning Helmut Lang blazer back on the rack because it was too tight across the back.

However, I’m so impressed with the final selection of pieces I found to fit my UK 12 top and 14 bottom. Now that Crystal Palace is gentrified, it’s much easier to find great pieces then when I was younger, although they go quickly. There are regular shoppers.

For my style challenge, I needed clothes I could breast feed in, worked with my mummy lifestyle and one special outfit for a night out at the luxurious Mondrian Hotel.

Here’s what I bought and rocked:

  • Day 1 – Cotton button up dress £6.49 (Shelter)
  • Day 1 (night) – Gyspy Top £2 and tailored trousers £2.49 (Shelter)
  • Day 2 – T-shirt £3 (Shelter) Silky Midi Skirt £2.50 (Mind)
  • Day 3 – Warehouse Printed Dress £15 (Cancer Research)
  • Day 4 – Biba Chiffon Blouse – £6.50 (Shelter) Tailored Trousers (as before) Striped belt £2 (Cancer Research)
  • Day 4 – Baby Lolo rocks a £2 Flamenco costume (a little something extra I couldn’t resist) (Cancer Research)
  • Day 5 – Chiffon applique blouse £4 (Cancer Research) H&M patterned trousers £5 (Shelter) Striped belt (as before)

I loved doing this challenge, it helped me to really enjoy statement clothes again. In fact my least favourite outfit was the super casual tee and midi skirt combo. The patterned dresses have since become my summer favourites, I just love wearing them, easy statement style, while I felt so glamorous in the cheapest outfit for my Mondrian night out with the girls.

(Now I must apologise for the typos on the pics, let’s just say Windows 10 doesn’t agree with my laptop, so I’ve hijacked my husbands and currently work on a timer!!)

Anyway, what do you think of my challenge? What’s your favourite outfit? Do you shop second hand?

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Style After Nine
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  1. Ah Yvadney! I’ve been a big charity shop fan since the age of 15 (as soon as I got my first job and had my own money to spend on clothes!!) I love searching for great pieces. If I have a free minutes down the London high streets I always pop in to see what needs a good home. Love the blue shirt. Even more of a find as its from a great brand. Great treasure hunting xx #mumsthatslay

    1. Thanks Sunita, glad to meet another charity shop lover. I’m in love with the Biba shirt, it was a toss up between that and a seriously 90s kylie star print shiny shirt, I think I made the right choice. thanks for linking up xx

      1. Think you made a good choice re the shirt. And well done on not just bringing home both items. Sometimes you can get to excited and come home with random stuff that doesn’t suit your style. It’s like finding a prize when you find something you really love for about £2.99!! #mumsthatslay

  2. I love charity shops. I found a full bottle of my favourite perfume for £1.50 last time. Get in! The clothes look great on you, you’re inspiring me to get down the cancer research X #mumsthatslay

  3. I love this challenge – I have to do it myself! The clothes you found are amazing! Such a shame that you had to put Helmut back, but it’s for a good reason – there’s a better one waiting for you! I love them all, but particularly Day 2 and your glam Mondrian outfit. Slayed it! #mumsthatslay


    1. Oh the Helmut Lang jacket hurt to the core, but it’s all good and hopefully in a loving wardrobe some where. Thanks for linking up xx

  4. Loved this post and the fabulous pictures!! Your thoughts while cruising through the racks cracked me up- I am just the same and there is gold amongst the ‘toot’ !!! Great finds! 🙂 Lou X

  5. This is such a fab post! Love all your pics and really love this idea – me and my other half are huge fans of charity shops and have often found fab deals on great clothes. In fact I bought my Mulberry clutch in a charity shop for £50 – I was chuffed with that! Thanks for linking up to #dreamteam

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