Sunday, October 14, 2018

A little bit of retail therapy

Charity begins at home... 

Charity shopping or thrift shopping as our American cousins would have it, is still a worthwhile occupation. In the 80s I could fall into a charity shop and wander out looking like I'd just left the set of the Maltese Falcon, or Mad Men as the mood took me. Those the golden days are long gone, but there are still bargains and to be had, and hidden gold to be mined, you just have to work a little harder.

Decent 60s and early 70s suits are still around and if you are lucky you may find a gem from the 40s or 50s. 

The trick is to keep going back and looking, strike up a conversation with the staff , tell them what you are looking for, even donate some modern stuff you don’t want, if they do it, sign up for gift aid donations, doesn’t cost you anything, but they can claim back a little tax, and it helps them remember you, and starts a dialogue.

What do you do if you find a hidden gem and it doesn’t fit? Buy  it anyway! It will fit someone… 
sell it on and save the funds to buy something else. Same goes for ties, cravats, scarves… 
buy them anyway! It's nice to go back and pop some money in the collection box if you made a lot more than you paid. Also helps for next time.

Here are a few of my charity shop purchases from the past year. Including a heavy tweed belted back suit,and some nice Ralph Lauren

What to look out for:

Moth damage... not a deal breaker depending on the severity, a few little nibbles can be successfully 
mended with using 'fuse-it' powder of similar

Rips and tears... not necessarily the death of something, I have taken material from the inside seams and patched trousers and jackets..... just check there is enough material to do so.

Stains... depends on the stain... some are harder to remove than others

Smells.... strong smells can be as difficult to remove as stains sometimes, especially on delicate fabric that wont stand a wet wash. And who wants to walk around smelling of someones armpit, or worse still a Febreze factory.

Don't limit yourself to cloths either, I have a nice collection of cut glass and crystal decanters all bought from charity shops, and they look much better than.
Even the valet stand in the photographs is from a charity shop.

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