Second hand fashion

So, this post is going to be a little different from what I normally post as you may have guessed from the title.

I mentioned in a previous post that I am currently doing some volunteer work in my local charity shop now that I am back home. At the minute I’m in a sort of “limbo” until I move back to Chester for my final year of university so volunteering is a good way for me to get back into the swing of things whilst doing something I enjoy. I don’t think I saw one charity shop whilst I was in Lyon (there might have been some but I never stumbled across any) and myself and an other student would always say how much we missed having a good rummage through the rails of a charity shop.

However, as I was working in the shop one quiet Monday afternoon I thought to myself how we never see that many young people coming into the shop. At twenty-one I am the youngest volunteer in the shop and enjoy chatting with customers whatever their age. As a child I was often taken into charity shops with my mother or my grandparents and it became a norm for me. Now as an adult I enjoy having a mooch in charity shops and looking for hidden gems or books that are on my current to read list. I don’t mind buying second hand whether it be at a charity shop, thrift store, vintage store, or car boot sale as it is a way of saving money and finding unique items that others won’t have.

I understand that buying second hand is a personal choice but there are so many different routes to go down; reusing, upcycling or refashioning etc.

Yet I feel that people are put off buying second hand, in this case from charity shops, as they think the shops smell or are dirty. This may have been true for some charity shops in the past, but now many charity shops are working hard to keep shops looking smart and modern and putting out quality items that have all been thoroughly checked before going out on the shop floor.

Nevertheless, I feel that many people (particularly young people) are put off buying from charity shops as they think that the clothes aren’t “trendy” or “fashionable” although most charity shops get a large variety of items ranging from new with tags to retro/vintage. There’s stuff to suit everybody’s style and taste.

So, as I was pondering these points I came up with an idea. But, I would need willing participants. Luckily for me I am fortunate enough to have two close friends who also appreciate second hand fashion and buying second hand in general and were willing to participate in my little project.

With a large pile of clothes, records, a camera along with my willing photographer and model we were set to go. I hoped that by taking some fun photos wearing clothes we had bought from charity shops, car boots and vintage stores it would help rid of this almost stigma surrounding second hand buying and show that you can find items that suit you, your style and your personality.

Below are some of the photos we took during the shoot.

(Models- myself and Connie Ward Allen, photographer- Jade Davies. All of Connie’s clothes featured in the photos were purchased from charity shops whereas I have mixed in some shoes and a play suit I bought on the high street and even a hand-me-down from my auntie. All items featured in the flat spread were purchased at charity shops).

We had a lot of fun doing this shoot and hope it helps encourage others to rethink second hand fashion. I may not be the most fashion conscious person, and I understand that fashion is a very personal choice as I mentioned earlier but albeit I hope this little contribution helps! I know others have done similar things online before too if any readers out there wanted to look further into the idea.

So, next time you pass your local charity shop, why not pop in and say hi and have a browse? You don’t know what you might find.


6 thoughts on “Second hand fashion

  1. Hello Alanis, I am a first-class detective (I found out your name though it is not mentioned on your profile ;)) Lovely post about fashion created from buys at charity shops. I used to live in Northampton till about three weeks ago and moved to New Jersey. It is a huge change and I miss British charity shops. I used to go in to these charity shops often but my weakness was rummaging through racks stacking porcelain stuff and books. As I write this, I miss England so! P.S.: That is a fantastic shoot and I love your lead photo xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your lovely comment! We had a lot of fun doing this shoot and although I’m not the most fashion conscious person I do enjoy seeing what gems I can find hidden away in charity shops! Not to mention all the fantastic books! That sounds like a big move, it’s strange leaving somewhere you’ve gotten used to calling home in a way, it was the same for me leaving France! Thank you again for your comment and feedback! ^_^ xxx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are welcome. I love dressing up and think that you can find fashion anywhere. It is your personality that makes the clothes and not the other way around. It is a big move and I wonder when and if the heart shall acclimatise. It is strange indeed. Travel makes mincemeat of us at times but I guess changes are good. They keep you on your toes. I can imagine your feeling that way about France. The way of living is sigh worthy. Yet look at the bright side, you are but a heartbeat away from her xx


      2. Yes this is all very true! I think it is important to wear clothes you feel comfortable in and that suit your personality too so I love experimenting with different styles! Hopefully with time it shall but yes travel can certainly put us through a lot at times but it is so worth it in the end and yes hopefully I will return to France in the not too distant future! There’s so much to see in the world xx

        Liked by 1 person

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