|Chanel Jacket at Chelsea's Red Cross (Photo by Tina Stallard)|
With the second recession and Christmas around the corner, there’s never been a better reason to indulge in a bit of guilt free, feel-good shopping. Known to fashionistas/stylists for its high-quality designer and vintage donations, Chelsea British Red Cross shop’s annual winter sale is perfect place to snap up a stylish bargain this Christmas. The crème-de-la-crème fashion gems throughout the year are cherry-picked exclusively for this event. Expect clothing, bags and shoes by Stella McCartney, Prada, Hermès, amongst other labels as well as unique vintage gear. Last time I spotted a Jenny Packham skirt for £37.5 (dearer than your run-of-the-mill charity shop, but still a snip considering the quality)
Plus you get a complimentary glass of wine, if only to ease the guilt for splashing out on that pricey Mulberry handbag last season...
My Top Charity Shopping Tips
- Shop with an honest friend who isn’t afraid to tell you what looks good and what looks naff.
- My rule of thumb is to make sure the item works with at least 5 outfits in your existing wardrobe
- Don’t give in to your inner magpie grabbing the first glittery, sparkly, shiny thing you see. (Been there, done that!) Think about the occasion. Classic structured pieces are timeless and can be worn day to day. Save the heavily embellishment for evening and party wear
- Always try before you buy and never, ever buy something a size too small (wishful thinking especially after the mandatory festive pig-out)
- On the other hand, don’t worry if the piece is slightly too big- that’s what belts are for (hurrah!). Hem and waist alterations can be made easily on a sewing machine- enlist help from your Mum, Nan or neighbour if necessary.
- The secret to making charity shop look, well, non-charity shop is customisation. Think out of the box and embrace the make-do-and-mend mantra. Adding your own personalised touches to the outfit makes all the difference, be it with quirky accessories, revamping with a different collar or buttons.
British Red Cross
69 – 71 Old Church Street, London SW3 5BS