Tag Archives: good quality clothing

Thrifty turns 30!

I turned thirty last weekend and had an amazing time celebrating with family and friends who organised a surprise party for me; I have never felt so supremely grateful and overwhelmed with love. And in true thrifty afropolitan style, I actually wore a bargain of a dress on the day which I will share with you at some point!

Birthday balloons!
I decided to take the Friday off of my birthday weekend in order to relax and run a few errands. I didn’t intend to visit my local charity shop but thought it would be worthwhile popping in just in case. Half an hour later I emerged with some fantastic spoils and spent £30 on seven quality items which I think would easily retail at five times the price!
Some of my favourite items are:

This jumper from Fat Face which I bought for under a fiver. I love the nautical stripes of navy blue and grey as well as the button detail on the shoulder. It also has a cashmere wool mix which gives it that extra soft, luxurious feeling.

final dress

This dress which was a steal at under £10. I didn’t love the look of it on the hanger but once I put it on, it fit perfectly and looked great too! I love the satin material and the pearly pink colour which suits my skin tone to a tee. I can’t wait to wear it out on a special occasion!

I love charity shops for reasons I have previously espoused- but particularly find it a refreshing anecdote to the monotony of the high street. I also love the sense of adventure and element of surprise which comes from charity shop hunting; (I know I need to get a life) and the fact the proceeds go to a great cause makes it even sweeter!

Thrifty tip: I live in a residential area with a high street nearby which predominantly consists of supermarkets and takeaways. This is the only charity shop/ shop which sells clothing for about 20 minutes. The area is a mixture of wealthy and working class people however there is a significant ‘hidden’ middle class demographic. This means that there is a) little competition from other charity shops keeping the prices low b) more often than not good quality items on sale. Why not try visiting an unlikely area which has this combination to see what bargains you can find?

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‘Shoes glorious shoes!’ My first time sample sale shopping experience

Every few months I spot a random sample footwear sale sign around the corner from where I work in central London. After almost year of just walking by I finally decided to make an effort and go to see what all the fuss was about and made a concerted effort to take my lunch break early and go! And it was definitely worth the visit. This particular footwear sample sale only had size four (who’s feet is that small?) and seven shoes on sale which was perfect for me and my relatively big feet. I turned up 5 minutes into the sale as I didn’t want to be the first one there but clearly it wasn’t the case- the room was full of mainly women having a good old rummage. I made a beeline for the size seven section only to find that a man- on the phone to his wife- had scooped up EIGHT pairs of the size seven shoes and pretty nice ones at that!

Shoes glorious shoes: I know it looks like a jumble sale but amongst them are some absolute treasures including items sold in well known high street shops such as Wallis and Dorothy Perkins

Shoes glorious shoes: I know it looks like a jumble sale but amongst them are some absolute treasures including items sold in well known high street shops such as Wallis and Dorothy Perkins.

I didn’t let this minor blip deter me as I scooped up as many pairs of shoes that were my size and caught my eye. After almost half an hour of trying on shoes- most of which didn’t fit and fascinated by the amazing variety of shoes on sale, I walked away with TWO pairs for under a £10 TOGETHER. My favourite purchase has to be the brown tan leather knee high boots with a buckle. Anyone who knows me well knows that I have a slight obsession with tan boots and literally buy a pair every other year to see me through the Autumn/Winter months. These boots fit the bill—real leather, great quality, sturdy yet stylish – I really think they were God’s gift!

Beautiful tan boots: These are my new favourite pair of shoes! Stylish, sturdy and good quality for not even 10% of the original price- what a gift!

Beautiful tan boots: These are my new favourite pair of shoes! Stylish, sturdy and good quality for not even 10% of the original price- what a gift.

It’s funny how God works because I was thinking that I need to start investing in winter items but was reluctant to spend big amounts of money – even on quality classic items. It’s not that I am opposed to paying for good quality- quite the contrary- but usually I like to get these sorts of things at a good (preferably discounted) rate either during a sale or by purchasing online. So what does this mean? I have made savings which can go towards other things such as blessing a special someone or putting it away for a rainy day.

Anyway- I now have my main pair of boots and a cute pair of black shoes for the evening so am one very happy, thrifty Afropolitan! I encourage you, if you have never been to a sample sale GO. You have nothing to lose but lots of bargains to gain.

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5 ways to get rid of unwanted quality clothing and ‘do good’ in the process

As summer draws to a close and autumn makes it annual appearance many of will be changing our wardrobes to follow suit. In fact you might even go that one step further and use it as an opportunity to have that much needed clear out.  If you are looking to get rid of some of your clothes which are still in good condition, here are five ways you could do so and help others in the process:

  1. Consider hosting a clothes swapping event with a group of friends or attend one of the numerous clothes swap events popping up across the shop. Check out websites like swishing.com, http://www.mrsbears.co.uk  or your local community events noticeboard.
  2. Donate them to your local  charity shop- They are EVERYWHERE from your more well know charities such as Cancer Research and Trinity Hospice to your smaller, locally based charities.
  3. Donate your clothes to  a charity of your choice– this is great if there is a specific cause you are passionate about but there is no high street presence. Check out   clothesforcharity.org.uk  
  4. Bag them up and take them to a local H & M store- For every bag you donate of unwanted clothes you get £5 off purchases over £30. Clothes are sold on as secondhand goods in other parts of the world or recycled.
  5. Send them ‘back home’ – I use this term loosely but as an Afropolitan with roots in West Africa there are a few places I could send them to. (Disclaimer: not everyone in Africa is living in abject poverty and is ‘in need’ contrary to media representation!) Good quality items could go to relatives, to other people locally or could be sold on as secondhand goods.  Lots of my friends with roots across the world (Latin America, West Indies and Asia) do similar things. Its such a great way to bless someone and be resourceful at the same time.
Find me a new home! says my boots

“Find me a new home!” says my boots

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