Saturday, January 27, 2007

Charity Shopping is the new Cheap and Chic

I have to hand it to The Girls for resourceful they most certainly are. Only they could put a lifetime spent supporting couture and paying full retail to good use long after being scratched off Coutts and Co's cocktail party guest list. Looking like you've just stepped off the catwalk in this season's hottest look is no mean feat when your budget is £20.00 but The Girls have proved time and time again where there's a will there's way and are now showing the British public on The Trisha Show, charity shopping is cheap, sexy and for everyone.

Yesterday was no exception with two outfits to put together for the big meeting on Monday. After scanning through a couple of glossies for ideas they set off for Wigston. (tried to find a link, sorry) Long gone are the days spent out snobbing the assistants in Saks Fifth Avenue and Barneys but The Girls have never looked back. Their local high street boasts a Scope, Age Concern, Help The Aged, Mind, Oxfam and Cancer Research and by walking the three miles there and back (at least 10,000 steps, TV puts on 10lbs) they add the £2.60 return bus fare each to the budget, pair of shoes or if they are lucky perhaps a jacket.

It is quite a change for the pair of bossy, ball busters but on actually seeing the fruits of their labours I'm amazed the general public are not camping out waiting for the doors to open, particularly on a Friday. It appears Friday is the best day to go as all the new stock is out in preparation for the weekend.

The find of the day had to be a pure silk Ferre shirt for £1.25 (gasp!!! it's true, photos to follow) but the carriers were so loaded down after just 60 minutes The Girls truly were a pair of bag ladies for the trek home, great for the arms they assured me. To my complete surprise this particular Oxfam shop could have been confused with a Morgan boutique for the day, where the stock had come from I have no idea, (either Mischa Barton's a massive philantropist or some woman needs serious help) but without blinking The Girls picked up the lot, all eight pieces for less than twenty pounds. By my calculations there was at least five hundred pounds worth of brand new kit there. A beautiful Oasis jacket from Scope, £2.99, funky shoes from Help The Aged for £2.00, a couple of tops off the pound rail in Mind, The Girls were high as kites and charity shopping doesn't come with a government health warning even though it is highly addictive. I succumbed. I had to fight off that pair of vultures but I did see them first, Dolce and Gabbana sunglasses with dust bag and case for £3.00, I gave five and told them to keep the change. If it's good enough for Helen Mirran, spokesperson for The British Heart Foundation and recently preported to buying all her clothes from charity shops when she travels, it's good enough for me. Victoria Beckham (did I miss something; Selfridges, a charity shop?) will struggle in Los Angeles, no charity there Posh but with all those Hollywood celebrities happy to help it wont be long before the Girls get one to makeover for real.

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