Second hand, high fashion

I used to go to second-hand cloths shop and flea markets in Paris, but I have to confess that England is the heaven of second-hand shopping.
I am not talking about the exciting but very expensive vintage shops of Soho, London, but about the hundreds of charity shops covering the whole territory. In Cambridge they must be 15 shops (including Oxfam, Save the Children, The British Red Cross, The Heart Foudation...) and each of them is the occasion of a priceless (while cheap) find.
Those gems will satisfy most of your shopping cravings and make you contribute to wonderful projects, helping people around the world. Because everything you buy has been donated, and the money you spend goes directly to development projects and health and social programmes.

Some of the shops work only on a volunteering staff basis, with most of them having an expert eye on specific types of items. The lady specialised in vintage watches, or the one who knows a lot about sewing, they will all have precious advices to display. You may still have some doubt about the fashion potential of the goods you can find there. I agree that the combination of "charity", "cheap"
and "old ladies" is not to convinced the reluctant fashionista. But I have been volunteering in one of those shops for 6 months now, and I can tell for sure that it hides some great bargains: among my last purchases lie some almost new Nine West leather boots, and a Miu Miu woolen trousers that is so soft that I want to touch my legs all the time.
I also regularly find funny old-looking things such as a small knitted purse , interesting costume jewellery, as well a
s amazing kid cloths (some of them lovelingly handmade).

YES, you may need to go through a lot of rails to find THE piece you were dreaming about, and NO, there won't be something great everytime you go. BUT, just as for the sale periods on the high street, the expert eye won't miss the precious deal hidden in the overcrowded rack.

Beautiful pieces are entering the shop very often (especially if you go to charity shops in rich neiborhood). "Collections" changes all the time -every week to be precise. And if ou are looking for more basic stuff, such as Primark, M&S or H&M, well just any shop will be your lucky destination. For £1 you can always find something interesting!
If you don't have access to one of those shops, you can visit the on-line Oxfam store (the website is not very glamorous, but it is worth browsing around): look below at the awesome items that I just found!
Some charities also have their ebay store.

Long live the charity shops!

French Connection Dress, £12.99; and Diesel jacket, £14.99