Monday, 10 March 2014

Charity Shop Challenge

As I mentioned in a previous post, Avril at School Gate Style is having monthly style challenges throughout 2014. February was Frugal February - a challenge to abstain from shopping. As I was going to be in South Africa, I knew that that was never going to happen for me. It would be a miracle if I left Johannesburg with nothing new in my bag. March is a charity shop challenge, all about sharing those good finds she has come across while charity shopping and challenging others to do the same. I think it's a wonderful idea.

As I discussed briefly before, when I lived in New Zealand I used to shop in charity and secondhand shops regularly. Buying second hand is a big thing there, as goods are just harder to get and I used to really enjoy "op shopping". I didn't just shop for clothes either, I have a collection of New Zealand Crown Lynn Colourglaze crockery that I amassed by trawling through online trading sites and charity shops up and down New Zealand. I really enjoyed the triumph of finding a piece I was missing in some small town we were passing through.

Anyway, enough reminiscing, today was just a beautiful day in Dublin. It was the kind of day that just breathes life into you and makes everything seem that little bit better.

Not a bad place for a walk with the baba
I was meeting my other mum friends for coffee in Dun Laoghaire so walked in with J in his buggy to make the most of the day. As I had time before meeting my friends I had a look in a few charity shops to see if there was anything to take my fancy, with Avril's challenge in mind. Since returning from New Zealand almost 2 years ago I haven't set foot in a charity shop so I'm thinking this challenge is a good opportunity to get back into it.

Dun Laoghaire has a reputation at the moment for becoming a bit of a ghost town, full of closed down business and charity shops. I still head there fairly often, it still has a lot going for it and there didn't seem to be that many charity shops to me. I went into three along the main street and came out of two of them empty handed.

In the third, Oxfam, I did find an item that I'm really pleased with. A dress for €6.50.

It's a dress from Oasis, and it was the colours that caught my attention first, i just love this particular shade of purple and turquoise. The label is actually cut out of the back of the dress but I looked at the label on the inside at the bottom. I actually used to work in Oasis when I was at University so I knew from the code on this label that it is a size 10. I'm amazed how I could remember what the codes meant almost ten years later, I doubt I could recall any of my lectures so accurately!

I'm wearing it here with a silver and turquoise necklace that can be picked up for cheap in Penneys and metallic silver pumps I bought in the sale in Topshop (now out of stock!)

I'm really pleased with this, it's in great condition and the fabric is very comfortable so I can see it being a great casual dress with pumps or sandals for the summer. I suppose boots and tights in winter could be an option but I have a vehement no navy with black policy so it would rule out black boots making it a bit tougher to style. I know dresses like this go for between €50 and €60 instore and given how good a condition it is in, I'm very pleased.
Murdoch wanted to be included. He also likes the dress. 
While I was out I also donated a pair of Seven For All Mankind jeans to one of the shops. They are in a size I doubt my post-baby body will ever fit into again. It makes me smile to think of some other (skinnier) thrifter coming across them and snaffling a bargain.

So all in all, a good day. I can definitely see myself popping into charity shops in the future, especially given we are on a budget.



  1. Gorgeous dress and an absolute bargain!

    Love the necklace, too, really works with the outfit. Wonder if you could find the right shade of brown for your winter boots, too? I live in the colour navy and wear black leggings (stop shrieking :)) and up until recently I had a beautiful pair of mid-brown flat ankle boots that boosted my serotonin every time I wore them/ They are now in the bin having been repaired once and no where near as waterproof as I needed them to be!

  2. I am coveting a pair of brown, flat ankle boots at the moment. I was thinking it might be silly to buy them now given it's so near summer (theoretically)! You could be on to something there though. Thanks!!

  3. Ah, go shopping! Flat ankles can be worn well into the end of May, and resume their role as early as Sept.

    1. Love the encouragement - I may have to make a trip out, cause you know. I NEED them!


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