How charity shops can help to glitz up your festive wardrobe
PUBLISHED: 19:00 15 December 2019
The festive season is well and truly upon us, but looking good among your friends and family, needn't cost the earth.
Office parties can be a stressful affair; trying to mingle with the people you've never met before while navigating office politics.
Then there's the problem of choosing what to wear on the big day itself; trying not to repeat what you wore last year while still looking as good as your stylish Auntie Sue.
The number of charity shops in our high streets is sometimes wrongly maligned; with a bit of imagination they can be the perfect place to pick up a bargain.
We wandered around the charity shops of Ipswich giving ourselves a budget of £10 - £15 to create three charity shop looks that would shine at any festive occasion.
Our first offering showed that glamour need not come at a price; a sparkling, floor-length H&M dress bought from the British Heart Foundation for just £10.
Our second piece was a knee length dark turquoise dress with sparkly detailing around the waist which cost £6 and came from Zest, the charity shop run by St Elizabeth's Hospice.
We paired that with a bit more sparkle in the form of a ring costing £1, also from Zest.
Our final choice was a slightly more simple monochrome affair from Quiz that we found in the Samaritans charity shop for just £4.99.
We jazzed it up with a rose gold bangle, bought from the Samaritans for the princely sum of £1, and the previous ring.
In total, we spent less than £25 on the looks, a fraction of the original retail price for these pieces and with the money helping local charities.
Lucy Beckett, shop manager at St Elizabeth Hospice's Zest shop, said that buying from charity shops was a great way to ensure no-one else would copy your look.
"We get some really unique donations, which makes visiting one of our shops a great experience at Christmas or any time of the year," said Ms Beckett.
"Putting together a Christmas outfit that you know no one else will have can be really good fun and very satisfying, not to mention easier on the pocket than buying something brand new.
"We're very mindful of waste, and being part of the drive for sustainable fashion is a really important factor for charity shops and consumers alike."