Old Is The New...new

Just a last year, many of us would have been appalled at the idea of wearing second-hand clothes. Now, those who were once regulars at chic boutiques are more likely to be found sifting through piles of duds in a charity shop, hoping to discover a unique vintage piece or a next to new designer label. This summer's must-have accessory is likely to be the tightened belt for many, as the cost of living rises and easy credit remains a distant memory. The good news is that thrift is in, so even if you are on a budget, there’s no reason to let your style suffer. Glamour girls are deserting designer boutiques to search second-hand clothes shops. And they're coming back with classic looks that never go out of style - at bargain prices.For years, New York girls-in-the-know have frequented 'thrift' stores to pick up chic labels at a fraction of their full price and to acquire a certain 'too cool to care' chic. In London, markets such as Portobello and Alfies have become shopping meccas to rival Bond Street or Selfridges. Now the small but growing collection of vintage and thrift stores in cities around the country, is growing in popularity.Endorsement from fashion icons such as actress Chloë Sevignyortop stylist Bay Garnett has helped thrift and charity shop fashion to take hold in the high street. And stars such as Sienna Millar, Helena Christensen and Kylie Minogue have also been spotted wearing the retro look. Now rummaging through charity shop racks is now seen as a perfectly acceptable way to look stylish on a budget.In the past many of us wouldn't dream of shopping second hand. Alongside an irrational phobia of second-hand clothes, the most common complaints are that the shops are too jumbled and it takes too long to find anything worth having. They're okay for students, but for people with real jobs, it simply isn't practical, goes the thinking – but that’s where you’d be wrong.Most of the clothes on sale are dry cleaned and in perfect condition. Also, there’s usually a plethora of designer duds hanging on the rails just waiting to be discovered. And when fashion is all about tweed, velvet, chunky belts and oversized vintage jewellery, it is not the time to be splurging in designer emporiums: you are as well off at a charity shop.  Buying belts and gloves from charity shops can offer the best value this side of Italy and the quality will often be far higher than   anything on the high street. Scarves are another possibility. Don't expect Hermes -that's what eBay is for - but there are lots of quirky one-offs out there.  Other items such as jewellery or end-of-line designer consignments can be surprisingly good.If you are looking for a vintage piece, ignore the size shown on the label. Women used to be much thinner, and a 2009 size 10 is more like a size 14 from the Fifties. Choose the right era for your body type. Skinny women look good in the mini- skirts and tight trousers of the Sixties and long-legged women suit the swirling peasant looks and sleek knits of the Seventies and Eighties. Petite but curvy figures suit structured clothes from the Forties and Fifties.If you're going thrifting with a friend, make sure they're a like-minded type.  This sort of shopping isn't for everyone; if you have ever worn Dior, you will probably never come round to the idea of charity shopping. But for the rest of us there is lots of fun to be had.   

cocopops40 cocopops40
36-40, F
Feb 10, 2010