Article by Ceri Wheeldon
By the time we reach our 50’s we are beyond the stage of having to have the latest season’s must have in our wardrobes.
I had never really thought about buying clothes ‘second hand’ but I have a French friend who is the champion at buying the most amazing clothes and bags at pre-owned and charity shops. Her wardrobe is full of designer labels Prada, Burberry, Chanel – bought at a fraction of their original cost. My view of second hand was musty smelling rejects, but I have been converted.
Following her lead I have added some really individual pieces to my wardrobe .
Whenever she visits London she knows exactly where she is heading – the charity and second hand shops in Kensington and Knightsbridge.
When I visit her in France we head off to her favourite places to shop in Cannes – and sometimes we venture over the border into Italy.
My purchases with her have included a Valentino coat, a Gianfranco Ferre jacket and a Moschino coat (pictured)- all barely worn and at incredible prices (apparently the French customers aren’t keen on Italian labels so I was able to snap them up).
I really couldn’t resist the Moschino coat – it had just the right amount of ‘bling’ for me (I’m a bit of a magpie and always attracted to things that glitter)- and the fact that it has the bright pink lining makes it a perfect fit for my website colours.
You have to be open minded
You have to be totally open minded when shopping in this way – it really is a question of browsing with nothing too specific in mind – and frequent visits as stock is constantly changing. Don’t be afraid to just try things on – and ignore the size labels ! If you have a wedding or special event coming up – it is well worth taking a look before you are under any time pressure. I went to a couple of local shops in the summer with a friend – one had a great range of second hand hats on sale .
It is easier to shop in these types of places with a friend with a good ‘eye’ . Look for classics – and favourite labels.
You never know what type of style treasure you might find 🙂