Handbag – Bootsale – £1 Silk Scarf – Bootsale – 20p

It became quite apparent to me, whilst strolling through Topshop on Oxford St, London (I literally get lost in there) that a lot of the things on sale for stupidly high prices, could be found at a fraction of the cost in charity shops all over the UK. I still have a very love-hate relationship with Topshop…
Affordable fashion? Really?
Long-Lasting? Questionable.
Unique? Not Always. Every girl & their mum has the same item.
Quality? Sometimes.

Overall it’s pretty hit and miss, and i go through phases of wanting things from there, and then I go back to dissliking it again. If they dropped their prices slightly, I might be more inclined. Although the point of this post is not to go into detail about Topshop, it’s simply to highlight other places you can grab similar things, for much, much less. This winter, I have mainly bought my jumpers and cardigans from Charity Shops. The prices in high street stores of winter clothing always shocks me. Especially if you want quality. I have had a bit of an obsession with 80’s batwing jumpers. I wear them with leggings, or shorts, or a bandeau skirt.

Top photo: left – Batwing Jumper bought from Brick Lane for £5, Right – Cardigan from Charity shop for £6
Bottom photo: Vintage Beaded tops L-R – Charity Shop £5, Ebay £6

I’m also a big fan of the beaded “granny chic” evening tops. You don’t really see anything similar on the high street the best place to find them is Charity shops and Ebay. I like to wear them with leggings. Just something a bit more exciting and different for a night out or evening do ;)

Top left photo: Both jumpers from a Charity shop, £3 & £4
Bottom left photo: Chairty shop again, £5 & £4
Mohair coat/jacket – Charity Shop £5

The mohair coat was such a find, I absolutely love it with my military boots and a messy updo, and it kept me warmer on minus freezing days than any other coats I own. I really can’t encourage you enough to check out the Charity shops and bootsale’s for vintage items, be it clothing or accessories. Even if none of this is your style, you will find something,to suit you and it’s somehow a lot more satisfying.

  1. Lydia

    Zoe.. you are literally the best bargain hunter ever! I never find things like this at bootsales :( I must be in the wrong area! x

  2. I want everything. There are never any carboot sales where I live… :(
    I think I have to stick to my charity shops..

  3. Jess

    I always have a look around at boot sales and charity shops, some of the best things are there. You have some lovely items there. :)

    P.S. I also get lost in Topshop on Oxford Street


  4. I totally agree with all of these! Topshop try so hard to create clothes which look really vintage but it's so silly paying their prices when it's all on ebay and in charity shops for bargain prices.

  5. vicky

    I love that mohair cardigan. We have lots of charity shops here but I never find anything good, not even any oversized cardigans :(

  6. Fiona

    Wow, lovely bargains! I've been needing some new knits, I should just check out my local charity shops.
    I've got some lovely bargains from them in the past.

    Fiona x

  7. Zoe you're the best :D


  8. Heather

    That mohair cardi is the shiz! It is beautiful! :)

  9. Hayley

    i LOVED this post Zoe, i agreed with everything you said! When ever i go to charity shops or bootsales i never find anything, i think i am in the wrong area like Lydia x

  10. I think the same about Topshop. I do love what they have, but it's overpriced a lot of the time!

    It just takes a little more effort & a lot less money to find the same kind of items elsewhere!

  11. Rebecca

    I wish I could find stuff like this when I go to charity shops/boot sales… until then I'll just have to make do with Topshops daylight robbery! X

  12. Zsara

    I'm rediscovering my love of charity shops now that I am penniless – you really can find some great stuff in there. You my dear have a great eye for bargains though! I love those sequined tops and that mohair coat looks so deliciously warm and cosy! xoxo

  13. Great post, I love charity shops, people always forget about them! x

  14. OMG that Mohair jacket is amazing!!! What a great find for such a bargain price! xx

  15. Sylvia

    great finds zoe!

  16. hannah

    all of your finds are absolutely lovely!!! and at a great price-it makes them sooo much better (:



  17. the bag and blue knitted cardigan were brilliant finds! i havent been to any boot sales this year, but have been hunting for a knitted cardigan in charity shops for a while! <3

  18. I feel exactly the same way about Topshop and have done for months now. I really can't justify their prices much of the time. I've been on their web site today for the first time in ages and might cave on payday for one of their shirt/blouses for £36 but…

    You've totally inspired me with this post Zoe – I always mean to try harder with the whole charity shop / vintage search. Might get on it this week. Thanks for the inspiration!!!

    Love Sofia x

  19. Vicky

    I know exactly what you mean about Topshop! And these are some great finds x

  20. Jasmine

    I live in Bristol, which from what I'm guessin is relatively close to you. Can you recommend some good car boots and charity shops to check out? xx

  21. i love your new jumpers! xxx

  22. Great bargains xx

  23. You have some amazing finds! The bag pictured at the top could easily pass for something you'd actually find in Topshop now for a ridiculous amount!
    It's funny how now high street brands are tapping into the current 'trend' for charity shop/second hand clothing shopping, selling imitations and 'vintage inspired' pieces for ridiculous amounts. Really enjoyed this post, has definitely inspired me to check charity shops out more! xx

  24. Fern

    i love this post; i wish the boot sales round here were good enough to be able to grab a beautiful bag like that for £1! xo

  25. Ahhh a girl after my own heart, you're totally right, as much as I love topshop clothes, you don't really wanna see everyone in the same polka-dot peter pan collared tunic as you do you? (you know the one I mean!) Charity shops are great for copying the in-styles, just soo much cheaper, plus, fashion trends go round in circles, so things that are in fashion now, probably appeared 20 years ago and in sitting, waiting for you in your nearest Oxfam / St.Rocco's or whatever!

  26. lovely stuff! i love the bag and even better its £1! what a bargain!!!! wish there was car boot sales near me, too far away though… megan xxx

  27. Oh gosh, I know exactly what you mean! I walk into Topshop so many times, pick things up and think "I swear I could buy this from a charity shop for £3". Love-hate is exactly my relationship with that place, it's so odd how I still adore what they sell even though it's pretty ridiculously overpriced.

    Anyway, such great finds! That bag and scarf are both absolutely beautiful, I seriously… would pay Topshop money for both, haha. And I really adore that polkadot cardigan!

  28. Greer

    oh gosh!! the bag you found, it is so amazing.

  29. Kerry!

    love this. ebay has some great vintage items, i cant believe how cheap i buy some things for! x

  30. Great post :) Totally agree as well, doing the whole 'fashion' thing is something totally different to having style, and knowing what you personally want to wear & not letting a shop/trends influence that.
    I think Charity shops are just the way forward totally! You can find some great pieces in there, that mohair jacket is GORGEOUS!!!!

  31. I have never charity shopped before but your post has inspired me to start in 2011 :) You have found some lovely things at such incredible prices. I especially love your car boot sale bag. £1? I mean, hello! Suck on that Topshop!

    I know what you mean about Topshop. I do like to shop there but the prices really get to me. £50-60 for a jumper is just too much. You have proved that fabulous can cost less than a tenner. Inspiring stuff, Zoe! x x


  32. I can't believe that bag was £1!
    I must start going into Charity shops,
    my nans an avid buyer from them hehe,

  33. mw

    love that mohair coat!

  34. Vida

    Omg these are such great finds! I dont think there are many charity shops around where I live, but maybe I just haven't been looking hard enough lol

  35. Emma.W

    In the last few months I've been looking in the charity shops in my town, and I never find anything. It is all mumsy clothes and little children's cast offs. I really wanted to find a nice thick baggy jumper from one but never did :(
    I do like to have a look though, and hopefully one day I will come across something amazing!
    You've been very lucky in your finds :)

  36. Emma.W

    By the way that bag is the most amazing find I have ever seen!

  37. I'm the same with Topshop, some bits are great but way too overpriced, I think they've forgoten over the years that it's just a highstreet brand not designer!
    I love looking through charity shops too :) Great books in there!

  38. MJ.FTW.

    gorgeous finds!!!!!

    wow such beautiful sweaters … <3

    for such a good price too!

  39. maria.

    these are such cute sweaters!

  40. Hahahaa I'm loving the title! And your clothes(=

  41. Holly

    Wow those are some great finds, such a great alternative to shopping in Topshop! They would have robbed you of at least £50 for that Mohair coat!xx

  42. Love the mohair coat. Charity shops are the way to go – you get something unique, save money on Topshop prices and the money goes to a good cause! x

  43. I don't always get time to visit charity shops, but always find some awesome stuff when I do!
    I absolutely love the last cardigan!

  44. Jean

    I completely agree about Topshop. Love and hate :S. Those are some amazing second hand finds :) I love a good bargain. x

  45. Alice

    The mohair coat is so stunning, it reminds me very much of you, such a perfect find!

    I rarely ever shop at Topshop, soley because I can get a lot more for my money elsewhere xx

  46. I seriously can't believe you got that bag for a pound!! OMG I need to go charity shopping, it's so true what you have said, all the ones by me never have nice stuff though, I need to pay more attention xx

  47. elle

    i totally agree – and i definitely go for a bit of granny bling, too! x

  48. Lulu B

    Oh i totally love charity shop bargain hunting! There are soo many great finds! Definately agree with your blog and your mention about topshop i feel exactly the same lol also read your D.I.Y ombre hair blog and took the plunge! Yay now so happy with my Ombre Hair! :o) xx

  49. Rosie

    Completely lovely collection. My charity-shop rummaging has definitely increased lately, and it's so much more satisfying when you find something! There's always guilt after buying something in Topshop for a stupid price,

    Rosie x

  50. Georgie

    Competely agree, and its so much more fun to rummage for finds in vintage and charity shops!

  51. I LOVE that bag, what a great find!

  52. so jealous of that bag! they sell for like £50 on ebay!!! i coudlnt afford it!

    i love silk scarves too, your sucha good bargain hunter!

    im having a alexander wang esque studded bag giveawy if you want to check it out hon, you might like it xx

  53. Rachel

    That bag is so beautiful! And I totally got lost in Topshop Oxford Street first time I ever went in there!

  54. I love the last white and dark spots jacket, it´s awesome.

  55. Suzin S

    These are all FAB finds. .i love the mohair!x

  56. I've been hunting through ebay for weeks for a little bag like that but they always end up shooting up to crazy prices at the last minute. It's very adorable :)
    I love all the knitwear you found too, very unique, I especially like the mohair jumper.
    I got one like that a few years ago but the colours are just so crazy it's hard to wear it as often as I'd like :/ haha
    I need to go shopping in London!

  57. Lovely post! Half my wardrobe is from charity shops! x

  58. Love your finds. I wish I could go to a bootsale and come back as successful :D x

  59. Ash

    i found a bag EXACTLY like that today at a bootsale haha :D i love it, its on my most recent blog post and cost me only £2, honestly bootsales are the way forward :) x

  60. Adriana

    So cute!
    What ebay store do you buy??