Charity Shop Chic

By Kate O’Loughlin

Want to know how to become charity shop chic? Being an unemployed fashion conscious shopaholic bargain hunter it only came naturally to me. Over three years ago I walked into my first charity shop and I haven’t looked back.

Since then I have rarely paid over €10 for a piece of clothing and I must say I think I’ve done pretty well! I adore the challenge of rummaging through rails of the deliciously bizarre and the tastelessly mundane to find some special ‘one off’ pieces. Its guilt free shopping as you’re giving to charity while spoiling yourself it’s a win win!

My personal favourite ’boutiques’ are ‘Sue Ryder’ in Dun Laoghaire and Blackrock, ‘Gorta’ on Capel St. and ‘Ritzy Rags’ on Bolton St in Dublins city centre.

Charity shops are the best bet for the creative sole on a budget, here are the do’s and don’ts of charity shopping..

Do buy your friends and family gifts from charity shops all you have to do is replace the word Oxfam with Vintage. Instead of spending €10 on a thoughtless box of chocolates look for some quirky ornaments, jewellery or even clothes for half the price. Wrap it up as if it came from a chic boutique and voilà you’re the most thoughtful friend they have (for next to nothing.)

Don’t enter the shop with a specific idea of what you want to find. Have an open mind and see what you come upon.


Rail & Thumb


Do be super friendly to the staff, there volunteers and taking up their own time to be there so be nice, plus they know where the good stuff is and they may help you find some gems!

Don’t ever charity shop in a hurry. It doesn’t work like that.. You’ll just get flustered. Give yourself plenty of time to get your imagination going.

Do try on everything that even slightly interests you.. You’ll be very surprised of how that mens XXL golf jumper works as a trendy oversized jumper dress!

Don’t be put off by the musky smell; it’s simply the aroma of a bargain! Some people fear that the clothes are dirty but most charity shops wash and often dry-clean the garments.

Do spoil yourself, be charitable and put together a statement outfit for the better of others!