Your money-making expert. Financial journalist, TV and radio personality.
Who doesn’t find a new outfit or a new pair of shoes gives them a confidence boost? Unfortunately, the quality that comes with designer clothes also comes with a price tag to match. So is there a way to get those designer fashions without using half your pay-cheque?
I’ve just bought some pink ‘Office’ sandals for £10. Actually, to be accurate they were second hand Office sandals. Where I live there are several ‘vintage’ clothes shops (for ‘vintage’ read ‘second hand’ of course) and if I have time to have a rummage I often find something interesting.
A lot of people hate the idea of wearing clothes or shoes that other people have worn but I’ve been very grateful over the years for other people’s cast-offs, particularly when I was a teenager and we had to manage on just my mother’s very meagre salary (£6,000 a year!) and some benefits. As a student and for a few years afterwards I was also grateful for bags of clothes given by kind friends or church members.
So I’m a big fan of second hand and charity shop bargains. They also have the advantage of having stuff that’s different to the, often boring, stuff in the shops. For example, can I find a pair of pink sandals anywhere on the high street? Ha! Not likely – it’s not fashionable. Well stuff fashion, I like what I like and I like pink sandals!
Happily, you don’t have to live near me to find great second hand (and genuine vintage) bargains. As we showed in this article on budget fashion you can swap, borrow and buy to do up your wardrobe for next to nothing.
My friend Syl Tang who runs Hipguide.com is a fashion writer for the FT among others and she constantly buys designer clothes from eBay. She says that so long as you measure yourself all over (like arm length, inside leg etc etc) and ask a lot of questions you can often get incredible designer gear for very little. But eBay isn’t the only place for clothes. Check out our article on the best fashion websites to find yourself a great deal online.
If you can’t stand the idea of wearing someone else’s cast offs there are some really good bargains (and some real old rubbish) in the all-pervasive sales right now. LoveSales.com does all the sales-searching work for you, you can either browse all the current sales happening at this very moment OR tell them your favourite brands and every time those shops have a sale on they will ping you an alert so you never miss out!
Not only that but if the weather carries on being dull and just plain annoying, you could spend a rainy afternoon going through the clothes you have and altering them, trying them with accessories you don’t usually use and generally making more of what you have. That way you can update your wardrobe for nothing at all!