Charity / Top 10

Top 10 Best Charity Shop Buys Ever – NUMBER 2

Do you know, one of the best things I have enjoyed about doing this Top 10 countdown/up (the war continues) is finding new ways to ‘style’, god that makes me sound like an arsehole, the clothes and items that I have bought, because y’all want interesting photos right? Plus I love taking them and ‘getting creative’. In so doing, I have accidentally unearthed new ways to wear things.

Take today’s dress for example… first, let me tell you the story…

I have already written about this dress here, and while the story hasn’t really changed much, me, my house and my photograph skills have, so feel free to have a gander and a good ol’ laugh at my expense. So, let me re-tell you the story… (god get to it already woman!)

I was still shopping in charity shops while this blog was buried under a mountain of stress and meltdowns (my life has a theme, and it’s not the pineapples and bunting kind), I just wasn’t writing about it all. An off the cuff foray to Banchory led me to a creatively named charity shop called ‘The Charity Shop’ on Bridge Street.

At first this place didn’t look promising, everything was a mish-mash; just rails and rails of clothes which, whilst not-unorganised (work that one out!), they also didn’t seem to follow any sort of order. There was un-ordered order. A rail of black clothes of all sizes here, a rail of size 14 clothes of all colours there, you get the picture.

Just as my hope was ebbing away like the retreating tides of the Aral Sea (an obscure geography reference for you to google later) I suddenly saw it, or rather, felt it. Expensive fabric has an unmistakably thick, luxuriant feel to it. I had been despondently thumbing my way through the rails when all of a sudden I thought “This nasty wire hanger doesn’t feel as austere as the rest, and yet(!), a complete lack of 80’s shoulder pads?! To what do I owe this mystery?”. A short fumble with what can only be described as a KerPlunk style filing system and I had dredged out the item in question: a black shift dress.

A black shift dress…

That sentence does not adequately befit the item dangling from my outstretched arm while I squinted, first in confusion, and then in amazement, at the label…

“Nicole… Farhi?”

Shut. The. Front. Door.


My signature optimism immediately lead me to this next thought “There’s no way this will be in my size.”

Checked the label: size 10.

Optimism continued unabated “There’s no way a designer size 10 will fit me” designer clothes all being made, I assume, never having actually owned any up until this point, to make already thin women feel like that vegan yoghurt they had eaten in 1995 was a calorifically catastrophic mistake.

Before heading to the changing room to find out I’m actually considered plus size to these people, I thought I’d best check the price to see if the despair was going to be worth it.

There was a digit missing, probably a 4, possibly a 5. What should have been £50+ was actually £6. Six! SIX POUNDS! I was shook.

A dilemma ensued. My character was already completely obliterated thanks to all of my aspersions being completely unfounded and now I had an even bigger decision to make. My integrity was on the line…

“If it doesn’t fit…” I thought to myself “I’ll tell them that it’s worth a hell of a lot more than £6 and it needs to be in the window a long way away from a wire hanger. But…” I mused “if it doesn’t fit? Well, surely I should pay more than £6? Surely…”

I decided to cross that particular bridge when I came to it and find out firstly whether it fitted, or whether I looked like a black neoprene sausage.

It fitted. My heart did a strange somersault of glee before swiftly sinking, likely leaving me in need of a statin or 2. What to do…

I let my most basic of instincts take over; those being greed, selfishness and glutton promptly paying £6 without uttering a word and decided I’d deal with the karma later.

2. Nicole Farhi dress

Item details:

  • Manufacturer: Nicole Farhi
  • Estimated Retail Price: £395
  • Link to similar: Nicole Farhi short black dress
  • Purchased: 2015
  • Charity Shop: The Charity Shop, Banchory


Black formal sleeveless shift dress with ‘tails’ style double split at the back.

Price Paid: £6


I’ve worn this for a few occasions; mostly work but sadly also my grandpa’s funeral. In many ways, there’s not a lot to say about it, which seems a shame. After all, how much can one do with a black shift dress apart from mix it up in the shoe department? Basic nude court shoes were deployed for the funeral, the middle floral patterned sling backs are just a bit of fun with what is otherwise a black dress and the bejeweled Dune court shoes add a bit of glamour if you’re attending a party where the dress code is black but not black tie.

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Adding a jacket and a brighter pair of shoes adds a bit of pizzazz that was missing before. Then it gets to the good stuff… A while ago, whilst 27 weeks deep in to some fashion style Instagram account with 2M followers because they simply post aspirational images that are not their own, I noticed a while shirt being worn under a leather dress. I then reenacted this on my own account 2 days later, but that outfit gave me an idea, one so simple it should have occurred to me before… white shirt!!!

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Oddly enough I prefer the white shirt buttoned up out of all of these attempts, despite it making me look like a 27-year-old bloke, who still lives with his parents, stumbling out of a Revolution vodka bar on a Thursday.

I borrowed the tie from Eddie’s half (I’m kidding, he doesn’t have half) of the dress room but it’s a bit British Airways. However, I think I might have to deploy the white shirt when it cools down a bit – who am I kidding, it’s July and it’s barely over 15 degrees.


There is a light and a whistle for attracting attention

I also wondered what it would look like with an altogether more zany top underneath.


On reflection, it’s a no from me. However I’m of the opinion that this isn’t the dress for this top, rather than it being the top’s fault. As we know, if you follow me on Instagram, this top can do no wrong. This dress is too fitted and formal for this, but I’m going to try it again with a different dress. The shoes are simply outrageous.

Anyway, that’s all from me for this week. I might attempt a vlog of me glitter bombing some shoes just so you can witness the devastation in real time.

Please remain seated whilst the seat belt signs are illuminated. Over and out.


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